Olive Sharkey is the daughter of farmers in the midlands of Ireland. ‘I belong to a family which was the last in our district to relinquish the old ways on the land and in the home,’ she says. Her research brought her to folk museums throughout Ireland and ‘into the homes of fascinating elderly folk with surprisingly clear memories.’
The daily and seasonal rhythms of life and work ‘in the ould days’ is recaptured, from building the house and turning the sod for a new crop, to saving the hay and burying the dead.
Olive Sharkey has worked as an architect's draftsperson, and after her marriage she began writing and drawing and contributing to newspapers and magazines. Her other interests include natural history and photography.
Tilmothy P. O'Neil, author of Life and Traditions in Rural Ireland and for eight years affiliated with the Folk Life Section of the National Museum of Ireland, teaches history at the Carysfort College of Education.