I used to go to Bray to see interesting people
Ruth Fitzmaurice moved to Greystones in the early 2000s. Originally from Ardee, Co Louth, she jokes that she will always be known as a ‘blow-in’ but she has done her bit, too, to make Greystones an attractive destination.
Her memoir, I Found My Tribe, was published by Penguin to great acclaim earlier this summer. It documents the huge challenges this mother-of-five faced after her Simon, her husband, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, but it’s also something of a love letter to Greystones and, specifically, Ladies Cove — the bathing spot close to the town where she and several hardy, like-minded souls enjoy open-water swimming virtually every day.
“It’s somewhere I love to go,” she says. “On a dull day, you mightn’t be overwhelmed by it — and it’s not the most obvious bathing place, being tucked away — but it feels like it’s your own as long as you’re there. It’s your special place and it changes with the seasons too, so there’s always something that bit different about it.”
Ruth admits that it took her a while to truly warm to Greystones. “When I first moved here, I found it so middle class,” she says. “I used to go to Bray to see interesting people! And my dad calls it ‘Pleasantville’ because it really does have that sense of safety about it.
“But there’s been a lot of change in the last 10 years or so. It’s getting to be a foodie Mecca and the population has gone way up — housing estate after housing estate are springing up.
“Greystones probably changed a lot when the Dart service was extended to here [it opened in 2000] and you’d hear of old-school Greystonians complaining that all the day trippers would bring the tone down.
“And, it has to be said that the new marina has lots of critics. It could do with artists going in there and adding some colour to it — much of it is very drab and grey.”