Liam Stone
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Liam Stone


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Track 1: Liam Stone was born in Townsend Street in the heart of Dublin. His father was a laundry deliveryman for the White Heather Laundry. Liam discusses the varied work of the laundries, and he recalls the bombing of the North Strand during WWII. He remembers the different laundries such as the Maple Laundry, the Swastika Laundry and others. His father initially drove a horse and cart and later a motorised truck, and his delivery areas covered Drimnagh, Crumlin, Kimmage and Cabra. Liam remembers the organisation of the route by his father and the physical labour involved in laundry work. The family moved to Drimnagh after their tenement house was condemned and Liam explains that he had five sisters and two brothers. When he finished his schooling in Drimnagh, he started work in a factory near Guinness’s, manufacturing steel heel tips. Later, he worked in Rowntrees for six years making sugar fondant cream, and later still he worked at Hops and Morris, agents for W. D. and H. O. Wills. His job was collecting the wooden boxes in which cigarettes were sold from shops and wholesalers, for re-use. He describes how the wooden boxes were collected and the work involved, and he explains that the cardboard cigarette boxes were also re-used. After the Emergency period, this recycling was phased out and Liam then began work at Clondalkin Paper Mills. The members of his family who emigrated to England for work during WWII are remembered and the good money earned during those times is discussed. His brothers-in-law worked for McAlpine and Laing in Britain on the construction of airstrips and roads. Liam comments that people were able to run two homes at that time, but now the distances involved are too great and there is real emigration today. Track 2: In the early 1950s Liam started work at the Clondalkin Paper Mills on the ‘pulp squad’. Men were hired for this work for about three weeks, and they could then be picked for a permanent position. Liam explains that a person could be put to work anywhere in the factory until a vacancy arose. He started as a helper, manually unloading and stacking the bales when they arrived at the mills. Later, forklifts and grabs were used. Liam joined the ITGWU; the other union was the Workers Union of Ireland. He remembers the 19-week strike, brought about by the proposal to introduce a continuous operation. Liam was a shop steward with the union and he talks about the meetings and negotiations which took place at the time. He recalls the premium rates that were offered at weekends, done away with under the new system. Hardberg, the Scottish actuary brought in to talk about the new types of systems is mentioned. Liam says that there were other issues involved in the strike besides the continuous operation proposal. Track 3: His final position with the mills was as a delivery driver in the transport section. He recalls driving all over the country and into Northern Ireland delivering rolls of paper, cement bags and newsprint. After the takeover of Drimnagh Paper Mills, Michael Dunlea became an agent for Clondalkin in Cork. Before that Liam would make individual deliveries and he got to know the customers, but once Dunlea became agent, Liam would deliver to him. He recalls the various trucks used and the tricks they would use in order to keep warm on long journeys. His helper was Francie Boland from Clondalkin. The dangerous state of the roads is recalled and, in particular, Liam recalls the twisty road from Dublin to Waterford. As a rule, he says, they did not stay overnight but always made it home, but with new regulations the work pattern changed. The head of the transport section, at one stage, was Mr Nolan, a former army officer, and he was preceded by Mr Mulvihill. Three trucks and a van were used, which was sufficient, as hired trucks were also in use. Liam recalls the times when newsprint was demanded by the Cork Examiner which might require two or three trips to Cork in the one week. The purchase of the second-hand No. 3 machine, after the takeover of the Drimnagh mills, is recalled. The bag factory was switched from Drimnagh to Killeen and the remainder of the Drimnagh products were made at Clondalkin. Liam talks about the wax paper base for food use which was very popular with customers such as bakeries, and he also mentions manila paper, used in making envelopes. A large export business was also operating, so Liam was delivering to Dublin docks. He discusses the formation of Clondalkin Group and the eventual loss of the business. He worked with the mills for 29 years and remembers that the transport section was the last to go, helping with the clear-out of the site. He recalls the final closure which came very suddenly, particularly for the office staff. Having received his redundancy payment, Liam moved on to work for Lito Studios on Kylemore Road, which he describes as a very good position. He looked after the archive of graphic design there and enjoyed it very much. He mentions his wife, Sarah McGovern from Drimnagh, whom he met when working at Rowntrees.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Clondalkin Paper Mills Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

13.27 MB, 9.23 MB, 21.02 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Transport at Clondalkin Paper Mills, A delivery driver and shop steward

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe