Dublin’s Lost Heroines: Mammies and Grannies in a Vanished Dublin

Author Kevin Corrigan Kearns
Condition Very Good
Cover Type Hardback

Kevin C. Kearns, the acclaimed author of Dublin Tenement Life and other oral histories, has now prepared a masterly work of reminiscence, celebration and dignity. Based on interviews he has conducted during annual visits to Dublin extending over thirty years, he has drawn together a unique picture of women’s lives in the old Dublin slums. The slums of Dublin were among the worst in Europe, rivalled only by Glasgow. Tall town houses, originally built as elegant homes for the rich in the eighteenth century, fell into the hands of avaricious and pitiless landlords who filled them to bursting point with the desperate and impoverished urban poor. Conditions were often unspeakably vile, with massive over-crowding and utterly inadequate sanitation. Yet out of these dreadful tenements, families were reared, households kept together and human dignity maintained. As with most impoverished societies, this was overwhelmingly the work of women, the mammies and grannies of the Dublin slums whose voices course through this remarkable book. They tell of how they lived, of the difficulties they faced, of the grinding poverty, the unemployment, the fecklessness of their men folk and always of their heroic struggle to maintain the basic decencies of human life in inhuman conditions.