Tag: Our Generation Stories

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JB Vallely

Art in Armagh

JB Vallely was born in Armagh in 1941 and apart from a couple of years at the Belfast Art College and Edinburgh, has lived all his life in the city. He was always determined to express himself through painting. “Wh...

Joe O Donnell

Short Strand community development

Reflecting on the housing conditions of his youth, Joe O Donnell explains, “Conditions were all very similar in that they were terrible. Most of the small two bedroom terraced houses in all of the working class areas ...

Betty Carlisle

Shankill Women’s Centre Manager

As the youngest of five children, Betty recalls fond memories of the Woodvale area of the Shankill in west Belfast as she was growing up. “It was a very community spirited area, I spent lots of time playing and felt a...

Padraic Fiacc

The life of a poet

Poet Padraic Fiacc was born Patrick Joseph (Joe) O Connor in Belfast on Elizabeth Street in 1923. The First World War had ended and Padraic remembers that “everybody went half mad when the war was over, and my moth...

Helen Holland

Ballysillan community development

Helen’s interest in getting involved in her local community came soon after she married. “Betty Rice was organising these meetings about new houses, so, I was quite interested in that. My husband used to say ‘why do y...

Aodán Mac Poilin

Irish language schooling

Aodán grew up on the Norfolk Road in west Belfast with his two sisters, his mother who was an Irish speaker and his father who worked as a civil servant. His parents were avid followers of hurling and Gaelic footba...

Jackie Redpath

Shankill community development

Jackie Redpath grew up in the Woodvale area of the upper Shankill Road, a child of Evangelical Christian parents, his early life was dominated by the Shankill Baptist Church. “It was a very strict evangelical, fundame...

Ruth Taillon

Women’s rights and social work

Growing up in post WWII Canada, Ruth left home at an early age: “I left home at a very early age following the hippy trail. I was very interested in music and it was exciting at the time. I quickly got involved with t...

Vera Henderson

Community development in Tyrone

Vera had a tough start to life. Her mother died when she was only one year old. Her father, unable to manage, sent her to a home until he remarried when Vera was 4 years old. “I don’t remember an awful lot about it be...

Father Desmond Wilson

Community development in W. Belfast

Father Wilson grew up in the mixed community Ormeau Road area in south Belfast. “Belfast, to us, was an amazing place. When I was growing up I was very fortunate, I was able to go to Saint Malachys Grammar School a...

Mo McDevitt

A life in art

Mo was born on the Donegall Road in Matilda Street and moved to Ashley Avenue on the Lisburn Road in south Belfast when she was 5 years old. “It was not the Golden Mile, but it was an area of warm people, again the...

Lynda Walker

Chair of the Communist Party of Irl

Lynda Walker grew up in Sheffield, England and came from a working class background. “It was a fairly run down area, we lived in a couple of rooms in the back of a shop, but we moved onto one of the bigger estates ...

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