'No strength without unity' - summers at home in the present and past
By: Mary Bermingham | Published Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:08 AM | Updated Friday, December 21, 2012, 11:08 AM
There is a saying "ni neart go cur le ch́eile" which translates roughly as "no strength without unity" and would have been used for energetic activities, for instance, gathering together to save hay. It is much more than many ‘hands make light work’.
On Sunday we did the Galway women’s mini marathon; 10k along beautiful Galway bay, up Threadneedle road (puff puff) and around in a loop. There were about 1000 starters and we were all warmed up by a zumba dancer. The positive energy is still vibrating.
Those energetic community activities have been lost to machines. The photo above was taken in 1956 by Robert Cresswell, an anthropologist from the Sorbonne in Paris, who lived in Kinvara for a year documenting the community.
His work was published in a respected book about rural Ireland. The photos paint quite an austere picture of life but also show that sense of unity. They include interiors of the cottage on this farm. You can view them at www.kinvara.com/cresswell/gallery. I was shown this week how to access Griffiths valuation (1847-1854) a full scale valuation of Ireland comparing the value of an acre of land in CountyMeath at one pound to the rest of the country. From the maps you can read the information that leads you to the correct record. It showed that on this farm there were 7 in the family in a 3 bedroom cottage, with an office, a coach house, stable, pig shed and a hen house. I have been told that there used to be a horse drawn taxi service here so maybe that explains the office. See the records at http://www.askaboutireland.ie/
I also felt "ni neart go cur le ch́eile" on the swimming bus at the weekend. 40 children singing Jedward’s ‘Lipstick’ at on a Saturday morning is certainly powerful.
They were thrilled to see John Fox heading out of town on his 540 mile mule ride from Malin head (Donegal) to Mizin head (Cork) to raise funds for the Barretstown centre. The Kinvara swimming club was formedin 1969 after nine local school children lost their lives at New Quay in a boat accident. After winning a Camogie match a fisherman was giving the children spins on his new oyster boat at Linnanes bar to celebrate. Too many children got on the last trip across the choppy inlet and when they all ran to one side to look at something the boat capsized. The scars are still there and the Kinvara swimming club has been taking the children to the local pool for lessons ever since. A documentary was made about it www.rte.ie/tv/disasters/s2ep4
School holidays start today, the sun is out and it is raining, there must be a rainbow somewhere.