We've Always been

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Sidebar

03
Wed, Mar

Tools
Typography

Working in Cork: Everyday life in Irish Steel, Sunbeam Wolsey and the Ford Marina Plant, 1917-2001
    ISBN: Hardcover 9781782054139
    Author: Liam Cullinane
    Publisher: Cork University Press

Buy Book Here
    This book deals with the history of the working class in twentieth-century Ireland through a close examination of three Cork factories (Irish Steel, Sunbeam Wolsey and the Ford Marina Plant) and the men and men who worked therein. Departing from previous labour history in Ireland, this book uses a comparative factory study approach - combined with extensive oral testimony - to break new ground in Irish labour history. The book includes fresh research on the business histories of each firm through extensive archival research, expanding our knowledge of three significant Irish firms. It also draws on a vast pool of oral interviews to explore working-class community life and associational culture, trade-unionism, class awareness and the gendered aspects of working-class life in modern Ireland.
   
Liam Cullinane received his doctorate in history from University College Cork in 2016 and has previously been published in Saothar: The Journal of the Irish Labour History Society, Oral History and the Irish Examiner.

In the twentieth century, three iconic factories dominated the industrial landscape of Cork; Sunbeam Wolsey, Irish Steel, and the Ford Marina Plant. Though all are now closed, their legacy lives on in the memories of the thousands of men and women who worked within their walls. Working in Cork: Everyday Life in Irish Steel, Sunbeam Wolsey and the Ford Marina Plant, 1917-2001 tells the story of these factories and their workers. Based on dozens of interviews with former employees, as well as extensive archival research, the book examines the history of industrial Cork from the perspective of ordinary people.

There will undoubtedly be a great deal of interest in the stories of these workers. In a city that was often blighted by unemployment, Ford, Sunbeam and Irish Steel were industrial giants that provided secure and (relatively) well-paid work for innumerable people across the city and county. At a time when the average Irish manufacturer employed fewer than twenty people, these factories possessed workforces measured in the hundreds and thousands. The Marina Plant, for a brief moment in the late 1920s, employed nearly 7,000 workers, making it (for a while at least) the largest Ford facility outside of the United States.

Given their economic importance, it is no surprise that the loss of these companies had a devastating impact on Cork. Ford ended its assembly operations in 1984, Sunbeam Wolsey collapsed in 1990 after a decade of decline, and Irish Steel shut its doors in 2001. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s the city became an unemployment blackspot.

But the factories had a meaning that went beyond work. They were also places where friendships were built, romances blossomed and common interests were pursued. Each factory had a rich associational culture. Whether angling, golf, chess, basketball, singing, the Irish language, football or hurling, there was a club or society for it. A multitude of nicknames also echoed across the factory floor: ‘Beat the World’, ‘Jerry the Cock’, ‘Baths of Iron’, ‘Kill the Rabbit’, ‘Stab the Rashers’ and one man known simply as ‘The Handsome Welder’. In the words of one former Ford worker, ‘twas a little community and I’d run back there in the morning if I could’.

Working in Cork is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the social history of Cork and modern Ireland.

Liam Cullinane received his doctorate in history from University College Cork in 2016 and has previously been published in Saothar: The Journal of the Irish Labour History Society, Oral History and the Irish Examiner.

Join the Irish Book Club!

Become a Book Club Member

Chicago irish Film Festival 2021

March 2021 - Linked!

SUBSCRIBE to IAN Today

Choose

Advertise

Paying For
Instructions

February Linked Edition

January Digitally Linked 2021

 

Irish Ann

Irish Book Club

Advertising Rates 2020

Shop Irish!

ARTIST
Bryan Boylan
ASSISTED LIVING
Aishling Companion Homecare
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY

Murphy & Smith Ltd
Dwyer and Coogan
Healy Law

Miller & McGing Law Firm 773-467-8000
BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS
First National Bank of Brookfield

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS
Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CARPET CLEANER
Sheila's Carpet Shampooligans
CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
IrishCommunityServices
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
COTTAGE RENTAL
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
Phil Coulter Tranquility Cruise
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
Whiskey Mick Irish Rock
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Dublin

IAHC
Indianapolis
Kansas City
Milwaukee
Naperville Aug 7-8 2020
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

O'Connor's Market

Winston's

HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

IrishCommunityServices
IMPORT SHOPS
Ann's Irish Gifts

Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
Riordan Insurance
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURING
Memoirs for Me
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province
Fiddler's Hearth
The Galway Arms
James Joyce Irish Pub
Lizzie McNeill's
Mickey Finn's Brewery
Peggy Kinnanes
R
ed Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS
Dreamtown - Patrick Carney
Koenig & Strey
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TOURIST ATTRACTION
Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
TRAVEL /TOURS
Authentic Irish Tours
BestIrishTours.com
Gadabout Travel
Shay Clarke - Inter Trav Corp
TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group