Irish Cinema Audiences 1950-1960 - Participant Information
Capturing Ireland’s cinema-going history

Irish Cinema Audiences (1950-1960): Engaging older audiences and sustaining Ireland’s cultural heritage

If you were born before 1950, you are invited to take part in this research study. Before you decide whether or not to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully.

What is the purpose of this project?
The period from 1950 to 1960 represents a significant moment in Irish cultural history when, prior to the widespread adoption of television, attendance at Irish cinemas peaked with people frequenting the cinema on average 18 times per year. In collaboration with Age Action Ireland, this project wishes to investigate the history of cinema-going in Ireland in the 1950s. During the course of the project, an oral history approach will be used to gather the memories of the generation that frequented the cinema in the period from 1950 to 1960. The oral history testimonies gathered through this project will provide a rich cultural heritage resource for current and future generations. The oral history testimonies and the research findings will be disseminated via an online archive and through a Community Outreach Programme, which will be organised in collaboration with Age Action Ireland in 2019.

Who is the researcher leading the project?
Dr Sarah Culhane is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie/CAROLINE Research Fellow in the department of Media Studies at Maynooth University.

Who is funding this project?
This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 713279.

How will this project be carried out?
This study will start in June 2018 and involves two stages of data collection:
1. In the first stage a questionnaire will be circulated. During this stage, the aim is to collect 400 completed questionnaires from respondents across the country (approximately 100 per province) with an equal distribution between men and women.
2. In the second stage (starting January 2019), 100 video-interviews will be conducted with participants from across the country (25 per province). These video-interviews will form the basis of an online archive dedicated to preserving memories that tell the story of Irish cinema-going in the 1950s.

Stage 1
What happens if I have been invited to complete a questionnaire?
In the questionnaire, you will be asked a series of questions about your cinema-going memories, habits and preferences. You will also be asked to specify if you would be interested and willing to participate in a video-interview in stage 2. All data from the questionnaires will be anonymised and you will be asked to complete a consent form (see next section) giving permission for your anonymised responses to be used in future conference papers and publications.

Stage 2
What happens if I express an interest in participating in the video-interviews?
If you indicate in the questionnaire that you would like to participate in the video-interview stage, the researcher will contact you to arrange a time and date for the interview. At the end of the questionnaire, you will be able to specify your preferred mode of contact (phone/email/post).

When and where will the interviews take place?
In collaboration with Age Action Ireland and University of the Third Age, the video-interviews will be arranged to take place in the interviewee’s local community centre/school. A series of interview days will be scheduled in towns and cities across the country from January 2019. Interviewees will be provided with details of their assigned interview day and location. In the event of transport issues or should the interview location not suit you, alternative arrangements can be made.

What can I expect during the interview?
The interview will last for approximately 20-30 minutes. You will be asked a series of questions about your experiences of cinema-going in Ireland in the 1950s. While there may be some overlap between the questionnaire and the video-interview questions, the video-interviews are designed to allow participants to expand on their responses. Questions not covered by the questionnaire will also be asked.

Do I have to take part in both stages of the project?
No. It is not necessary to participate in both stages of the project.

Will my personal data be kept confidential?
While all personal data will be kept confidential, it must be recognised that, in some circumstances, confidentiality of research data and records may be overridden by courts in the event of litigation or in the course of investigation by lawful authority. In such circumstances, the University will take all reasonable steps within law to ensure that confidentiality is maintained to the greatest possible extent.

Who has reviewed the project?
This research project has been approved by the Maynooth University Research Ethics Committee

If I would like to find out more or ask a question, how can I contact the researcher?

You can contact the researcher by email:

Dr Sarah Culhane
Department of Media Studies,
Maynooth University
Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

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