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Nurse Roche

District Nurse, Margaret Roche, recalls working as a rural midwife in Co. Wexford from the 1950s to the 1970s.

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Documentary maker: Ronan Kelly

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Nurse Roche

In 2006, a doctor told Ronan Kelly about midwife and district nurse Margaret Roche, saying she was a fascinating character and that someone from RTE should record her. Always one to take doctors orders, Ronan did just that.

In the 1950s, many women preferred to give birth at home, not trusting the staff of hospitals. Margaret recalls her very first assignment, venturing out at 2 in the morning to assist a woman who was living in an outhouse.

She describes how she was able to sense if there was anything awry in the days before ultrasounds and scans, and talks with honesty and humour about the ups and downs of the Irish medical profession in 1950s and 60s.

First broadcast: April 3rd, 2006

'The Curious Ear' is produced by Ronan Kelly curiousear@rte.ie

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