Berney’s little wooden Dresser and Tea Sets

Berney’s father made the dresser for her in the 1930s when she was a small child.

It received new coats of paint in the 1960s and again in 1970s as it came back into use in the family, with Chinese blue Willow china crockery, and other dolls’ tea sets, on its shelves.

Berney was born in 1929 and grew up in the 1930s-1940s in Limerick city centre with her parents, John and Essie Connelly and her two brothers.

Her father developed lung disease in the 1950s, after many years of working on the trains and inhaling coal smoke. John was an invalid for his last years. He had been a merchant seaman and was artistic and clever with his hands. He drew, he wrote poems, wood worked, and later he did patchwork to pass the time when he could no longer move about.

Donated to the Museum of Childhood Ireland 2024