John Bond (b. 1929)
10.0020.00 Select options

John Bond (b. 1929)


Want unlimited access to the Irish Life and Lore Oral History Archive? Subscribe by purchasing Gold Subscription, Silver Subscription or Bronze Subscription!

John Bond recalls his father, Jack Bond, a tailor who lived in Little Ship Street in Dublin. He discusses his father’s childhood and the good education he received. He worked in Todd Burns in Mary Street after the Troubles, and in 1935 he and his family moved to Kimmage when John was a young boy. There were no schools in the area so John used public transport to access a city centre school at the time. John learned to sew at a young age, and over time he learned from his father that he had made uniforms for the Irish Volunteers. John describes his father’s capture by the British Army, and explains that on the journey to Dublin Castle he and another tailor escaped and ran to the home of Jack’s grandmother in George’s Street. John does not have any documentary evidence of his father’s work at that time because everything was done on an informal basis, though he has learned some details over time. He discusses his own tailoring apprenticeship and the setting up of his business, initially in Capel Street. When he retired, the business in Cork Street employed 125 people and produced one thousand suits of clothes per week. In the 1930s Jack Bond was tailoring at his home on Clonard Road in Kimmage, and his son discusses the difficulties in acquiring cloth at that time. His brothers, Paddy and Tommy, and his sister, Maureen, all took up the tailoring trade. John examines a Fianna Éireann uniform and describes the fabric and the way in which the uniform was made. Jack Bond is remembered as a supporter of Éamon de Valera, and his son recalls the fact that he loved Gaelic games and had played hurling for St Vincent’s. The Bond family was hard-working, living under difficult circumstances, he says. John describes some early memories of living in Derby Square before the family moved to Kimmage. His mother’s mother lived on the other side of the Square, and he would visit his paternal grandmother in Little Ship Street. He recalls his life in tailoring, explaining that all the suits in the early days were handmade and made from fabric sourced in Wexford, Donegal and England. He recalls a visit to a convent in Firhouse and seeing a photograph of a First Holy Communion coat made by his father for one of the nuns there. The difficult life led by his father is recalled, as is the fact that he spoke little about it. In one incident, the premises were burnt out by the British forces. Jack Bond married an Egan lady from Dublin and John remembers her family who were painters and decorators and lived around Patrick Street. He also remembers Denis Darcy, a tailor on Capel Street who would make clothes for military re-enactments. He explains that some young men joined the LDF so that they could avail of the boots issued to new recruits.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

29.52 MB

Number of files:
Product ID:



Jack Bond (Interviewee’s father)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore