In the extract Carmel O'Reilly remembers when she and her husband first started courting. She describes this time as very innocent. She remembers marrying at 20 and she says that they were not 'well up', they were innocent. She remembers also the things that they used to do when they were courting for example they went to the cinema or to dances.

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And do you think there's any difference between men...they way that men age and the way that women age?

I don’t have much to do with men, I only ever was with one man in my lifetime and that was my husband. I was in Ringsend after he died and eh this cousin of his, another taxi man was passing, I’m at the bus stop, and he stops and em he shouts to a person that we both knew now, “I’m chasing the wida” the wida, now he called it, “I’m chasing the wida”, “are ye?” says I, “yes” says he “I’m throwing in me hat” says I “well I won’t be long throwing it back out again”...and that’s the only offer I got...and that was the best offer I got in 40 years...and now if you think about it I was only in me 40’s, they’re only getting married now at that age, you know? But that wouldn’t interest me…’ll laugh at this but I think when you got married like we did, at 20, that you were innocent, you know what I mean? I mean you weren’t well up, and you got used to the person, you know, and it wasn’t so embarrassing as we’ll say as if you were older but I would never think of chancing it now again, at that time, course now no one would have me, but I’m only saying in that way, you know, times have changed, age doesn’t matter so much now, for with boys and girls and men and women you know?...Do you think that?

Yeah, I think it's probably a different world really, I couldn't imagine getting married that young

It got married at 20 then, as I say, I call it innocence, you know? For instance my husband asked me for to go out, “would you like to see ‘Gone with the Wind’?” now that was then, but he handed me the money, “will you go in and book that for two seats?” Or we went to the races one day, and I never went to the toilet all day…to mention to go to the toilet would have been dreadful. know. We went to the Savoy after the races when we came back into town and we were at the back, at that time there’d be queue’s for the cinema and as two people would leave the usherette would bring down two into them seats, and I just said to him “I have to go to…” "God" says he, “I was wondering when…” But you wouldn’t say you wanted to go to the toilet, oh by God that’d be the last thing in the just goes to show you like


52:21.7 - 55:21.9

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Spatial Coverage

O'Connell Street Area


Dublin City Life, Living, Entertainment, Courting



Date Added



"Carmel O'Reilly remembers when she and her husband first started courting.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #220 (accessed February 23 2018, 4:52 am)