Youghal res­i­dents to share Mem­o­ries

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Christy Parker

Res­i­dents, past and present, of four Youghal hous­ing es­tates, are be­ing asked to pool their mem­o­ries of grow­ing up in the lo­cal­i­ties as part of a new com­mu­nity arts and her­itage project.

The project, Liv­ing Mem­o­ries, is be­ing man­aged by com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment re­source cen­tre Cu­mann na Daoine and co-or­di­nated by lo­cal his­to­rian Michael Twomey. The es­tates, ap­prox­i­mate to each other and over­look­ing the town, are Sars­fields Ter­race, Ra­heen Park, Der­mot Hurley and Black wa­ter Heights.

The sto­ries, plus any sup­plied ma­te­rial such as pho­to­graphs, will be col­lated at a meet­ing in the lo­cal Holy Fam­ily Church next Sun­day.

As a Sars­fields Ter­race res­i­dent, Michael has a strong an­tic­i­pa­tion what may un­fold.

He trea­sures child­hood mem­o­ries of ri­val­ries en­acted on the streets, or on the pub­licly ac­ces­si­ble play­ing pitch at St Raphael’s cen­tre for peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties. “The Drake fam­ily ac­tu­ally in­tro­duced the town to ath­let­ics there”, he re­calls.

Re­call­ing “the close in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the cen­tre’s res­i­dents and the lo­cals” he says, “We’d know them by name and some would visit lo­cal houses. It was won­der­ful.”

In times when health and safety and com­pen­sa­tion cul­tures were un­con­sid­ered, other sources of anec­dote will likely fea­ture such as “raid­ing or­chards, the town walls as a play­ground, bon­fires, street games like mar­bles, tip-the-can, hop­scotch and 40 kids in one game of street foot­ball,” Michael spec­u­lates.

In fur­ther rem­i­nis­cences, he cites the nearby for­mer army bar­racks and the hand­ball al­ley at the Cot­tage Hos­pi­tal as other staunch meet­ing places.

“Many a fight or a first kiss was ex­changed there,” he smiles. Not all mem­o­ries may be of child­hood. “Fish­er­men would hang their nets on es­tate walls and, of course, we also want to hear the sad mem­o­ries out there.”

Essen­tially, the project aims to “il­lus­trate that Youghal’s her­itage isn’t just about Wal­ter Raleigh, Moby Dick and so on,” Michael ex­plains. “It’s about the towns­peo­ple’s so­cial his­tory be­ing equally im­por­tant.”

Fur­ther meet­ings are likely, while ma­te­rial can also be sub­mit­ted through Cu­mann na Daoine at any time.

Liv­ing Mem­o­ries is at the Holy Fam­ily Church from 4pm to 6pm on Sun­day. Cu­mann na Daoine: (024) 91900.

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