Interviewed by Arran Berry / photos by John Nutley
Arran: How long have you lived in your area?
Muriel: I have lived in Drumbear, Monaghan for 52 years.
Arran: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Muriel: Chris [Muriel’s husband] lived in Monaghan 2 years before I arrived. I joined a warm welcoming church and took part in the local mother’s union for 44 years. Coffee mornings and memories of the children growing up.
Arran: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
Muriel: Both from the recession in 1981 and the financial crash in 2008. During that time progress was made by working together and being kind to one another.
Arran: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
Muriel: Reading, phoning family, watching Sunday services on facebook live and Zoom calls with my far away family.
Arran: What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family and what does community mean to you?
Muriel: I’m involved in church and community groups such as; the Mothers Union, Inner wheel, Sight Savers and Water Aid. Community means a lot to me. The more you communicate the more you learn. It’s a two way thing.
Arran: What message do you want to leave for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Muriel: It’s important to stay connected, support one another and remember there is always someone to call.
Check out Arran’s creative response below, a recording of him playing the organ in his local church.