Joseph O’Connor, better known as Joey, grew up in 41 Connolly Street, Nenagh. He was the youngest member of a large family, and at an early age began to help his elder brother Paddy in the making of baskets, a craft handed down to them from their father, who died when Joey was only 7 years old. He got very little schooling in his young days, but became interested in adult education and in local and regional studies through UCC later in his life. At the age of 14 he opened his first shop, at number 69 Kingston Street, with the help of his brothers. It was the second shop in Nenagh to sell sweets and fruit. He also became involved in the promoting of bands, which drew big crowds to the local dances. He spoke about expanding his business to open what he claims was the first supermarket in Ireland. Before I finished the first interview with Joey, he pointed out that it was the repetitive work of basket-making which became the driving force behind his great success.