ACIS Logo Working in Cork: Everyday life in Irish Steel, Sunbeam-Wolsey and the Ford Marina Plant, 1917-2001

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.

This is an excellent, well-written book that is accessible to a wide audience. The illustrations are effective in supporting the discussion, and the range of types from statistical data, photographs, plans, and Ordnance Survey maps is commendable and provides an added depth to the writing. The book allows the reader to track a range of developments through a period of history and develop a deeper understanding of the operation of prisons, and the role of courts in Ireland that has thus far not been explored. I have no doubt it will have an important impact on our understanding of the development of these institutions. Fiona Donson, University College Cork

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.


• First work to employ a comparative factory study approach in an Irish context

• Based on the oral testimony of over sixty narrators

• First oral history in Ireland to examine male and female working lives comparatively

• First scholarly history of two of Ireland’s largest industrial employers

December 2020 | 9781782054139 | €39 £35| Hardback |234 x 156mm| 320 pages                                      | 9 illustrations
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.

Published on: December 2, 2020