Selected oral history testimonies

In March 2018, QUOTE Hub member Sean O’Connell was commissioned by the Department of Health to conduct oral history interviews to explore the history of mother and baby homes (including pre-1948 Workhouses) and Magdalene laundries in Northern Ireland.
He worked alongside Leanne McCormick (Ulster University), who along with John Privilege led the archival research that was undertaken simultaneously. The landmark report produced at the end of the project can be accessed on the Dept of Health Website.

As part of the research, Sean O’Connell (and oral history researcher Olivia Dee) offered those who came forward with testimonies the opportunity to place their transcripts on this website. This is to enable the public to have access to full transcripts in order to appreciate the range of personal histories and experiences that emerged during the course of the research. However, equally significant was a commitment that individuals who had provided such historically important, and frequently traumatic, testimony should be granted a vehicle through which to make their accounts accessible. A total of 24 individuals consented to have their transcripts included here. Our sincere thanks are due to them and to all those who agreed to offer an interview that was analysed as part of the research report.

The Introduction section includes a table offering a brief summary of each interview to assist readers who might be looking for particular themes. It also offers an account on our use of oral history and the principles that drove the research as we moved forward. If you have any questions about the interviews please email: