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Life Journeys - Living Folklore in Ireland Today - Stephen Hunter, ed.
Stephen Hunter, editor
Published by Northside Folklore Project, Cork
A new book of popular folklore has been published by the Northside Folklore Project, in collaboration with the Heritage Council. Entitled Life Journeys, it features contributions from 27 people with strong northside connections, and tells the various life stories of those involved through their own words.
The books contributors are drawn from a broad cross section of society, from all economic and social backgrounds, both young and old. The individual histories have been edited from hours of interviews with the contributors.
Amongst those interviewed are Mick Moriarty - the "Baldy Barber" - John Collins, a former C.I.E. driver; Mary Healy, chairperson of the Cork Arts Theatre; and Munster and All Ireland winning dancer, Allan Kennefick.
According to Stephen Hunter, who edited the collection, "there wasn't any particular requirement (for being included in the book) other than the people be a northsider and they had a link with the northside, even if they came from somewhere else". Explaining why the northside became the focus of the book, he added that "the hugh geographical cleavage in Cork, between the northside, the middle parish, and the southside, has lent itself to a distinct identity".
The collection was produced in conjunction with the Northside Community Enterprise, Fás, the Heritage Council, and U.C.C. Folklore Dept.. According to those behind the book, the editing process ensured that the text remained faithful to the language and spirit of those interviewed.
"We just wanted the people's stories to speak for themselves," stated Stephen Hunter. "To get people's everyday life experiences, and their memories, and it shows that people's sense of identity has probably never been under so much pressure before: just to show how extraordinary their lives are, in the little things that happen."
(Noel Baker, Inside Cork, 13th January, 2000)