The Liberties on Facebook

You don’t have to be Beyonce to be a celebrity in the Liberties, as student Melissa Carton-McKevitt knows quite well. Melissa set up a page on Facebook – “I’m from Dublin, but more importantly I’m from The Liberties” – which has had a great response from Liberties natives (‘Libertines’) who have moved away.  Born and bred in the area, she has recently moved to Roscommon, but she comes back every weekend to have a drink in the local.

The Facebook page

“I figured the Liberties needed one, but I never knew what it would become,” Melissa explains. “With most Facebook groups people join them and never look at them again so I was delighted to see Libertines who had moved away in the eighties arranging reunions with old school mates they thought they would never have contact with again.  I have great pride in where I’m from and it gave me great pleasure to see hundreds who felt the same away.”

“I have a love/hate relationship with social networking sites and would have been more on the hate side until seeing the response to the group.  Whenever I’m tired of reading people’s status of how bored they are, I skip onto my page and read all those wonderful stories about the shop owner who would give ya the extra few jellies for free or the dog that nobody liked because it would always chase ya down Meath Street.  It’s kinda like going to visit my Nanny – and sure who doesn’t like that?”

Her neighbour when she lived there was Imelda May’s dad, Tony, who Melissa describes as a true gent and a great storyteller. He told her once, “putting butter on cat’s paws to keep them in a bucket while moving them doesn’t work and that when he did it, his cat ran away.”

The sense of community in the Liberties “is like an unspoken mutual agreement that nobody robs their neighbours both in the literal and metaphorical sense,” Melissa says.  “I think a lot of neighbour love has been lost in the last decade or so.  There’s so many blocks of apartments and estates that nobody knows anyone anymore. “

Like Melissa and her family, generations have grown up there and many people wouldn’t go anywhere else.  Melissa’s nanny says “She likes what she knows and she knows her own people.”

Melissa, a performer at heart, always wanted to be the next Sarah Brightman… Watch this space!

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