Work and Family:

This section of the Dublin City Life exhibition explores the accounts of the participants where they talk about their working lives and for those who were married, their early married family life.

This section shows the tension that was often present between work and family. In the women's accounts there are details of the hardships involved in having primary responsibility for the home and for the rearing of children. These women talk about being reliant on their husband's income which could often be intermittent or unsteady. Whilst they define their primary role as being in the home as carer and homemaker, many of the women sought subsidiary income outside the home through factory work or cleaning jobs.

The men's accounts give very detailed descriptions of the kind of physically demanding work that they undertook. Many worked on the docks or in the coal yards in Dublin inner city and they remember the instability associated with this type of employment, which tended to be seasonal. It is important to acknowledge that the world of work outside the home was not by any means relegated to men only. The women's accounts also included references to working particularly among those women who didn't marry, such as Betty Dempsey, or who didn't have children, such as Leslie Greer. However, all the female participants undertook some form of paid work as can be seen from the material presented in this section.

Page two gives accounts of family life and includes memories pertaining to the difficulties of rearing children, under often constraining circumstances. Some of the women remember periods of very long absences of their husbands who were away working at sea. Page three presents information on the nature of work that was undertaken by the participants. This work tended to be very physically demanding.