Brian Cody, David Norris & Emer Costello Say it is Great to Know Their Neighbours

Busy lives and our changing outlook on life mean that not everyone sees the value of their neighbours. However, those living closest to you can be a wonderful support and source of friendship. Particularly those living alone or in isolated parts of the country need to be able to rely on great neighbours. Macra spoke to three famous neighbours about the upcoming Know Your Neighbour Weekend on July 24th and 25th, sponsored by ESB. Get to know your neighbours by organising an event. Request an organisers pack from info@knowyourneighbour.ie or text KYN followed by a space and your name and address to 51444.

David Norris, Senator and Joycean Scholar

Senator Norris lives in a grand Georgian 3 storey house on Dublin’s North Great George’s Street. “There are a lot of neighbours to interact with through the Residents Association and the Preservation Society, which I founded. There are a few families with children and it’s lovely to see them growing up.” He merits his neighbours with keeping the community together and taking pride in the area. “The Chairperson of the Preservation Society helps to keep the community together. She keeps us together and maintains good relationships. We share a sense of pride in the upkeep of the street. Some of the facades are a delight!”

 “Neighbours are there for you in times of joy and in times of despair.” If Senator Norris’s bid for the Aras is successful, he will move into a house with only one neighbour. He is not worried: “If I am lucky enough to be successful, I would regard all of Ireland as my neighbour and I’m sure the US Ambassador would be a very good neighbour. However, I would like to be able to stay at home for the weekend occasionally.”

Brian Cody, Kilkenny Hurling Manager

Ireland’s most successful hurling manager, Brian Cody from Kilkenny is well regarded by his neighbours.  St. Patrick’s Parish in Kilkenny, locally known as ‘The Village’, has a tremendous sense of community and is very proud of their famous neighbour.

Brian Cody said, “Neighbours are crucial as people need the support and security offered by their neighbours. When people know each other they are more likely to help each other. The community spirit here in The Village is terrific. I have a huge involvement in James Stephens Hurling Club here and this is made up of families in the community. We are all neighbours and when something goes wrong you can always rely on your neighbours.”

Emer Costello, Dublin City Councillor and Former Lord Mayor of Dublin

Cllr Costello has recently moved back to her family home on Aughrim Street in Dublin’s north inner city following her term as Lord Mayor and one year residence in the Mansion House. Costello praises both homes for wonderful neighbours and says both have a great sense of community, although the communities are very different. “There is a very strong sense of community [in Aughrim Street] and we have great neighbours. I’ve lived in that area a long time. I love the area, my neighbours, the sense of community.”

She continued by saying, “It’s important to have nice neighbours that you can talk to, or if there is an issue in the neighbourhood, it’s important to work with neighbours to resolve it.” She was also blessed with great neighbours on Dawson Street as her nearest neighbours were St. Ann’s church. “They were lovely. It’s such a busy, active church. I loved going to their events. There is a real sense of community in St. Ann’s. They work on it, they have done a lot to have that sense of community.”

Macra na Feirme’s Know Your Neighbour campaign, kindly sponsored by ESB, encourages people to organise an event in their area and get to know their neighbours. The Know Your Neighbour weekend takes place over the 24th and 25th July but events can be held anytime around this weekend. They can organise their own event or go along to an event taking place in their community. They can find more information and ideas on www.knowyourneighbour.ie.

An organiser’s pack can be requested in three ways:

  • E-mail info@knowyourneighbour.ie
  • Text KYN followed by a space and their name and address to 51444.
  • Call the Macra na Feirme office on 01 4268910