Michael O’Reilly (b. 1943) and Mary O’Reilly (b. 1953)
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Michael O’Reilly (b. 1943) and Mary O’Reilly (b. 1953)


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Track 1: Michael O’Reilly remembers his childhood in Dolphin’s Barn, and his grandfathers Christy O’Reilly and Joseph Skerritt, both of whom worked for Jacobs. Michael’s father, also named Michael, was also an employee. In the 1920s he managed the soccer team which was supported by Jacobs, and which was to mark the start of the official league. Michael Jnr’s memories of the players, some of whom went on to play at international level, and the training grounds at Rutland Avenue are provided. Track 2: Michael describes some of the many sports facilities which Jacobs provided for employees. Track 3: Mary O’Reilly, whose maiden name was McDonald, also worked for Jacobs and she mentions the swimming pool provided for employees, which she enjoyed. Both Michael and Mary reminisce on their early days working for Jacobs, Michael as an ‘ovens man’, working with biscuits such as Cream Crackers and Goldgrain. He jokes that the fictitious Jim Figgerty, with whom he worked in the bake room, holds the secret to the fig rolls! Mary recalls that she joined Jacobs in 1971, and she describes the Chocolate Room, where she worked. Track 4: Both Michael and Mary discuss their membership of their trade union. Michael explains that in 1967 he was a member of the committee which started a credit union in Jacobs and he also describes the move to the Tallaght factory in 1977. Track 5: Michael and Mary recall their meeting at a Jacobs table tennis league and their subsequent marriage in 1976. Michael recounts memories of stories told by family members who had worked for Jacobs, saying that the schooling provided for employees was superior to that provided in their local national school. He explains the protocol for behaviour in the workplace, and he describes his memories of the atmosphere and the tantalising aroma of biscuits baking. He recalls that his grandmother talked of the wedding cake which it was customary for Jacobs to provide for employees on the occasion of their marriage.

Additional information



Audio series:

W. and R. Jacob Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.20 MB, 5.58 MB, 7.67 MB, 11.82 MB, 10.26 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Ovens Man and Chocolate Room Worker, W. and R. Jacob

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore