Maureen Callanan
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Maureen Callanan


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Maureen Kinsella was born in 1932 and grew up in The Coombe, Dublin. Her father worked as a cabinet-maker in the city with WJ Bolger and eventually became works manager there. Maureen recalls the fact that he restored the staircase in Dublin Castle and she describes his workshop at the rear of the house, proudly exhibiting a violin he made in 1932 for a competition in the Táiltean Games, for which he was awarded second prize. He also made other musical instruments for his children, including a flute and a piccolo for his daughters. Her sister, Anne, taught in the School of Music in Dublin. Maureen recalls that, every week of her young life, her father would bring herself and her siblings to concerts held at various venues around Dublin, such as the Phoenix Hall, the Theatre Royal, the Gaiety and the Opera House, and she recalls many artists and musicians she saw during those events. She attended a fee-paying all-girls school in King Street where she was taught by the Sisters of Charity. She then joined the Civil Service and worked in the GPO in the Telegraphic Department and she recalls sending messages by morse code. Maureen describes attending Feis Cheoil concerts held in churches in Abbey Street where she heard Dermot Troy and Austin Gaffney perform. Maureen concludes the interview by recalling her father’s two sisters, Christine and Esther, who opened the first all- lady’s clothing factory, run by women and employing only women – C and E Modes in Fade Street, Dublin.

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128 kbps

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48 hours

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45.7 MB

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Music, Poetry and Song

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore

Date Recorded


Location of Recording

Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin