Dec 16th, 2010 by Conor McCabe
Last year I came across a collection of around 200 tapes of oral history interviews conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the North Inner City Folklore Project.
I started to digitize the recordings and I’m about half-way through them at this stage. I had to put the process on hold during the summer while I wrote a book on the bank bailout, but that’s all finished now so I’m back to working on the collection again.
Yesterday I was listening to a recording of an interview with a midwife, and she was talking about when mothers were ‘churched’ after the baby had been delivered.
I had never heard of this before, but it appears to have been first a Jewish, then Christian, custom.
It was still going on in Dublin until at least the 1950s.
Anyway, here’s what the midwife had to say about it.
I have no date for the recording, but going by the other recordings it’s from c.1989.
I won’t be putting the recordings online as they are not mine to do so, but this custom of churching the mothers after they had given birth just jumped out at me.
Anyway, sure have a listen. It’s only a short clip.