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John Buckley

Interviewed by Jessica Behan / photos by Emma O’Brien

Jessica: How long have you lived in the area?
John: 78 years.

Jessica: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
John: My school friends and I used to go down to the river in the field to go fishing and swimming in the summer. We used to go down to the local pitch at the community centre to play football. I used to go dancing in the evenings with my friend Seamus.

Jessica: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
John: The recession during 2008 was very hard on the community and a lot of us lost our jobs. Most of my friends that I have from my younger years have passed away, so it is difficult to accept that.

Jessica: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
John: Family coming over during lockdown helped a lot through the pandemic. I enjoyed spending time with my dog, Lucky, with me being home a lot more.

Jessica: What does community mean to you? What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family?
John: Community means that everyone looks out for each other. I stay connected to my friends by calling them on the phone almost everyday. I call my children on the phone everyday.

Jessica: What message do you want to share for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
John: I think everyone is going to have broadband and electric cars in 10 years.

Pictured below is a poem titled “The River” that Jessica wrote in response to her interview with John. Also shown are images from John’s shoot with photographer Emma O’Brien.

John Buckley

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