Vivienne Kettle (b. 1955)
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Vivienne Kettle (b. 1955)


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Vivienne Kettle recalls her mother’s family, the O’Flanagans, who had a poultry shop at 30½ Moore Street in Dublin. Her great-grandfather, Christopher O’Flanagan, had four sons who were involved in the Rising, Michael (who was Elizabeth O’Flanagan’s father and Vivienne’s grandfather), Frank, Patrick Joseph and George. Vivienne recalls her grandfather’s funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery in 1972 when many dignitaries were in attendance. Michael O’Flanagan had been associated with the Lockout in 1913, and as a consequence he emigrated to Glasgow for work. There he ran a public house and became aware of the IRB, and on his return to Dublin he joined 1st Battalion C Company Irish Volunteers. His brothers Frank, George and Pad Joe were with him. The battle at Reilly’s Fort at North King Street and Church Street, under the command of Ned Daly, is described by Vivienne. Patrick O’Flanagan and one other Volunteer left to get ammunition. He was shot and died from his wounds. Vivienne remarks that he and the family were mentioned in the O’Casey play The Plough and the Stars. The aftermath of the surrender is recalled, as is the imprisonment of the remaining three O’Flanagan brothers in Frongoch. Also mentioned is the Sankey Commission set up in London in 1919. Vivienne’s grandfather Michael received a grant to set up a poultry shop in Wexford Street. He became involved in the War of Independence when the shop was used to store arms. Vivienne recalls the fact that when Michael was working in Glasgow and heard about the forthcoming Rising, he collected guns and ammunition. She describes the way in which he managed to bring the weaponry home from Scotland. She knew her grandfather when he was an elderly man, and she remembers him speaking as Gaeilge, learnt in Glasgow from the Donegal and Northern Irish people there. Michael O’Flanagan did not support the Treaty. He had withdrawn from the actual conflict by the time of the split though he was active in the background, helping with the movement and storage of equipment. Vivienne has no memory of meeting her granduncles. She remarks that George O’Flanagan is the grandfather of writer Sheila O’Flanagan. Vivienne’s mother Elizabeth had seven children, and she is recalled as a person with a nationalist outlook. Vivienne’s father, Michael Clifford from Caherdaniel in Kerry, was born in 1921 and his daughter describes the circumstances surrounding his birth in Limerick. Her grandfather, Michael O’Flanagan, married Mary Hanlon from Dominick Street, and the living conditions in inner city Dublin at this time are recalled. Christopher O’Flanagan married Alicia Nelson who was also from Dublin city centre. Michael O’Flanagan applied for a military service pension, and Vivienne discusses the difficulty experienced by applicants in obtaining references to corroborate their statements. Applications for pensions were also made by George and Patrick O’Flanagan. The O’Flanagan home in Moore Street is recalled. Vivienne explains that her mother and her siblings were born in Wexford Street but the family later moved to Old Cabra. She has discovered that Michael worked for a time with Alex Findlater and later in the Customs House. Michael O’Flanagan’s witness statement is discussed. Vivienne explains that on his return to Dublin from Scotland prior to the Rising, he brought home some recruits along with the guns and ammunition. The arms store in Anne Street is discussed, and Vivienne explains that Michael met Countess Markievicz at the planning stage of the Rising. She believes that he may have kept a diary because his statement is so detailed. The O’Flanagan family’s contribution to the struggle is mentioned in Seán Scully’s book The Ghosts of Moore Street, and Vivienne reads from the book. In conclusion, she reflects upon her family’s contribution and on their strongly-held beliefs.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The 1916 Rising Oral History Collections


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

36.05 MB

Number of files:
Product ID:



Michael O’Flanagan (Interviewee’s grandfather)

Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore