Paddy Barry and Mary Barry (née Minihan)
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Paddy Barry and Mary Barry (née Minihan)


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Track 1: Mary Barry (née Minihan) was born in Clondalkin. She talks about her family, including her uncle, Jack Minihan, who was in F Company of the IRA and was imprisoned at Ballykinlar. When the mills opened in 1936 he bought a truck and worked as a delivery contractor for the Gogartys. She remembers his trucks, including one which ran on gas using a form of steam engine. She explains that the mills was kept going during the war years, and says her father Peter also worked with his brother, delivering paper. Her eldest brother then joined the business which was kept on by her father when his son died in 1967. Mary herself worked in the Standards Office at the mills and she describes the work involved, carrying out time and motion studies and calculating the bonuses. She had to go around the mills collecting the time cards and gathering information, and she recalls the good camaraderie in the workforce. The head of that section was Mr Casey who would use a stopwatch to calculate time spent on a job. There was not a great turnover of staff, a fact which reflected the contentment generally felt in the workplace. Track 2: Paddy Barry worked with an engineering contractor, B. P. Cramp in the mills where he met Mary. Later, he worked with the Minihans, driving a truck. He recalls the time when George Smith got the contract to draw the pulp from the docks, and he was also allowed to draw paper from the mills, which meant that, on occasion, the Minihans would not get more than one load a day. Paddy felt that at this stage the mills was going down, and he explains that he was paid by the amount of paper delivered. Jim Kelly, the Personnel Manager, is remembered. Mary talks about her family’s long connection to the mills, and says that she could see the end of the business. Both of her brothers worked in the delivery business around Dublin. Paddy explains that one could only drive within the county perimeter without a haulage licence. The trucks of the Minihan business were kept at the rear of their home on Main Street, Clondalkin. Paddy remarks that it was a hard business, with manual labour involved and also engine maintenance. Mary explains that the wooden bodies of the trucks were replaced when they became rotten, and she says her brother Seán was great at the maintenance and at repairing punctures. Track 3: Mary left the mills in 1969 when she got married but returned to work when she was requested to do so. However, she resigned completely in 1972. She recalls noticing that even the fitters were getting bonuses and she mentioned this to Mr Casey at the time, as these workers were not involved in production. She considers that the biggest factor in the downturn in the business was the rate of exchange, particularly with the dollar. Tommy Keogh interjects, saying that perhaps it was a combination of the demand for bonuses from the unions along with the competition from Scandinavia. Mary agrees that the demand for bonuses was crippling as was the increase in wages because more money was going out than was coming in. She talks about meeting Paddy in the mills and her work, which involved every section of the mills. She recalls her work in relation to the consumption of fuel and power in the factory and the submission of this report to Dr Cusack. She talks about how she calculated the formulae for the report and the use of adding machines. She recalls her love of her work and the dedication of the staff. Interestingly, she comments on the reason why the women in the office were not chosen to use the new computer.

Additional information



Audio series:

Clondalkin Paper Mills Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.37 MB, 9.75 MB, 10.83 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



Time and Motion and trucking

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe