Happy International Women’s Day!
Today we want to give a shout out to all the women we’ve had the pleasure to meet and to work with in Age & Opportunity.
Maureen Murray is one such woman. Age 67 and originally from the West of Ireland she’s lived in Dublin for most of her life. Maureen worked in banking but always had a major interest in the theatre and crafts, particularly heritage crafts. She was involved in amateur theatre most of her working life and when she retired she was involved with two professional theatre companies, which resulted in a tour in the UK and a month long residency in Scotland for the Edinburgh Theatre Festival.
Currently Maureen is involved with a number of different groups; the Irish Crochet Lace Revival group in Tallaght, learning about the history of Irish crochet lace as well as teaching it; the Liberties Weavers, exploring history of textiles, teaching the weaving craft and engaging with the Liberties community, and Firhouse Community Crafts which includes people of many nationalities who live and work in the Firhouse area. Maureen also teaches textile crafts including crochet, lace-making, knitting, spinning and weaving and volunteers with the local St. Vincent de Paul charity shop twice a week. Even throughout the lockdowns of the last two years Maureen has continued to keep active and positive – “We’ve learned how to slow down since Covid and to enjoy and appreciate not rushing around all the time.”
Maureen got involved in our Bealtaine Festival as a volunteer a number of years ago. She worked as a steward at some of the arts venues where events were taking place – “What was lovely about it was meeting the other volunteers, but also all the people attending. You were able to chat to everyone. That’s a world we’re all looking forward to getting back to. It’s such a great mix of different generations at Bealtaine.”
She also played an important part in the co-design group for Age & Opportunity’s Arts and Creative Charter for Older People, which aims to raise the standard of arts practice in relation to older people and to create confidence amongst older people in relation to participating in the arts in Ireland. “I’m an advocate for everything people have to offer as we get older. Older people are creators, makers, producers, teachers, students, thinkers and so much more.”
As restrictions have been removed Maureen is looking forward to the year ahead with fresh possibilies and will also continue to make use of some of the things we learned during Covid, like using Zoom for a weekly Sunday lunch with her sister.
We celebrate Maureen and all the women who help make their communities a better place in which to live.