Youghal residents to share Memories
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.