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Hugh Smullen vividly recalls his working life which started at age 14.

In this extract Hugh Smullen vividly remembers his working life which started at aged 14. He remembers leaving school at 14 and starting work as a messenger boy for a Tailor Shop in the city centre. He remembers vividly working as a delivery boy and…

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Eileen McCann talks about leaving school at 14 and starting work in Jacob's factory.

In this extract Eileen McCann speaks about leaving school at 14 and beginning work in Jacobs factory. She remembers that she left work there when she got married after which she worked as a cleaner in different people's houses. Later in her life she…

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Betty Watson expresses regret at having to leave school at 14. She reflects on the deprivation of education in her early life.

In this extract Betty Watson expresses regret at having been forced to leave school at 14. She reflects on her life as a wife, a mother and a housekeeper and acknowledges the lack of educational opportunities open to her as a younger woman which…

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Angela McFarland remembers starting full-time work at age 14.

In this extract Angela McFarland remembers when she first started working full time at age 14. She remembers working in Jacob's factory for a time. In this extract she recalls going to the interview for the…

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Power's Court, View from Delahunty's Buildings

Power's Court, View from Delahunty's Buildings. A delivery boy with his cart advertising Lipton's Tea stands outside a terrace of houses. The cobbled street must have made pushing a heavily-laden cart an arduous business.

Power's Court, View from…

Delivery boy

In the days before supermarkets, many shops employed messenger boys to run errands and to deliver customers' shopping. The grander stores generally supplied a smart uniform like the one worn by the young man in this photograph.

Interviewee Hugh…

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It's a Long Way From Penny Apples (Extract pp.28-33)

Author's story of life in Summerhill slum as one of 14 children - Rise to wealth through hard work and determination - Stephen's Green dream idyll (p.28), Rationing (p.31).

Note: like many of the interviewees, Cullen left school at 13. His early…

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Hugh Smullen observes that in many ways he feels that children today are deprived of poverty.

In this extract Hugh Smullen says that in many ways he believes the children of today are deprived of poverty. He can't remember boredom when he was a child, he says that although they had nothing they were happy as they didn't expect much or need…

Hugh Smullen talks about the poverty that was prevalent in Dublin during his childhood.

In this extract Hugh Smullen talks about his early childhood. He remembers living with his grandparents and being very privileged compared to his siblings as they were better off than his parents. However after his father died he returned to live…

Angela McFarland remembers her first pay check when she started working in Jacob's factory.

In this extract Angela McFarland talks about her first paycheck when she started work at Jacobs Factory. She Spoke about giving up her wages to her mother who then gave her pocket money. She remembers she used to always make sure she kept her dance…

Angela McFarland compares her recollections of her own childhood with that of her grandchildren.

In this extract Angela McFarland compares her recollections of her own childhood with that of her grandchildren. She remarks that her grandchildren have a very different childhood from herself. By comparison they have everything they want where she…

Ringsend children

Ringsend 1950s Two small boys are standing in front of a shop, a younger child stands off to one side clutching a sweeping brush. Notices painted in the shop window advertise bargains to the canny housewife.

Ringsend 1950s - children playing in…

Findlater's Church

Findlater's Church. The Presbyterian church Parnell Square was endowed by Alexander Findlater, a Dublin merchant. It was built in the 1860s at a cost of £14,000. Interviewee Hugh Smullen recalls many happy childhood days playing near the church:…

Magenniss's Court, off Townsend Street c. 1913 (W.J.Joyce)

Magenniss's Court, off Townsend Street c. 1913 (W.J.Joyce) Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Lantern 7:28 Taken from Corlett, Christiaan. (2008). Darkest Dublin: The story of the Church Street disaster and a pictorial account of the slums of…

Carmel O'Reilly remembers how the teachers would chastise children when she was at school.

In this extract Carmel O'Reilly recalls an incident from her school days. She remembers a particular teacher who could be quite cruel to the children. She describes a very different educational experience to what would be typical of…

Betty Watson observes that she and many people of her generation were not academically prepared for life.

In this extract Betty Watson makes the point that she and many people of her generation were not academically prepared for life. She remembers that she was taken out of school at 14 years of age and put into a sewing factory. She says that there was…

St Andrew's National School

The former St Andrew's National School, now used as a community resource centre, enjoys a close working relationship with Trinity College Dublin. Much of the Trinity College Dublin's involvement with the centre revolves around education, e.g. the…

Central Model School, Marlborough Street

The Central Model School Marlborough Street was attended by interviewee Hugh Smullen. Famous past-pupils of the school include Sean O'Casey and George Bernard Shaw.

Interviewee Hugh Smullen attended this school - Link to extract from 'The Politics…