Stories of bygone era and way of life to become part of Limerick’s Oral History
Many families in Limerick earned their living from mainly salmon fishing along the banks of the River Shannon, from the city to the estuary. The traditional skill of reed cutting was also practiced in the area.
As part of a new project by Limerick Archives, in partnership with Mary Immaculate College, Limerick City and County Council is calling on families who were involved in the fishing industry along the Shannon Estuary to get in contact. The oral history project will see researchers carry out interviews describing the way of life among these fishermen and their families. Ultimately the archive will be built up of the Shannon Fishermen and Reed Cutters, thus preserving an insight into a unique way of Limerick life.
Can you tell us about the boats, the nets and equipment used? What were the skills the workers had or numbers of people involved? Do you have stories of the fishermen or the reed cutters and their way of life?
The recordings will be carried out by researchers from Mary Immaculate College and will see an oral history archive built up of the Shannon Fishermen and Reed Cutters.
Jacqui Hayes, Limerick Archivist said: “Those who worked along the River Shannon have a unique story to tell. The traditional Shannon fishermen and reed cutters are dying away, and we want to preserve their stories. We will hopefully get an insight into what life was really like. How hard or easy was it? What type of person would pursue this way of life?” “This is one of the many Limerick stories we are hoping to preserve. It is important from a sociological and historical point of view that we record these stories so that we can learn from them.”
Maura Cronin from Mary Immaculate College said: “Limerick has a great history based on the river Shannon and while a lot of work has been done on the Abbey fishermen in Limerick city the story of the fishermen in County Limerick really needs to be documented. Mary Immaculate College is greatly looking forward to working on this project and capturing this way of life”.
If you are one of the Shannon Fishermen or reed cutters, or are from their families and would like to tell your story, you can contact:
Maura Cronin: 061 204996, Maura.Cronin@mic.ul.ie or Jacqui Hayes: 061 407293