Mothers of Modern Ireland

Maureen McNabola, Leitrim

14th July 2008

The Wild West It has been impossible to keep up with the diary entries this week. Although broadband is available further in to the country here than it would be down south there is no connection at base camp and in the wild west internet cafes are few although not as few as one would expect! This is the reason our website is not as up to date as we would like. The ladies we have met so far this week have all been a dream to work with and I want to write about them before I move on so that I can do them all justice! Let me start with Monday and Maureen McNabola. Maureen was a hard lady to find our sat-nav was little help as most of the roads we had to take were not on the map. We relied heavily on the occasional passer by to direct us to her house. Thank god the community spirit is still alive in this part of the world. Here if you live within a five mile radius of some one, they will definitely know your name. We were greeted by the lady herself standing beside the back door of her farm house surrounded by chickens and one very vocal cockerel. Once inside we moved in our gear and set about transforming the living room in to an assault course for Maureen who had to navigate her way round all our technical junk. I should mention something about Maureen that might interest any one reading this, Maureen is partially sighted. Some would think this a disability but watching this incredible woman make her way about the kitchen and dodge our scattered equipment, one could be in no doubt of the ability of this woman. Once again I am reminded of the dangerous habit the world has of underestimating people who are a little bit different, inevitably these people come up trumps. Something I would like this documentary to portray is the women these ladies are and not who they used to be. We want to show the rest of the world what active citizens these ladies are. We heard all about Maureen’s life as a child but probably the most enchanting part of the day was to hear her sing two beautiful ballads; both in the true Irish nature were suitably sombre! Maureen would have us believe that she cannot sing a tune any more I’m glad to say she proved herself wrong there!

- Hannah