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Launch of Irish Life and Lore Century of Change in Ireland Oral History Collection

On Friday, April 1st at the Merrion Room at the RDS in Dublin, an event took place arranged by Maurice and Jane O’Keeffe of Irish Life and Lore in association with the RDS, to launch a three-year oral history project entitled The 1922-2022: A Century of Change in Ireland Collection. The project was instigated to commemorate the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922.

Between January 2019 and December 2022, 287 recordings were compiled with people who made a significant contribution to the Ireland in which we live today. The recordings are categorised into groupings, including Culture and Heritage; The Arts; Agriculture; Education; Engineering and Architecture; Media; Farming, Business etc. The audio material is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

The guest speaker at the launch was distinguished architect Carole Pollard who expressed her pleasure at being involved in the event.

The Irish Life and Lore Oral History project is a wonderfully generous and magnanimous collection – a safeguarding of Irish personal history through eye-witness accounts of ordinary life – or you could say extraordinary lives – over the past one hundred years.


There is a school of thought among historians that all history ultimately depends upon its social purpose, and oral history is at the heart of that quest. Interviews functioning as evidence for the historian and for the formation of cultural and social identities of the immediate past or the present.


We can only guess at the importance of this archive in the future – but I think we can safely presume that its content will be pored over by students, historians, social geographers, economic strategists and political analysts in the years ahead.

Full details of the people recorded and key words referring to the content of each recording may be seen on the homepage of the Irish Life and Lore website: All the individual recordings may also be purchased via the website.

Image caption:
L/R: Photographed at the launch; Architects Una McQuillan; Mary McGaver; Maurice O’Keeffe, Irish Life and Lore; Carole Pollard, Guest Speaker and Past President RIAI; Architects Paddy Shaffrey; Gerry Cahill; Grainne Shaffrey and Professor J. Owen Lewis, President RDS.





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