Peter Fitzsimons (b. 1931)
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Peter Fitzsimons (b. 1931)


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Track 1: Childhood in Gardiner Street, Dublin and early education locally. Followed his father into the business of turf accountant, beginning as a clerk. The challenge of attending race meetings around the country during ‘The Emergency,’ when travel was curtailed. Track 2: Took over his father’s business in 1961. A day in the life of a ‘bookie’; his clients; the tic-tac men; securing his regular pitch on the various racecourses. Track 3: The serious problem of heavy gambling, which he has sometimes seen ruin lives. Track 4: The Phoenix Park races and the social aspect of the event. Track 5: The form book and the necessity for a bookmaker to study the horses in order to assess the odds. The invaluable input of the people who clerked for him throughout the years. The high risk strategy of gambling; the emergence of ‘old money’ during race meetings. Track 6: An unpleasant incident at his home, when a robbery took place. Track 7: The complexity of a career in bookmaking, including the sensitivity to know when to provide credit safely to trusted punters.

Additional information



Audio series:

Horse Racing Ireland Oral History Collection


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

9.73 MB; 11.72 MB; 6.44 MB; 8.68 MB; 10.10 MB; 4.90 MB; 12.13 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The life of a bookmaker

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore