Fascinating stories from the lives of Limerick’s fishermen are being heard for the first time in a new online oral history archive which has been launched by Limerick Archives.
Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Stephen Keary launched Limerick Archives’ new online Oral History Archive at an event in Merchant’s Quay, the corporate headquarters of Limerick City and County Council.
At the launch, excerpts from the oral history interviews that were conducted as part of the Shannon Fisheries Project were heard. Some thirty interviews were carried out with local fishermen who had fished along the Shannon River, as well as with reed cutters and boat builders. People from Coonagh to Clarina took part in these interviews, sharing their interesting stories and memories of fishing along the river.
Limerick Archivist Jacqui Hayes says thanks to these interviews, the history and tradition of fishing, reed cutting and boat building on the Shannon will be preserved forever.
“Among these interviews are stories on the fishermen’s techniques and methods, as well as tales of their camaraderie and friendship. While these fishermen will be highlighted at the event itself, it is also important to note that there will be oral history interviews published online that cover a number of other projects,” she said. “As well as the Fisheries Project, interviews that were conducted as part of the Pigtown Project, Ranks Project, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Archive Project will be put up online for the first time.”
Limerick Archives had previously made available a number of collections online, but this marks the first time that the oral history interviews have been published online.
These interviews were conducted as part of a number of different projects run by Limerick Archives in conjunction with Mary Immaculate College.
From today, almost fifty interviews will be put up online for the first time, allowing Limerick.ie users to hear first-hand accounts of Limerick’s men and women who fished along the Shannon, as well as worked in bacon factories, flour mills, and hospitals.
These projects were all undertaken in partnership with Mary Immaculate College’s History and Geography Departments with Dr Maura Cronin and Dr Helene Bradley-Davies directing the preliminary research and overseeing the interviewing.
The interviews have now been uploaded onto the Limerick Archives’ website at www.limerick.ie/oral-history-archive