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Unique history of Shannon Fishermen and Reed Cutters to be captured in new project

Limerick Museum and Archives to host 1916 Roadshow on November 19 Shannon Fishermen

Unique history of Shannon Fishermen and Reed Cutters to be captured in new project

Many families in Limerick earned their living from mainly salmon fishing along the banks of the River Shannon, from the city to the estuary.  The traditional skill of reed cutting was also practised in the area.

As part of a new project by Limerick Archives, in partnership with Mary Immaculate College, Limerick City and County Council is calling on families who were involved in the fishing industry along the Shannon Estuary to get in contact.

The oral history project will see researchers carry out interviews describing the way of life among these fishermen and their families.  Ultimately the archive will be built up of the Shannon Fishermen and Reed Cutters, thus preserving an insight into a unique way of Limerick life.

Can you tell us about the boats, the nets and equipment used?  What were the skills the workers had or numbers of people involved?  Do you have stories of the fishermen or the reed cutters and their way of life?

The recordings will be carried out by researchers from Mary Immaculate College and will see an oral history archive built up of the Shannon Fishermen and Reed Cutters.

Jacqui Hayes, Limerick Archivist said: “Those who worked along the River Shannon have a unique story to tell.  The traditional Shannon fishermen and reed cutters are dying away, and we want to preserve their stories.  We will hopefully get an insight into what life was really like.  How hard or easy was it?  What type of person would pursue this way of life?”

“This is one of the many Limerick stories we are hoping to preserve.  It is important from a sociological and historical point of view that we record these stories so that we can learn from them.”

Maura Cronin from Mary Immaculate College said: “Limerick has a great history based on the river Shannon and while a lot of work has been done on the Abbey fishermen in Limerick city the story of the fishermen in County Limerick really needs to be documented.  Mary Immaculate College is greatly looking forward to working on this project and capturing this way of life”.

If you are one of the Shannon Fishermen or reed cutters, or are from their families and would like to tell your story, you can contact:

Maura Cronin: 061204996 or  [email protected] or Jacqui Hayes: 061407293

To read more about Mary Immaculate College click here

To read more about history in Limerick click here

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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