Limerick school girls go back to the future of the ‘50s

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

LIFE for women in 1950s Ireland is a far cry from the world of young girls today.

LIFE for women in 1950s Ireland is a far cry from the world of young girls today.

But ladies of a certain age in Ballynanty decided to provide a personal history lesson for girls in fifth class in St Munchin’s National School in Ballynanty to show them just how much the world has changed.

Shirley Byrnes, community co-ordinator, explained that they wanted “to continue to link our young people with our older people who live side by side in their community. This, no doubt will build positive relations between our young and old”.

The project was originally due to be a questions and answers session, but it soon took on a life of its own. “Not only was Ballynanty built in the ‘50s, our older people would have been young mothers, many of whom stayed at home to raise their families, and of course fashion has now come full circle,” said Ms Byrnes.

The ladies who addressed the young women were Madeline O’Mara, Vera Daly and Peggy Cooney.

“It was fun to remember events that once was and to share our stories. Perhaps the funniest was the look of surprise on the young people’s faces at the length of time all household chores like washing, ironing and cleaning took to do,” said Madeline.

The young people learnt of events which took place in the 1950s, such as the introduction of the Barbie doll, and other ‘firsts’, such as climbers conquering Mount Everest, Elvis’s controversial dancing, and McDonald’s opening as a franchise, amongst other events which have resonance today.

Teacher Louise Frawley said the children enjoyed every moment of this project. “They not only talked about their project whilst working on it but incorporated what they had learnt into other subjects,” she said.