In this extract Jim Quinn points out that there were no telephones about when he was a child, there were phone boxes on the street but in general people relied on word of mouth to get information. He remembers that his mother would talk to the local women about the local news and it would spread in this way.

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Did you ever have a telephone when you were younger?

No, not for a long time.

When did you get a telephone?

About 30 years ago.

So it wasn’t until you had your own house?

It wasn’t until I had me own house, it wasn’t until where I worked, the people I worked for wanted me to be coming in and out at all sorts of times and I insisted that they should supply the telephone which they did do! You know, they paid for the …

Very good. Was there a telephone near your house then when you were a child that you could have access to?

No, you went out to wherever was the local… up on Pearse Street there were always a couple of phone boxes from up here, like, there was always a couple of telephone boxes and there didn’t seem to be as much vandalism done to them at all, nobody done vandalism to them...I mean as far as I can recall, now that doesn't mean... I mean, probably I didn’t even notice it but … you know.

And if someone that you knew had a baby or something happened, they got married, and they didn’t live near you, how did you find out about it? You know, people now would just text or call on their mobile … but how did you find out?

Cause, everybody be knowing what was going on in the area, everybody knew everybody else, as a kid I wouldn’t be interested in things like that but of course I’d be sitting down listening to my mother telling after she’d been out talking to the local women, naturally she’d get what was all the local gossip and she’d be telling me father if it was something that he’d be interested in, telling him so I’d be listening to it but normally no, nobody’d … you knew what was going on …

On the grapevine, yeah.

… there was grapevines everywhere.


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About this item


Dubin City Life, Community, The Grapevine



Date Added



"Jim Quinn describes how word of mouth was an important source of information when he was a child.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #191 (accessed February 21 2018, 7:22 am)