May Desmond (b. 1911)
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May Desmond (b. 1911)


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May Desmond was recorded in a Blackrock, County Dublin, nursing home where she has resided for several years. She was born in 1911 in High Street in Cork City. On her marriage in 1937, she and her husband began their married life in Marble Hall. She has clear childhood memories of the tension and anxiety which pervaded the city during the War of Independence and she recalls seeing the aftermath of the burning of Cork. Her brother was taught by the artist Sean Keating and he later became a student of Harry Clarke and worked on the stained glass windows of Galway cathedral. May’s working life began when she became a secretarial employee of the newly formed Shannon Scheme in 1929. She had fluent German which was vital to her employment. She later worked for Dwyer’s wholesale drapery in Washington Street and she discusses the various departments in the store in fine detail. In 1937 she married Jack Desmond who, with his brothers, ran Desmonds’ Printing Works in Cork and who later worked for the Cork Examiner.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

Cork county, first series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

13.94 MB, 5.73 MB, 17.16 MB, 14.76 MB, 19.97 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Cork city in former days

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe