Two girls with measles in 'Low Babies', only one returned to school


Two girls with measles in 'Low Babies', only one returned to school




This excerpt is from Cork Folklore Project Sound Recording CFPSR00311, carried out on 14 June 2000.

Sister Marie Collins was born around 1920 in Limerick, to farming parents, and became a Presentation Sister and a teacher. She attended primary school in Monaleen, near where the University of Limerick is currently situated. Sister Collins was interviewed in 2000 by the Cork Folklore Project, and during the interview she reflects on the way in which certain memories from her early childhood stand out in isolation. Speaking of a scene that comes to her memory with clarity, as an isolated incident, she says: ‘Now, I remember that, and I have no memory before or after but that stands out in my mind. Do you know, extraordinary things. I remember the first day I went to school, being around the teacher’s table, but I have no recollection of the night before or days afterwards… I’d love to write down memories without anything before or after, just things that struck me there and then.’

She goes on to recount one such vivid memory, of a girl who had been in Low Babies (Junior Infants, the first primary school class that children attend) with her:

Full transcript of this interview extract:

SR Marie Collins

And we must have been in Low Babies, we had a high stool and a low stool and there were the High Infants and The Low Infants. and the two of us got the measles. And I can still see this little one, Kitty O’Brien, she had straight hair and a fringe, and a little bow on top of her head. And when I went back after the measles she was dead, she had died from the measles. I can still see her little wee face. And I got measles, and I didn’t die, but she died. So, you know, things like that. You’d say: ‘I can’t remember a bit of before or after but I remember that.


Cork Folklore Project


Interviewee: Sister Marie Collins
Interviewer: Sean Walsh
Interviewer: Dolores Horgan


Cork Folklore Project


Cork Folklore Project


14 June 2000




audio file (.mp3)






Ireland, Cork, 1930s


Cork Folklore Project, “Two girls with measles in 'Low Babies', only one returned to school,” Health, accessed September 25, 2022,

Output Formats