Mothers of Modern Ireland

Esther Wallace, Offaly

8th July 2008

We've tried to approach all our ladies in the same, unassuming manner. But today, whatever it was, I felt there was some kind of impending weight hanging in the room as we sat down with Ms Wallace. She seemed like a stern woman to me, no nonsense, but there was something more about how the interview started that made me feel almost depressed. After a while, I felt like I needed to go outside to get some air and ideas into my lungs and brain. Something strange was happening in the room and I didn't know what it was. I felt like walking back into the Esther's living room and exclaiming: "What is your story?" Esther 006 By the end of the interview, I felt extremely close to this powerful woman that again, took three complete strangers into her house and told them about her experiences. And no, it wasn't because she plied us with home made bread and gave me a huge loaf for the road, there was something universally powerful about this woman's achievements. Her story was my own grandmother's story and is why I want to make this film with the team. It's a story of a woman in a harsh country, where in the 70's bringing up children, she still didn't have running water in her house. "I mean, you talk about the third world..." Esther 005 I myself was brought to tears listening to her story of keeping the faith, and I'm a devout atheist who doesn't like (/doesn't eat) cheese. This was just a genuinely moving story of a woman and her children and how she made something of both those entities. I really believe I'll be back to Esther as her story was so important to this film, that we can't just leave it as it is. To add to this incredible footage today, we also had word from a renowned scholor on Irish Women's Studies that she would be more than happy to help out on the project, cementing our joint belief that the film has huge potential to inform and inspire. Esther 001

- Tom