Wednesday 18 April 2012

Great Houses of Ireland, second collection launches

The second collection of Great Houses of Ireland oral history interviews will be launched at 2pm this afternoon at the National Library of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin.

Doing the honours will be Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Recorded by Tralee-based historians Maurice and Jane O'Keeffe, this collection includes the memories of those who lived or worked in some of the great houses of Kerry, Cork, Waterford and Tipperary. (The first collection, launched early last year, covered just Cork and Kerry.) It offers intense detail and observations about daily life of the landed families.

For example, Henrietta Staples talks of Cappagh House, her education by the Quakers and early transport in side cars, traps and motor cars. Ted Newenham tells about the domestic staff and governesses at Coolmore House while Dermot Edwards discusses his mother's diaries and descriptions of social events and hobbies. Others tell of the times when The Troubles came knocking at their grand doors, and of their lives and careers beyond their landed estates.

The interviews can be downloaded individually from the lovely Irish Life and Lore website.

Update: Watch a short RTE News report of the launch, here.