About us and our work

Jane and Maurice O'Keeffe What We Do
Since 1990 Maurice and Jane O'Keeffe of Tralee, Co. Kerry, have produced thousands of recordings for their Irish Life and Lore Series.

The O'Keeffes understand that the unique oral heritage of Ireland; the peoples' stories, attitudes, behaviours and accents are diminishing in the face of modernity and the internet age and these rare elements should be preserved. Numerous aspects of Irish social and national history and the essence of old Ireland, which was in danger of being lost, is now documented through Irish Life and Lore's audio recordings and books, and so the work continues.

Funding provided to Irish Life and Lore by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and by other bodies such as Local Authorities, in order to compile oral history collections is utilised entirely for travel from Kerry each week and for overnight expenses, time spent on recording and later editing, the production and digitisation of the audio material, and the writing and printing of the accompanying illustrated booklet. In order to fund the continued work of Irish Life and Lore, the oral history collections are sold to college and public libraries for research and study. Irish Life and Lore is not affiliated to any public or private body in relation to this work.


The Value of Oral History

Gabriel Doherty, Historian Mr Gabriel Doherty, Lecturer, School of History, at University College Cork, talks about the value of oral history and the place of Irish Life & Lore recordings in that record.

  1. Gabriel Doherty

Our Work

Our work is commissioned by Irish Local Authorities, public bodies or institutions, colleges, private companies or individual groups.

The topics and issues covered in the recordings range far and wide, depending on the people recorded and the places and times in which they have lived. A great many of the elderly people recorded over the past 20 years have now passed away, but their unique voices and their life experiences have been preserved for future generations.

Irish life and Lore also publish books, which are based on specific recordings and have rare, applicable photographs.

See the wide scope of the recordings by browsing some subjects in the collection catalogue. Interviews from counties now recorded are: Carlow, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Offaly, Meath, Tipperary and Wexford. Feel free to search the recordings database for particular subjects and locations.

Our Audio Collections
All audio recordings have been compiled into approximately Collections according to their region or their theme. Each Collection is accompanied by an illustrated and indexed catalogue. All recordings are in MP3 format (128 and 160 kbps). You can now download individual recordings directly or, if you prefer, purchase on disk.

Research your family name

What Others Say
Read testimonials about our work
Read references to our work in print and broadcast media