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

Item Type


Birth Date



Grenville Lane, Dublin city


Delivery and lorry driver

Biographical Text

Hugh Smullen was born in 1927 and spent the first four years of his life living on Grenville Lane off Grenville Street after which he moved to live with his grandparents on Blessington Street in the north inner city of Dublin. Hugh has great memories of the childhood games he played with his friends around the city centre. He remembered that although there was a lot of poverty in those days, children found happiness in the simple things. When he was 13 his father died and he returned to live with his mother and his three younger brothers and his two sisters. When Hugh was 14 he began work as a messenger boy. He first worked for Premier Taylors delivering suits around Dublin on his messenger bike and later he delivered messages for Eason’s. This was the start of a long working career for Hugh which saw him graduating from a messenger bike, to a horse and cart and eventually to articulated lorries. Hugh shared many memories of his working days and recalled the very physical nature of his work. In particular he spoke about his work for the mills where he delivered heavy sacs of flour to the mills and then onto the bakeries. Hugh met May when he was 18 years of age and remembered with great fondness their courtship which involved long walks along the canals and streets of Dublin as well as trips to the pictures. He remembered taking May to the Bohemian picture house and buying a little bag of sweets for the film. This was followed by a bag of chips and a mug of Bovril! He remembered that they were a very happy couple. Hugh and May married after eight years of courtship and they had five children. Hugh says that the best thing about being older now is the ability to reflect on the things that he’s learnt in life. One of the important things he has learnt is patience. Hugh feels that this is a very good time in his life as he has learnt to listen and to not get too upset by things. He says that he has a good life now.

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Date Added



"Hugh Smullen." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #288 (accessed March 20 2018, 7:44 pm)