In this short documentary for An Bhean Ghlúine project, we feature the Jennings family from Ballinasloe. During the interview they chat about their mother, midwife Mary Kate Jennings, who led an exceptional life while enduring many hardships along the way. She had lost both of her parents by the age of seventeen and decided to go to England to train to be a nurse. Mary Kate was there during the WW2 London bombings and was a casualty herself and had to be hospitalised. Mary Kate went on to train as a midwife and returned home when she took up a post as the local community midwife in the Ballinasloe area during the 1940/50s. She did many home births during her lifetime and this story is enveloped around their mother’s midwifery bag. This bag contains all of her implements she used, letters, documents, books, ledgers, certificates, midwifery pins and her uniform.
Included in the documentary are Dr. Annette Jennings ( Mary Kate’s daughter), Des and Eddie Jennings (Mary Kate’s sons), Edna Jennings (Mary Kate’s daughter in law) and Maura Corley (family friend, neighbour and one of Mary Kate’s first deliveries as a midwife in Ballinasloe)
I would like to thank the Jennings family for their tremendous contribution to the project and of its significant heritage value to highlight these wonderful women
This project was grant aided by The Heritage Council.
Filmed by: GKMedia, Galway