Everyone Knows Everyone

The entire time we have traveled in Ireland I could feel a strong sense of community and involvement within the community. Each village that we stayed in was their own small community and the people were very welcoming to us so that I felt as if we were part of their world. The place that the community was prominent was in the Ecovillage in Cloughjordan. Within the village there were individuals with their own specific purpose and had their own way of contributing to the group of people. For example, Johanna would often cook for others and was a pro at cooking for large groups of people. Then there was a farmer who tended to the community garden and grew vegetables that he would let others have access to. In the village they would often have meeting times in the front building where people would sell their products and food to the other villagers. This creates a strong community because there is a sense of everyone relying on each other and in this way they make a sustainable group of people.

Being here on Inis Oirr, there is the same community aspect and feel just spread out over the whole island. Everyone knows everyone and they can all rely on each other. Our felting teacher was telling us about her family at the workshop and how her son was getting married in a week. When she was telling us about her family I noticed that there was a web of people she was naming that we knew from just being on the island for these 2 days. She explained that almost everyone is going to the wedding which shows how tight knit the community is here in Inis Oirr.

A myth that I had heard about Irish people previous to coming to Ireland was that they are all very friendly. I have learned that this myth is completely accurate. All the people are extremely welcoming and bring you into their community. They also love to teach and inform us visitors about their culture and why they do the things they do. While we ate lunch at the Killary Mussel farm, the people who worked there were telling us about their produce and teaching us how to cook and open mussels, clams and oysters. The community aspect is very strong throughout the places that we have traveled and it mostly is because the people have tight relations with each other, as well as work together to create a sustainable community.

Mussel farmer with his prized possessions
Shucking oysters…farm to table service

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