• 05 Apr 2022

Irish Architects in Irish Life and Lore, A Century of Change in Ireland, Oral History Collection

On Friday, April 1, the Irish Life and Lore project was formally launched at the RDS in Dublin with guest speaker, distinguished Architect and past President of the RIAI, Carole Pollard. The three-year oral history project entitled 1922-2022: A Century of Change in Ireland was instigated by Maurice and Jane O'Keeffe to commemorate the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922.

Between January 2019 and December 2022, 287 recordings were compiled with people who made a significant contribution to the Ireland in which we live today. The recordings are categorised into groupings, including Engineering and Architecture; Culture and Heritage; The Arts; Agriculture; Education; Media; Farming, Business etc. The audio material is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

The guest speaker at the launch was distinguished architect Carole Pollard who expressed her pleasure at being involved in the event.

"The Irish Life and Lore Oral History project is a wonderfully generous and magnanimous collection - a safeguarding of Irish personal history through eye-witness accounts of ordinary life - or you could say extraordinary lives - over the past one hundred years. 

"There Is a school of thought among historians that all history ultimately depends upon its social purpose, and oral history is at the heart of that quest. Interviews functioning as evidence for the historian and for the formation of cultural and social identities of the immediate past or the present.   

"We can only guess at the importance of this archive in the future - but I think we can safely presume that its content will be pored over by students, historians, social geographers, economic strategists and political analysts in the years ahead".  

Full details of the people recorded and key words referring to the content of each recording may be seen on the homepage of the Irish Life and Lore website.  

Interviews with many of Ireland’s distinguished architects are available free-of-charge to RIAI Members on the RIAI Member website.

Image: [Pictured above at the launch are: Architects Una McQuillan; Mary McGaver; Maurice O'Keeffe, Irish Life and Lore; Carole Pollard, Guest Speaker and Past President RIAI; Architects Paddy Shaffrey; Gerry Cahill; Grainne Shaffrey and Professor J. Owen Lewis, President RDS.