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Mary O'Reilly

Interviewed by Meadbh Carberry

Meadhbh: How long have you lived in the area?
Mary: 75 years.

Meadhbh: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Mary: I have fond memories of the nice scenic countryside and seeing all my children and grandchildren growing up in the countryside.

Meadhbh: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
Mary: Yes, a lot of hard times. We had no running water or electricity until the 1950s. We went to the well for drinking water. I saw things improve over the years.

Meadhbh: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
Mary: Technology helped me – I watch mass every day on TV and on a tablet. Keeping in contact with people on the phone and meeting up with my family brings joy.

Meadhbh: What does community mean to you? What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family?
Mary: Community means meeting up with your friends. I meet up with my friend for a daily walk and I see my children and grandchildren regularly.

Meadhbh: What message do you want to share for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Mary: Everyone should look after the environment for future generations.

Pictured below is a drawing of the nice scenic countryside Meadhbh submitted as a creative response to her interview with Mary.