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Bringing It All Back Home - Getting Through Covid-19 Together

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4 min read

Bringing It All Back Home - Getting Through Covid-19 Together

4 min read

Bringing It All Back Home - Getting Through Covid-19 Together

"She'd write to me on Saturdays and send it on the boat"

In 1957 when she was just 19  Maura Howard left her native Inis Oirr for Chicago. 63 years later and now a resident in the Bushfield Nursing Home in Oranmore  she met with writer and actress Órla McGovern to talk about her life and memories to contribute to the TownHall Theatre’s beautiful Bringing It All Back Home project.

Bringing It All Back Home

Open Video

To celebrate Positive Ageing Week and the International Day for the Older Person on Thursday 1st October, the Town Hall Theatre with the support of the Creative Ireland Programme and Galway City Council launched a series of ten films involving local artists and residents in Galway Nursing Homes and Care Centres.

Bringing It All Back Home’ was created by a panel of Galway-based artists who met with residents in Nursing Homes and Care Centres across the city and county over the summer.  Those encounters inspired this unique series of film works that were made to shine a light on older citizens affected by the lockdown.

The outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year was a source of significant stress, worry and perhaps even fear for many older people and the restrictive measures put in place to deal with the crisis – particularly in Nursing Homes – increased the social isolation experienced by many.

To help fight this sense of isolation the Town Hall Theatre invited a number of Nursing Homes and Care Centres in Galway, Moycullen, Oranmore, Corandulla, Clarinbridge and Tuam to nominate a resident to interact with one of a panel of local theatre makers, musicians and writers. As the project progressed, it was expanded to include people living outside of care home settings and others deeply affected by the lockdown.

The artists then connected (via phone or Zoom or in some instances, via safe visits) with the resident and with the resident’s family, listening to their stories and then creating a unique series of short-form films.  These digital stories feature a diverse range of subjects, from recent experiences to fond if distant memories of childhood and varied lifetimes.

The panel of artists includes: Órla Mc Govern, writer, actress and storyteller; Emma O’Grady, actor, writer and production manager; Theatre director Maria Tivnan and actor Oisin Robbins; Actor, writer and director Sarah-Jane Scott; Actors, writers and directors Rena Bryson and Hazel Doolan; Actor, writer and director Diarmuid de Faoite; Songwriters and musicians Leo Moran and Padraig Stevens; Musician and broadcaster Ruth Smith.

Town Hall Theatre is proudly funded by the Arts Council. Bringing it all Back Home is funded Galway City Council’s Creative Ireland Funding as part of the Irish Government’s campaign, Getting Through Covid-19 Together.  This campaign emphasises the importance of collective support and staying connected to others.

The initiative is being run in association with Backstage Theatre Longford (who were the original architects of the project) and the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire, and was co-ordinated by Oranmore-based freelance director of theatre and radio, Maisie Lee.  The Town Hall Theatre expressed gratitude to the project’s funders Creative Ireland and Galway City Council, all of the participating artists and especially to the residents and their carers.

Here’s what RTE had to say when they visited the project.

Find out more about this project here

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