Other information

Danny Curtin and Mary Curtin (née Dillane)

6.9910.00

Description

Track 1: Mary Curtin’s father was a member of the Dillane family from Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry and he worked as a Garda in Cork city. Mary travelled and worked in London and Switzerland and she later gained a position at Clondalkin Paper Mills where she was very happy. For twenty years she was secretary to Dr Cusack who was then Managing Director. Her first interview was at the Imperial Hotel in Cork city, as the mills had a depot in Cork. She recalls the good relationship she had with Dr Cusack and his old-fashioned gentle demeanour, which made him easy to work with. The other staff are recalled including Dr Peter Sherry, Assistant General Manager, a chemist who was in charge of the laboratory, and Paul McKee. Track 2: Danny Curtin is from Cullen, near Millstreet in Co. Cork while Mary is from Glasheen Road in Cork city. In 1960 Danny was engaged to do a decorating job at the convent in Clondalkin and he subsequently applied for a job as a clerk in the Dispatch and Transport Office at the mills. He describes his work duties in this position and explains that after a year or so he was promoted to a dispatch supervisor on the factory floor, which meant he dealt with the consignment of the pallets of paper. He was subsequently appointed transport manager. He explains that the mills were then open seven days a week and he often worked on Saturdays and sometimes on Sundays, but because he was on the staff he received no overtime payment. Track 3: Danny describes the busy dispatch area where three machines were constantly producing paper. Local haulage contractors are recalled, including Peter Minihan, George Smith and Paddy Barry. At that time about 40 per cent of the production was exported and he explains that CIE was not often used for transport owing to inefficiencies. Danny gives the example of the kind of truck used to transport a consignment of paper to the Kildare Wallpaper company. He supervised about forty men and says that generally a good atmosphere prevailed. The mills closed for a summer break of a fortnight and about a week over Christmas. He explains that paper for newsprint was a bulky product though it could be produced quite quickly, so he needed to have the trucks lined up ready for dispatch. The newsprint was run off about once a month and sent to newspapers all over the country. Following Danny and Mary’s marriage in 1974, Mary continued to work at the mills, until the end came for the company. Danny explains that there were two blocks at the mills; the office block and the paper mills, divided by the Nangor Road. Mary explains that many group office staff moved out to Naas, and she still keeps in touch with some of them. She describes the management offices and Dr Cusack’s ability and personal manner. He came from Kildare and his father had been a school teacher in Timahoe. His sister, Dr Una Cusack, was a chemist working in the mills. Also recalled are Dr Cusack’s wife Nora and their five children. Who worked briefly in the mills. She remembers the takeover of Swiftbrook, Bailey Gibson and Drimnagh Paper Mills and the assimilation of some of the employees into Clondalkin Paper Mills. Track 4: The pleasant social atmosphere which prevailed in the village of Clondalkin is recalled and Mary also explains that Dr Cusack was very receptive to new ideas and to developments in technology. The computer department was set up with several women employed as punch card operators. The gradual downturn in the business in the late 1970s is recalled, particularly as it affected the export business. Danny ascribes this to competition from abroad, the poor rate of foreign exchange and also to wage demands. He details the long negotiations to change manning and production levels and the eventual outcome, and he explains that the trade unions voted to reject the final offer by the company. The possible intervention by the government of the day is recalled but it is explained that this was not realised when the offer was rejected in 1981. Mary explains that Dr Cusack retired in 1978 and was succeeded by Henry Lund as managing director. Lund was the son of a Danish man who had run Irish Cement. Dr Cusack then was appointed chairman of the board. Mary recalls that it was hoped that Lund would revive the business but he found that this could not be done. Danny talks about the Clondalkin Group which included many Irish and English companies and the reasons why the rationalisation of the mills became necessary. Mary describes the quality of the paper and explains that in later years the design centre in Bailey Gibson was used. Danny talks about Swiftbrook paper and the prizes which it won in the nineteenth century. The winding down of the paper mills is described by Danny who mentions the part he played until his redundancy in 1982. The office staff then moved to the Clondalkin Group offices in the SIAC building. As agreed by Henry Lund, the grounds of the social club were handed over to the members, but the paper mills were gone.

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Description

Track 1: Mary Curtin’s father was a member of the Dillane family from Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry and he worked as a Garda in Cork city. Mary travelled and worked in London and Switzerland and she later gained a position at Clondalkin Paper Mills where she was very happy. For twenty years she was secretary to Dr Cusack who was then Managing Director. Her first interview was at the Imperial Hotel in Cork city, as the mills had a depot in Cork. She recalls the good relationship she had with Dr Cusack and his old-fashioned gentle demeanour, which made him easy to work with. The other staff are recalled including Dr Peter Sherry, Assistant General Manager, a chemist who was in charge of the laboratory, and Paul McKee. Track 2: Danny Curtin is from Cullen, near Millstreet in Co. Cork while Mary is from Glasheen Road in Cork city. In 1960 Danny was engaged to do a decorating job at the convent in Clondalkin and he subsequently applied for a job as a clerk in the Dispatch and Transport Office at the mills. He describes his work duties in this position and explains that after a year or so he was promoted to a dispatch supervisor on the factory floor, which meant he dealt with the consignment of the pallets of paper. He was subsequently appointed transport manager. He explains that the mills were then open seven days a week and he often worked on Saturdays and sometimes on Sundays, but because he was on the staff he received no overtime payment. Track 3: Danny describes the busy dispatch area where three machines were constantly producing paper. Local haulage contractors are recalled, including Peter Minihan, George Smith and Paddy Barry. At that time about 40 per cent of the production was exported and he explains that CIE was not often used for transport owing to inefficiencies. Danny gives the example of the kind of truck used to transport a consignment of paper to the Kildare Wallpaper company. He supervised about forty men and says that generally a good atmosphere prevailed. The mills closed for a summer break of a fortnight and about a week over Christmas. He explains that paper for newsprint was a bulky product though it could be produced quite quickly, so he needed to have the trucks lined up ready for dispatch. The newsprint was run off about once a month and sent to newspapers all over the country. Following Danny and Mary’s marriage in 1974, Mary continued to work at the mills, until the end came for the company. Danny explains that there were two blocks at the mills; the office block and the paper mills, divided by the Nangor Road. Mary explains that many group office staff moved out to Naas, and she still keeps in touch with some of them. She describes the management offices and Dr Cusack’s ability and personal manner. He came from Kildare and his father had been a school teacher in Timahoe. His sister, Dr Una Cusack, was a chemist working in the mills. Also recalled are Dr Cusack’s wife Nora and their five children. Who worked briefly in the mills. She remembers the takeover of Swiftbrook, Bailey Gibson and Drimnagh Paper Mills and the assimilation of some of the employees into Clondalkin Paper Mills. Track 4: The pleasant social atmosphere which prevailed in the village of Clondalkin is recalled and Mary also explains that Dr Cusack was very receptive to new ideas and to developments in technology. The computer department was set up with several women employed as punch card operators. The gradual downturn in the business in the late 1970s is recalled, particularly as it affected the export business. Danny ascribes this to competition from abroad, the poor rate of foreign exchange and also to wage demands. He details the long negotiations to change manning and production levels and the eventual outcome, and he explains that the trade unions voted to reject the final offer by the company. The possible intervention by the government of the day is recalled but it is explained that this was not realised when the offer was rejected in 1981. Mary explains that Dr Cusack retired in 1978 and was succeeded by Henry Lund as managing director. Lund was the son of a Danish man who had run Irish Cement. Dr Cusack then was appointed chairman of the board. Mary recalls that it was hoped that Lund would revive the business but he found that this could not be done. Danny talks about the Clondalkin Group which included many Irish and English companies and the reasons why the rationalisation of the mills became necessary. Mary describes the quality of the paper and explains that in later years the design centre in Bailey Gibson was used. Danny talks about Swiftbrook paper and the prizes which it won in the nineteenth century. The winding down of the paper mills is described by Danny who mentions the part he played until his redundancy in 1982. The office staff then moved to the Clondalkin Group offices in the SIAC building. As agreed by Henry Lund, the grounds of the social club were handed over to the members, but the paper mills were gone.

Additional information

Type:

Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Clondalkin Paper Mills Collection

Bitrate:

128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

8.56 MB, 12.49 MB, 8.08 MB, 9.54 MB

Number of files:

4

Product ID:

CPM01-04

Subject:

Long service at the mills

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe

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