A brief biography of Betty Dempsey, one of the participants who volunteered to be interviewed for the Bridge-IT project.

Item Type


Birth Date



Holles Street, Dublin City


Factory worker, caterer

Biographical Text

Betty Dempsey was born in 1921 in Holles Street hospital. She was the second youngest of ten children in her family. She had six brothers and three sisters. Betty grew up in an area of Dublin known as Misery Hill or Cnoc na Laobhra (Hill of the Lepers) this was on the corner of Cardiff Street and Hanover Lane in the south dockland area of Dublin.

Betty left school at 14 years of age and started working in a mattress factory called Hilton on Townsend Street in Dublin. She worked in Hilton’s mattress factory for 25 years, until the time came when machines were introduced into the factory to replace the manual labour. Betty remembers that she always worked throughout her life. She finished up her working life as a caterer in Allied Irish Bank, where she worked for six years until she retired at aged 65.

Betty is very close to her nieces and her grand-nieces, and she likes to remind them of how she often babysat them for her brothers and sisters when they were young. She moved out of her home in Misery Hill 21 years ago as it required a lot of maintenance and she now lives in a flat on Townsend Street in Dublin. During her life Betty has travelled quite a lot. When she was in her early 30’s she went to visit her brother who lived in San Francisco and she also has visited her other brother who lives in England.

Betty now spends a lot of her time in St. Andrews community resource centre on Pearse Street where she enjoys participating in many activities such as computer classes and flower arranging.

About this item

Date Added



"Elizabeth Dempsey." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #284 (accessed March 20 2018, 7:44 pm)