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Paul Kiernan

Interviewed by Alannah Whyte

Alannah: How long have you lived in the area?
Paul: 60 years.

Alannah: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Paul: When working in the defence forces, the former president Mary Mcaleese visited the Athlone barracks on route to Donegal, and as president of the NCO in the barracks I greeted her and proposed a toast to her in Irish.

Alannah: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
Paul: During the recession in 2008 the whole country had to pull together against the lack of political good will and pure greed.

Alannah: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
Phil: Facetiming and messaging my family and friends.

Alannah: What does community mean to you? What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family?
Phil: Community is very important because there will always be somebody who needs help or can help you. Even though it is mixed, we are all the same.

Alannah: What message do you want to share for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Phil: Before you leave your house look in the mirror and behind you. You’ll see your brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, friends and others. So when you do something good, another person walks behind but when you do bad you lose a person, so always do good and be a leader to others.

Pictured below is Alannah’s creative response from her interview with Paul – a drawing of a dog.