The Covid-19 pandemic is a historic event that will become part of the story of our lives in the future. However, older people have lived through many significant events and have survived to tell their stories. Their experiences help us to appreciate that this too will pass. We asked older people to share their stories with us and in the wealth of their experience lies a bed rock of strength and resilience that we can build on to ensure that “Together Waterford is Stronger”.
Tarlú stairiíl is ea an phaindéim seo agus an t-ordú dianghlasála a ghabhainn leis, a bheidh mar chuid de scéal ár saolta sa todhchaí. Sin ráite, tá daoine breacaosta tar éis maireachtaint tríd go leor tarlúintí suntasacha. Is feidir le daoine breacaosta a gcuid taithí agus cuimhní saoi a roinnt lena bpobal áitiúil mar mheabhrú do dhaoine go dtiocfaidh deireadh leis an ngéarchéim seo chomh maith. Tá buncharraig nirt agust teacht aniar sa taithí atá ag na daoine níos sine gur féidir linne foghlaim uaidh, agus mar a deir an seanfhocal, “Ní Neart go Cur le Chéile”.
Here are some of the memories that were shared with us.
Tom Murphy Remembers…being one of 7 boys in his family. His mother would sing at the church, and play at wedding receptions at the hotel and that was her day off from the house. On the May 1st morning Tom’s mother would play the piano to bring in the summer on her own. She would play the piano for hours and sing and play away.
His Father was the eldest of 13 children and 12 of his brothers and sisters died of TB. He was the lucky one, he survived. He remembers as a child of 2/3/4 years of age waving to his father (who was in the TB hospital in Ardkeen), “because we weren’t allowed in and he was waving back. When he came home from the hospital however long he was in that hospital I couldn’t recognise him as my father…as I was so young. They used to put the patients out on the veranda in Ardkeen because they thought that by putting them out even on a day like today (cold and windy) could you imagine being out on the veranda in a bed you would be frozen. But they thought they were doing them good because they thought the fresh air would get rid of the TB. My father in the summer time, unless it was very warm he couldn’t go out. He couldn’t take the chance with the weak chest, the weak system. He was 61 when he died.We as children were in a special category as the father had TB.”
Nioclás Ó Griofáin shared this wonderful memory of an American Wake sa Charragáin i Rinn Ó gCuanach
Nórín Uí Chionaola remembers…”Bhí sé deacair teacht ar éadaí nua mar bhí an cogadh ar siúl. Is cuimhin liom casóg ghlas a cheannaigh mo mháthair dom de bharr leabhair chiondála na daoine eile sa chlann. Mé a bhí ceanúil ar an gcasóig ghlas san. Bhímís ag cur faíthim le gúna nó sciorta do réir mar bhímís ag fás. Ní raibh boutiques no Dunnes ann ansin. Nuar a bhí deire leis an gcogadh an run ba mhó a chuir iontas ar dhaoine, go h-áirithe páistí, ná oráistí, bananaí agus bia nua nea-choitianta agus gan aon dabht gunaí agus ansan brístí ar chailíní mar sé an cogadh a thosnaigh an faisin sin.
Ins na caogaidí, bhuail an galar Polio sinn. D’fhág sé mácail ar a lán ach buíochas le Dia gur tháinig carn daoine eile slán. Bhí mé ag múineadh i scoil Chónaithe i gCathair Luimní, lena linn sin, níor tháinig a lán cailíní ar scoil go dtí déanach sa bhliain de bharr an Polio. “Lockdown” eile ba ea í.”
Paul Murphy remembers…hearing a German plane flying over Whiting Bay in Ardmore in the early 1940s. The big snow of 1947. Emigrating to the UK at age 18. Seeing at close hand Kathleen Clarke, widow of Tom Clarke and Seán McBride of Clann na Poblachta. Listening to the commentary when his nephew played for Waterford in an All-Ireland Final.
Anon remembers…Going over on the ferry to the field where now stands the Bus Éireann Garage in the City. Racing hoops through the traffic free streets of the city. Doyle St. awash with religious images during the Congress processions and Fr. Farrell’s booming voice on the Hill of Ballybricken. The thousands coming out of Kilcohan behind the Barrack Street band. Soaking liquorice. The top of the town girls coming down to the “Hops”.
If you have memories you would like to share you can contact the Archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org or write down your memories and post them to “I Remember Project”, Waterford City and County Archive, Dungarvan Library, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford. We would love to hear from you.