Oct 18 2010

‘You don’t value money the way I do’

Published by at 7:55 am under News

 ‘I was born in one room in a tenement house which measured about 14 square feet. There was no gas, electricity or water in the room. All we had in the room, like many other families in the street, was a table, some chairs and two beds. My father died in 1930. He worked as a Warehouse Man in Liffey Street where tea and coffee was stored. My mother found it hard to keep the family together after my father died. The rent for our room was three shillings a week. This was paid to a Mister Albert Siev, a rent collector for the owner of the tenement building. He called to the room every Wednesday to collect the rent.

I remember one particular week when my poor -mother didn’t have any money to give him. You see, my mother had spent the rent money on food for the table; it was starve or pay the rent. I remember her pleading with him to leave it over until next week. ‘Please Mister Siev; I’ll pay you on the double next week’. Well he was not too pleased about it. He called back the next week to collect his double rent and my mother handed him three shillings, one weeks rent. He looked at it and said to her, “Mrs. Burke, what about last weeks rent?”,  “Mister Siev could you please wait until next week? I’m finding it hard to get things together.”  He answered her “Ah Mrs. Burke, you don’t value money they way I do.” My mother had to make sure she had it for him the following week.

(Extract from ‘The Monto’ by Terry fagan. Jimmy Burke is a 1st cousin to  Anne Burke who lived in number 41 Broombridge Road, Cabra West)

No responses yet

Comments are closed.