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Frances Gillespie

Interviewed by  Brianna Evans / photos by Emma O’Brien

Brianna: How long have you lived in this area?
Frances: 65 years, I moved to Rochfortbridge at 7.

Brianna: What’s a fond memory you have of living here?
Frances loves Rochfortbridge. Has her friends and neighbours. Love our quiet road and the peace of it.

Brianna: Have you seen this community come back from hard times before?
According to Frances, she believes our village has never had hard times. Bord na Móna gave the village great employment and it has only prospered more as years went on.

Brianna: What are some things that have helped you through lockdown and what brings you joy?
France has a beautiful flower garden and a vegetable tunnel that she said kept her busy during lockdown. She went for long walks every day to get out of the house.

Brianna: What sort of things are you doing now to stay connected to your community and family and what does community mean to you?
As a widow, she lives alone and her only son lives in Spain. Skype has always been her link to seeing them. Her sisters kept in touch and were in her bubble and neighbours checked in too, and that’s community to her.

Brianna: What message do you want to leave for yourself and this community in 10 years time?
Frances said she does not think many will remember her and asked me to visit her grave in the village when she passes away as she has no family here.

Brianna put together a lovely collage of photos of Frances’ beautiful garden as a creative response to their conversation, see it below alongside some extra portraits taken by Emma O’Brien.

Frances Gillespie

Frances Gillespie Thumbnail
Frances Gillespie photographed by Emma O_Brien-10-3
Frances Gillespie photographed by Emma O_Brien2