Recording Our Bere Island Stories – Mick Orpen
Here we meet Mick Orpen in conversation with Barry Sullivan. Mick is probably the best known member of the well known Orpen family of Bere Island. Mick was born in the mid 1930s. He had a long career as a fisherman with brief interruptions on building sites in Wales and Chicago and on a ship on the Great Lakes . In his time he was famous all around the Irish coast, not least for his activism on behalf of fishermen.
In this conversation Mick talks about his Father who fought in the first World War. We hear about his fascinating fishing career, from scalloping at the age of 15 to owning his own fishing boats, his involvement in setting up the Castletownbere Fishermen’s Co-op and his time as a director in BIM. He also gives a great account of his brush with the law over a fishing incident and how he very cleverly won his case.
The Bere Island Oral History project is part of the Heritage Keepers Programme in partnership with the Burren Beo Trust and The Heritage Council.