Wood Quay Oral History Project

Published in Issue 2 (March/April 2014), Volume 22

The Wood Quay Oral History Project is an initiative of the Dublin City Heritage Plan, co-funded by the Heritage Council and commissioned by the Heritage Officer of Dublin City Council, Charles Duggan. A steering group, established from a wide background, set the format for the project and identified key interviewees. The present writer developed the research phase and carried out most of the interviews, with the assistance of Charles Duggan, Ruth Johnson (City Archaeologist) and Ellen Rowley (TCD). The aim is to capture the recollections and memories of some of the people directly involved in the Wood Quay controversy, and to record for posterity their perceptions and personal opinions, however subjective. The passing of time has made this a matter of some urgency, reflected in the fact that many of the key players are no longer with us; in fact, one of the key participants, Kevin B. Nowlan, sadly died last year, making the recording of his passionate and inspiring contribution all the more valuable to future generations. The project is ongoing and, to date, eleven participants have been interviewed, with further interviews planned for 2014. The result is a fascinating insight into the complexity of the controversy as seen from very different perspectives, where the issues extended well beyond heritage concerns.

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