Klaus Nolke (b. 1938)
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Klaus Nolke (b. 1938)


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Track 1. Klaus Nolke details the background to the establishment of the Liebherr factory in Killarney in 1958. He talks about his early days in Hanover, Germany and explains that following his education, he became a technical engineering director. Track 2. His introduction to Ireland is recalled – with helpful prompting by his wife Christal – as are his impressions of Killarney in 1968. His wife explains the relationship with Hans Liebherr. In 1967 Klaus was working in Germany, managing a crane factory for Liebherr and on coming to the factory in Killarney he had to become orientated to a different way of life and begin to integrate with the local people. Track 3. The management structure is described, as is the starting of new product at the factory in the building of cranes and their export. The transportation of parts from Killarney to Fenit Harbour is discussed. The project to develop the port at Fenit in order to facilitate the heavy loads for shipping and storage onsite is also examined. Track 4. The 1970s in Killarney town are described, as is the Liebherr-owned Hotel Europe, on the grounds of which the Nolkes lived. In 1972, the changes of management in production are described, when Klaus took on a new role as Commercial Director, which entailed travelling around the world until 1985. He details the background to the setting up of the Liebherr factory at Fossa. Track 5. The work force at the factory, regulations, skills, the import of components and the apprenticeship duration of 3½ years are discussed, as are the growth of the business and the introduction of long-term planning. Christal’s role in entertaining international clients is mentioned, and Klaus recalls joining the Chamber of Commerce. He started the Killarney Working Group. In 1985 Klaus was appointed honorary consul to Germany. The death of Hans Liebherr in 1993 is remembered. Klaus talks about his affection for the Killarney area and his retirement from the company in 2002.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Kerry county, seventh series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

7.64 MB, 14.89 MB, 14.38 MB, 11.84 MB, 24.47 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Liebherr in Killarney

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore