Three deaths in a year: Johnny Chris Kelleher explains how his mother lost her husband and two sons, to Tuberculosis, Diptheria and Croup within a year of each other.

Title

Three deaths in a year: Johnny Chris Kelleher explains how his mother lost her husband and two sons, to Tuberculosis, Diptheria and Croup within a year of each other.

Description

Johnny Chris was born in 1929 in Fair Lane, later called Wolfe Tone Street. His mother, Mary Margaret Kelleher (1901 - 1970) was married twice; her first husband died of Tuberculosis in 1924. In this excerpt, Johnny tells of his mother being widowed and having further tragedy fall upon her family. Where she lost two of her sons, one to Diptheria and one to Croup.

Excerpt length: 2minutes 22 seconds

Full transcript of this interview extract:

JCK Well now, my mother was married twice. Her first husband was a bloke by the name of Freddy Murphy. Now Freddy was - - he was involved in newspapers. Now he would be what you would call - - then - - a shopper. He was the man between the Echo office and the newsboys of the time. He’d take the papers out, give ‘em to ‘em, collect money, get it back, get his commission. Now unfortunately he died in 1924, a young man, with TB. Now, the TB that was going at the time - - there was different types of TB, but this was - - this particular TB that was rampant in the country at the time, it was better known to the people as consumption, because you can understand what it done to the people, it just - - if you got the TB, it just consumed you. So he died at the age of twenty-four. So that left my mother with four children. So she had no choice - - there was no welfare, the state was only three years old - - she had to go out selling newspapers for to rear the four of them. Now he died in February ’24, but unfortunately she buried one of the boys in June 1924 and she buried the other boy in September 1924.

MD Oh.

JCK Now both of those lads - - young fellas - - died, one with Diphtheria, the other with the Croup. If I’m right I don’t think they exist today. But that was the time, so she was left with the two girls then. Then she eventually met my father, married my father, and there was three of us from that marriage. Well, she kept on the papers then, as I came - - my brother went to England when he was only about seventeen, so he wasn’t very much involved with papers, but my sister and myself were involved with them. I was with my mother all the time, with the papers. Actually, ‘til the last day of her life she was with the papers. She died suddenly in Christmas 1970.

MD Oh, Okay.

JCK We used to be down by the Colosseum, and she died sudden, after coming up from the Colosseum.



Creator

Cork Folklore Project

Contributor

Interviewee: Johnny Chris Kelleher
Interviewer: Michael Daly

Rights

Cork Folklore Project

Publisher

Cork Folklore Project

Date

21 July 2010

Format

.MP3 audio file, 5 minutes 17 seconds

Identifier

SP0005_CFP00390_Kelleher

Citation

Cork Folklore Project, “Three deaths in a year: Johnny Chris Kelleher explains how his mother lost her husband and two sons, to Tuberculosis, Diptheria and Croup within a year of each other.,” Health, accessed November 28, 2021, https://corkfolklore.org/health/items/show/6.

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