Nessa Dunlea (née O’Connell) (b. 1948)
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Nessa Dunlea (née O’Connell) (b. 1948)


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Nessa Dunlea is passionate about her native place. Her family, the O’Connells have been in business in Kilcullen for four generations. Her grandfather Michael O’Connell set up a bakery business, and had ten horse drays delivering the bread daily to the surrounding towns and villages. His son, one of a family of ten children took over the business and as a child, Nessa remembers the flour being stored in lofts at the mill to protect it from the regular flooding which occurred. In Nessa’s father’s time, the business expanded as he set up a travelling grocery trade. He developed a great camaraderie with the customers, and enjoyed the lifestyle. In Nessa’s youth the Liffey was used as an amenity for swimming and boating, and in fact her brother Brendan O’Connell later became an Olympic competitor in canoeing. She married Paddy Dunlea, a local man, who has just recently passed away, and they both became involved with local community affairs. The local town hall was the centre of entertainment in the town, as it housed a cinema and was the venue for live performances of drama and music. She has a clear recollection of a travelling church which was established in Kilcullen thirty years ago. A Baptist minister had decorated a bus in an ornamental ecclesiastical way, and he would travel to neighbouring areas to preach the faith.

Additional information



Audio series:

Kildare county, first series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

50.20 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



A Kilcullen family

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe