The Way We Were

The Way We Were – Reminiscing on Old Times in the Burren

Good memories…they’re worth their weight in gold. Many older people rarely get the chance to share those memories with others.

The Way We Were – Living History

The Way We Were is a living history programme that connects older people with children in schools, in addition to other older people in nursing homes. The idea is that through bringing artifacts from their youth into schools, The Way We Were volunteers get to teach children about their grandparents’ lives when they were young, and in addition, getting the chance to reminisce with older people in nursing homes.

          The Way We Were Visits Winterage Weekend in the Burren

Recently, founder of the Way We Were, Mary Nally, along a group of 12 volunteers from the group, joined [email protected], as part of the annual Winterage Weekend in the Burren from 27 to 30 October, which celebrates the farming heritage of the area.

Fáilte Isteach’s Jenny Morton, reports on the visit.  

The Way We Were - Bringing young and old together through living history

“Mary mobilised 12 of her young-at-heart volunteers from Summerhill, Co Meath, arriving in 2 minibuses with oodles of precious artefacts to show off. Items included, an odd-shaped glass baby bottle, real feather ink pens, old coins, the first voice-recording machine and an old radio the size of a small fridge! After setting up several tables of objects from yesteryear, the older visitors welcomed class by class, children from four to 12 years old. The older people were so enchanted to be engaging with these fascinated kids. We had quite a job moving the children on to let the next group in! They truly experienced living history in the most interesting, playful way.

The Way We Were - Winterage Weekend The Burren

Reminiscing with the Older Population 

“After a light lunch, the troupe headed over to the Ennistymon Community Hospital Day Care Centre where Lorraine and Helen Sheridan, Principal of Scoil Mhainchin National School in Ennistymon and an advocate of ChangeX, introduced the group to the older community members to reminisce over some of the objects from their childhood. Mary knows well the benefits of using reminiscence therapy, especially for those with varying degrees of dementia. The Meath folks finished up with a rendition of their favourite songs well rehearsed on the many bus journeys they take around the country” (Note: If you would be interested in bringing “The Way You Were” to your community you can find out more about what’s involved and how to get started at:

The Way We Were - A living history initiative that involves older people exhibiting artifacts from earlier times and explaining to primary school pupils how they are used. “They also attended the Sharing @Samhain evening, where local farmers were awarded
prizes and encouragement for carrying out their farming practices with due respect and support for the delicate Burren environment. Some of the older people expressed how they’d learnt so about the Burren, and came away that evening enriched by what they’d heard.

Register Interest in Bringing ‘The Way We Were’ to Your Community

The Way We Were - Children Exploring Older Artefacts At Event in The Burren

“Overall, a worthwhile trip, it would seem. We’ll see a few of these people back in the Burren for sure!”

The Way We Were - Children from Scoil Mhainchin National School in Ennistymon attending the 'Way We Were' event in the Burren, Co. Clare

If you are interested in hosting ‘The Way We Were’ in your community you can find out more about what’s involved and how to get started at

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