About the Irish COVID-19 Oral History Project

The Irish COVID-19 Oral History Project is a rapid response oral history project based at DCU focused on archiving the Irish lived experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is inspired by the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) COVID-19 Oral History project adapted for Irish requirements including GDPR compliance.

The project aims to serve as:

  • An historical archive that gathers and preserves COVID-19 oral histories from those living in Ireland, and Irish citizens abroad

  • A tool for people to share and express their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected their everyday life

  • A tool for historians, researchers and policymakers in years to come to inform responses to future pandemics

The purpose of this project is to curate a COVID-19 oral history collection of the Irish experience and how different people in our community are living through this crisis, both in Ireland and abroad.

These oral histories will inform current and future research into shaping responses to future pandemics and/or global crises going forward. They will also enable a deeper understanding of the impact that such global events have on Irish society.

The project is being managed by a research team led by Prof Theo Lynn (theo.lynn@dcu.ie), a Full Professor at Dublin City University.

Why is it being conducted?

The current COVID-19 crisis has altered all aspects of our lives including how we work and how we complete our daily activities. It is an important part of our country’s history. It is important to preserve the memories of how peoples’ lives were affected by times such as these. This project aims to capture the Irish lived experience of different people in society during this time to share with future generations.

How can I get involved?

At this stage, there are four ways of getting involved – as an interviewer, an interviewee, submitting your own oral history, or for those who may not be in a position to record their oral history, you can submit your written history. To participate, you must provide informed consent.

Why participate?

By participating, you will be contributing to a project that will help document how the COVID-19 crisis affected the lives of people in Ireland, and will help to preserve the memories of this time for generations to come. In the future, these recordings may also help to provide insight into how we might mitigate the impact of future global crises such as pandemics.

How will my submission be used?

Oral histories will be compiled in an historical archive about the experience of:

  • those living in Ireland, and

  • Irish citizens living abroad, through the COVID-19 pandemic.

This resource will be made available online on an open access open source basis to help researchers, policy makers, communities and other stakeholders interpret and respond to current and future pandemics.

Will my submission be confidential?

Participation is voluntary.

You can decide not to submit your oral or written history at any time.

Subsequently, you can request the removal of your oral history following a valid data subject access request. Please email covid19oralhistory@dcu.ie if you wish to request the removal of your oral history.

While you may choose to have your name disassociated from your interview or submission, or choose to utilise a pseudonym, there can be no guarantees towards absolute anonymity in the oral history process. Information provided to an oral historian and the project is only anonymous if there is no way for anyone, at any time, to determine the participant’s identity from it; that is, there is no identifiable information. This is a very high standard of information security that oral historians are only rarely able to offer, and we do NOT offer here.

Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

Oral histories and their associated transcripts will be retained for at least 75 years including contact details of the participants, if made available.

In the future, processed oral histories will be published on the covid19oralhistory.ie website and an open access open source repository suitable for oral histories. Processing raw oral histories can take significant time and effort. As such, oral histories may not be available for some time.

It is important to note that any datasets collected by research institutions can be subject to other legal requirements such as requests from An Garda Siochana, or requests under the Freedom of Information act.

Who can I contact to get further information on the project?

For further information or should you wish to exercise any of your GDPR data protection rights and freedoms, please contact covid19oralhistory@dcu.ie or the DCU Research Ethics Committee at rec@dcu.ie.