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Patrick Melican

Interviewed by Hazel Keating / photos by Emilija Jefremova

Hazel: How long have you lived in the area?
Patrick: 82 years.

Hazel: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Patrick: I remember going to school in Lissycasey. I also recall bringing turf into Ennis to sell it on the Turnpike and herding cattle on foot into different marts and meeting others along the way.

Hazel: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
Patrick: The 40s and 50s were hard after the war. I remember rationing tea and sugar and different food items. People had very little, but they were happy and self-sufficient by growing their own food and keeping their own livestock.

Hazel: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
Patrick: Farming and minding the cattle and walking the land helped me through lockdown. My grandchildren coming to the door to have a chat, and being able to watch the match on a computer also helped. I enjoy reading the newspaper every week and talking to people on the phone from time to time.

Hazel: What does community mean to you? What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family?
Patrick: I missed meeting neighbours, family and friends and going for drinks in the pub during lockdown. Now that restrictions have been lifted, I’m able to go to matches in Cusack park and see my grandchildren playing GAA.

Hazel: What message do you want to share for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Patrick: Linking in and staying connected to people is very important. In time everything passes, even viruses, and hopefully in 10 years Covid will be a distant memory.

Pictured below is a drawing by Hazel as her creative response to her interview of her grandfather, Patrick. He is shown herding cattle on foot in the drawing. There is also a photo of Patrick Melican and his wife Peggy, bringing home turf from Glaunogonee bog with some of their grandchildren in June 2020. Also shown are images from Patrick’s shoot with photographer Emilija Jefremova.

Patrick Melican