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Pat Kilduff

Interviewed by Muirne Ginty & Ava O’Connor / Photos by Emma O’Brien.

Muirne & Ava: How long have you lived in the area?
Pat: My whole life.

Muirne & Ava: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Pat: My fondest memories of living here are from when I was a school boy. The community was far more connected- like a big family. The neighbours were all very close, helping each other and “you didn’t have to lock your doors”. The recollections I have of my childhood in this area are bright and happy.

Muirne & Ava: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
Pat: The Ballymahon community has come back from hardship many times, but particularly the 1950s and 60s. During this time it was very hard to get work nearly everywhere in Ireland. At the time many would emigrate, including my own aunt who travelled to America in search of employment. Sadly my aunt died and is buried in America, but I recall that she succeeded in finding work and a life overseas.

Muirne & Ava: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
Pat: There are a few things that gave me joy during the lockdown. Gardening brought me great satisfaction during the summer months. I especially enjoyed harvesting my own apples and vegetables. I stayed connected with my family and other residents at the day care centre through zoom on my iPad. Occasionally I would watch tv, such as the news.

Muirne & Ava: What does community mean to you? What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family?
Pat: A community, to me, is a group of people that are interconnected in an area. Communities look out for one another, and everyone is like a big family. I love staying connected to the community, and I think it’s a very important aspect of life within a town. I stay connected by volunteering with other members of my community- helping through tidy towns etc.

Muirne & Ava: What message do you want to share for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Pat: I think it is very important that everyone comes together and interacts more as a community. I would like that people in 10 years time will have struggled through hard times together, and that they appreciated and were grateful for what they have. I think that is a good message to share with the future.

Pictured below are photos of Pat from a gathering in the Ballymahon library of the students and seniors who took part in the project, which took place on Ash Wednesday. Also pictured is Ava & Muirne’s creative response to their interview- a beautiful painted mirror.

Pat Kilduff

Muirne Ginty _ Ava OConner Creative Response
Pat_Kilduff_Slider-1 Muirne Ginty _ Ava OConner Creative Response Pat-Kilduff-Slider-2