'This was a difficult time for me as the breadwinner facing bankruptcy'

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Dublin Core


'This was a difficult time for me as the breadwinner facing bankruptcy'


Billy Gallagher describes family life and remembers the birth of his six children


Billy Gallagher


Trinity College Dublin




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Billy Gallagher

Is Part Of

Marriage and Family


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

Co. Dublin, Rowanbyrn, Blackrock

Temporal Coverage


Life Story Item Type Metadata


Eithne more or less gave up work on having Patrick and became a full time mother of immense patience. Her contribution to our marriage would cover perhaps 80% of it; my only job was to earn the money. I went out to work, she ran the house and children. In 1974 we had Maighrթad (The Queen), 1975 Rebecca (Ms World), 1978 Eithne (Superwoman), 1983 S £_le (Rosie after The Rose of Tralee), and in 1987 Ձine (The Hen). The house was small but we were never cramped even when 3 girls shared the same room (we had 4 small bedrooms). In 1989 we bought the other half of our semi detached and made the two into one. That was probably the only sensible business decision I ever made and it wasn't about business at all. That house cost us £72,000 and we bought direct from the previous owner who was living abroad and anxious to move 'up'. We escaped all advertising and auctioneer's fees, saving about £5,000 in the process. During the 1970's we expanded the family and business in tandem at speed, Eithne had no bother running the house and children and leaving me free to create a business. By 1979 I had a considerable asset and bought a factory in Galway from an Italian crowd, Pancaldi & B. It was one of those 'eat your dinner off the floor' clean and efficient places that didn't turn out exactly like that. I invested £176,000 in buying Galway and lost it all in the first year. The factory struggled on until 1987, we did everything to keep it afloat and in particular borrowed from Foir Teoranta, the government 'bank of last resort'. This was a difficult time for me as the breadwinner facing bankruptcy. Eithne suffered and never showed it, I spent a year in a state of depression but never sought or got help other than from Eithne who had the ability to keep the ship afloat even without water.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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