The Lady's Well brewery has provided work and stout to Cork since 1856.

Murphy's Brewery was founded by Victorian entrepreneur and gentleman James Jeremiah Murphy in 1856, the Lady's Well brewery on Leitrim Street in Cork city.

Paddy Barrett walks two miles across the city every Thursday to collect his pension from Murphy's Brewery. He was ten years old when he started work in here as an office boy in 1904. Two years later the Cork company marked fifty years in business. Paddy Barrett earned eight shillings a week, and prices in pubs were very different back then. 

A pint was twopence, and a pint of stout was twopence ha'penny.

There was a free tap for brewery employees in those days, but it was discontinued during the war years when beer was rationed. 

History lives on in the old part of the brewery, where coal is still used to boil the wort for brewing stout, and Mash Loft foreman Christy Murphy operates equipment from another era.

Doing things the traditional way.

In contrast, the modern extension of the factory is mechanised and automated. No longer a family business, it is an expanding enterprise part owned by the workers.

Facing the Eighties with old skills and new technology.

This report for 'Ireland's Eye’ was broadcast on 27 March 1981. The reporter is Pat Butler.