Life Histories (18 total)

Avril Patterson

This is an exhibit of the life stories of Avril Patterson. Avril was born in 1931 and she was adopted by Lillian and William Eakin. She was reared in Belfast, although she was evacuated to Enniskillen during the second world war. Avril married and had one daughter, Pamela. Sadly her husband died when she was only 39 years old and Pamela was a young girl. Avril started work as a clerical assistant in the Antrim County Court House and ended her working life in an administrative role in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Her stories describe her close relationship with her family, particularly her daughter Pamela and her grandchildren.

Billy Gallagher

This is exhibit showcases the life stories, images and documents of Billy Gallagher. Billy was born in Strabane, Co. Tyrone during the second world war. His stories describe life in a rural border town during the 1940's and 50's. Billy attended Castleknock Boarding School in Dublin for his secondary education and his stories contain vivid descriptions of life as a border in the school. In his stories, Billy reflects upon his Catholic upbringing and the impact this had upon his sexual development as a young man. He recalls how a strict Catholic morality influenced courting practices and customs during the 1960's in Dublin.

After leaving school Billy joined the family shirt making business wich operated from Stabane, Lifford and Dublin. He shares his memories of travelling around Ireland and England selling shirts. His stories also describe the eventual decline of the business and his attempts to establish alternative businesses in the clothing industry.

In 1972 Billy married Eithne and he shares his memories of that day as well as their married life together. He and his wife had six children together and set up their home in Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

Frank Gaynor

This is an exhibit of Frank Gaynor's life stories, documents and photos. Frank was born in 1941 and grew up on a farm in Clondaliever in Co. Westmeath. His stories provide detailed descriptions of rural Irish farm life in the 1940's and 50's. He attended St Finians College in Mullingar for his secondary educaton where he boarded. He shares his memories of boarding school life and he remembers missing the rural community in which he had spent his childhood.

In 1963 Frank decided to volunteer to teach in Irish missionary schools with the Kiltegan fathers. He travelled to Kenya with these missons and his stories provide a wonderful insight into Kenya at this time of its early independence.

Following his time teaching in Kenya, Frank returned to Ireland and in 1965 he went to university in Galway to train to be a teacher. Upon completion of his training Frank returned to Africa to teach again. His career with the Kiltegan missions, and later working for Trocaire, brought Frank to many developing countries around the world including Rwanda, Malawi, South Africa, Kosovo and the Balkans. His stories provide fascinating accounts of these countries and insights into the development work undertaken by Frank and his colleagues there.

Mary Dynan

This exhibit showcases the life stories, images and documents of Mary Dynan. Mary was born and reared in Cloughmills, Co. Antrim in the 1940's. Her stories provide a rich and entertaining account of life in Cloughmills and the landscape and culture of Co. Antrim. In particular, Mary describes the Gaelic culture and folklore associated with Antrim with reference to Irish music and song.

Mary attended St. Louis Secondary school in Kilkeel and she shares her many memories of this time with particular reference to a class trip to France in 1952.

After completing her secondary school education Mary decided to join the Novitiate and became a St. Louis nun. Her primary profession was second level teaching and she also did some lecturing at third level too. However, Mary's life had many twists and turns which are vividly captured in this exhibit. After she decided to leave her religious vocation, Mary met and fell in love wth Muredach whom she later married. This marked the beginning of another great adventure which brought Mary to Australia and back again.

Dolly Misra

This exhibit displays the images, documents and life stories of Dolly Misra. Dolly was born in India in the 1940's and her stories provide a fascinating account of family and school life in India at that time. In particular, Dolly remembers the characters in her family and she describes her grandparents with great fondness. She emmigrated to the UK shortly after she was married. Her stories provide insight into the experience emmigration as she recalled the lonliness of this time as she reared her three children away from the support networks of her extended family. Dolly also remembers how she returned to education after her children were reared and she describes this as a time of 'freedom'.

Harry Browne

This exhibit showcases the life stories, images and documents of Harry Browne. Harry was born in Dublin in 1942 and he shares memories and stories of Dublin life in the 1940's and 50's.

In his early adulthood Harrry trained as a chef and worked in many of Dublin's famous restaurants including the Shelbourne Hotel. He subsequently left the catering industry to start a business with his brothers producing and selling windows. Harry describes the highs and low of this business and accounts for its eventual decline.

Harry married his wife Sheila in 1966 and together they set up their home in Donnycarney, Dublin where they reared their four children.

Hugh Duncan

This exhibit is concerned with the life and memories of Hugh Duncan. Hugh was born and reared in Belfast in the 1930's and 40's. He was one of nine children. His mother worked as a weaver before marriage and his father worked in the shipyard. Hugh shares memories of the hungry thirties as well as the Blitz of Belfast when he was evacuated. Hugh married Hannah after meeting her in a cinema queue and his stories detail their happy and loving marriage. They had one son, Thomas. Sadly, Hannah died in 2005 and Hugh reflects upon her life and expresses his gratitude for their long and happy marriage.

Maisie McNailly

This exhibit is concerned with the life stories and memories of Maisie McNailly. Maisie was born and reared in Lisnick, Co. Down in the 1930's and she shares her happy memories of rural family life at this time. She notes that while rural country life was quiet and there was little by way of entertainment, she remembers that she was never bored and she looks back on this time with a sense of happiness.

In her early adulthood Maisie trained to be a nurse and she continued to work in this feld for thirty-seven years. Her stories provide a fascinating account of the apprenticeship approach to nursing training which she underwent.

Maisie did not have children of her own but she explains that she was always very close to her nieces and nephews. She continues to enjoy a close relationship with her family.

Michael Carlin

This exhibit displays the life stories and memories of Michael Carlin. Michael spent his childhood in Newry and his stories share his memories of growing up in the 1950's.

Michael remembers his teenage years in the 1960's. He describes the revolutionary times in which he came of age and notes that the cafe culture was thriving in Newry. The most significant feature of this period in Michael's life was the beginning of his passion for music. A passion that he carried forth in his professional life as he worked in the family record and home entertainment business.

In 1970 Michael married Joan; a Co. Kildare woman and they set up their home and family in Newry.

Maura Corr

This exhibit presents the life and memories of Maura Corr. Through her contributions, Maura shares some of her life stories growing up in Dublin in the 1940s. She remembers that she entered the workforce after finishing secondary school. She recollects her sense of freedom when she finished school at 16 and describes working on the outskirts of the city. Maura married in 1962 and she had one son. She notes that she enjoyed this time immensely as she benefited from opportunities to spend time on interests such as dance and creative writing.