‘She never came home again’: Your poignant pre-lockdown photos from one year ago
We asked you to submit photos taken on March 11th and 12th last year. Here’s what you sent
Anne Condon with her mum, in hospital.
‘I so want to sit and hold her hand’
My mum was brought to hospital and never came home again. She had to go into a nursing home and I’ve not been able to touch her for nearly a year. With Lewy body dementia, she does not understand why I’m outside the window. I so want to sit and hold her hand.
‘This year has been so tough’
I was in the hairdressers getting my hair done for my 49th birthday on March 12th, 2020, when news came through on the radio that schools would be closing and we would be entering a lockdown period. I’m a cancer patient getting long-term treatment (I’m stage 4 colon) and was (and still am) in the middle of chemo. My birthday tea that day was hastily rearranged to a grand total of three guests. I’m going to be 50 in two weeks and having another lockdown birthday, except this time the big party planned will only be my five family members and not the 50-plus guests.
A year ago, when this photo was taken, never did I ever imagine that we would be in a worse situation a year later. This year has been so tough, hardly seen my friends or family (my son, a musician, lives in Dublin). January was so horrible, dragging myself to weekly chemo in the dark and snow with no nice treat of a meet-up with friends or a cup of coffee with people (I’m on cup number 35 now!).
I really feel for children, teenagers and young adults, and those living alone as the lockdowns have affected everyone’s mental health for the worse. Big shout out to Mayo University Hospital’s oncology team, who have kept me alive and supported me this past year. Onwards and upwards though, like millions I’m just waiting at home for my vaccine...
'I’ll always be grateful for that silver lining'
My partner and I welcomed our beautiful son Jake on March 5th, 2020. While the pandemic and resulting lockdowns have brought challenges to us as first-time parents, I will always be grateful that we got to spend so much time at home with Jake in his first year as a result, and share with him first-hand his milestones and many little achievements that we might have otherwise missed out on had we returned to normal working life in the office and he in childcare. That life will resume soon enough, so I’ll always be grateful for that silver lining.
‘Large crowd rock’n’rollin’ the night away’
The last Hipaclaptics gig in Blue Bar, Skerries, Co Dublin, on March 8th, just before lockdown. Large crowd rock’n’rollin’ the night away, before the music died...
‘We were taking photos in an attempt to lighten up the situation’
This is me in Helsinki Airport on St Patrick’s Day 2020, waiting to return to Dublin. The picture was taken by a fellow Erasmus student who was also travelling home. We were both incredibly nervous, so went to the airport together, despite our flights being several hours apart. I’m wearing goggles in the photo because I had heard that doctors in China were getting infected through their eyes. I wasn’t the only one wearing them either! This picture will always stay with me as we were taking photos in an attempt to lighten up the situation and distract ourselves before boarding.
‘So simple then, so longed for now’
Pictured: Five-month-old Aibhilín (left) with cousin Sam (1) and their grandmother.
“Granny. Cousins. Dublin. Cork. So simple then, so longed for now.”
‘Last night in the Quays’
Last night in the Quays in Galway city before lockdown. All changed since.
‘We have not had a chance to celebrate our engagement’
Johnny and I were in Italy, skiing, and we got engaged. This was at the start of March 2020. We heard about Covid-19 in Italy and [yet] all bars remained open. We arrived back to a lockdown in Ireland. A year on, and we have not had a chance to celebrate our engagement. But we planned our wedding for 2021 hoping things would get better,we are still hoping.
‘Class of 2020 as we finished our final year exams’
The NUIG medicine class of 2020 as we finished our final year exams seven weeks early, with only 72 hours notice before being drafted in to work early.
‘Hopefully we’ll gather again one day!’
For 26 years Glória LGBT+ Choir has gathered in Friends Meeting House, Dublin, to sing and revel in each other’s company. Our last rehearsal and in-person get-together ended with a choir family birthday. Good times, hopefully we’ll gather again one day!
‘Saying goodbye to my favourite beaches’
On my Ryanair flight from Dublin to London Stansted the last time I was home for a visit with family and friends, saying goodbye to my favourite beaches.
‘The last time we sang together’
SIOFRA COX, MUSIC TEACHER AND CHOIR DIRECTOR
This picture was taken at Wesley Interschools Music Festival held in Wesley College, Dublin, on March 6th and 7th, 2020. Pictured are some members of the Convent of Mercy Roscommon Chamber Choir who took first prize in the SSA competition on Friday 6th. It was the last time we sang together as a group!
‘We were lucky’
My boyfriend and I went to Marsh’s Library on March 12th, 2020. As we walked out of the library, the closing of colleges was announced and the next day we found out the library closed to the public as well. We were lucky to get out in Dublin right up until the shutdown.
‘People began to stock up’
The queues for the checkout stretched all the way to the back of the shop as people began to stock up, just 30 minutes after Leo Varadkar’s speech in Washington announcing the first coronavirus restrictions in Ireland. This photograph was taken in Supervalu in Sutton, Dublin, on March 12th, 2020.
‘I flew home as Trump was talking of cancelling flights’
I was on a flight from New York to Toronto on a book tour. I landed in Toronto and then flew home the following day as Donald Trump was talking of cancelling flights from Europe.
Laura Casserly (13) of Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh, Galway, with her proud godmother, Anne Murray, taken at St John the Apostle Church, Knocknacarra, at Laura’s Confirmation on Thursday, March 12th, 2020.
‘The table is set for a children’s afternoon tea’
The table is set for a children’s afternoon tea and cookie decorating party, a double birthday celebration at Madeleine’s Tea Room, Dunmore Cave, Kilkenny. The tea room closed on March 15th, 2020.
‘We brought gloves and hand sanitiser; masks weren’t a thing yet’
This is me in Ikea, Dublin, on March 11th, completely stressed. A first-time buyer, I had an offer accepted with a closing date of late March. My partner, Jim, instinctively drove us here to try out mattresses, knowing we could probably order online later, which we did. We brought gloves and hand sanitiser; masks weren’t a thing yet. The store closed seven days later. I got my keys on March 24th at 4.50pm, minutes before the estate agent’s office closed indefinitely. Two days later, full lockdown began.
PAUL DE LACY, TEACHER AND COACH
Taken at the West Mayo Cuman na mBunscol Camogie Blitz at Castlebar Mitchell’s McHale Park on March 11th, 2020. This is the Balla National School camogie squad made up of then fourth-, fifth- and sixth-class girls.
‘It became a scramble to leave things in good order’
RACHEL MATHEWS-MCKAY, LIBRARY ASSISTANT
With no sense of how long it would last, it became a scramble to leave things in good order. Here I am shelving a book in the Long Room, the day Trinity College Dublin closed it’s doors for lockdown in March 2020.
‘The novelty soon wore off!’
This photo was taken at 8.59am on Friday, March 13th, 2020. The schools closed the day before and this was the first day of homeschooling for Sean Conway from Ennis, Co Clare. The novelty soon wore off!
‘We thought it was for two weeks’
My very last lecture before all educational institutions closed down on March 12th, 2020. This was taken at 9.51am. By 12.30pm, we had been told that UCC would be vacated and the gates would close for 6pm. This led to a mass ‘bug-out’, where we needed to make sure we had everything to teach from home. At the time we thought it was for two weeks. I have not been in a lecture room since.
‘That would be the last day I’d be with my class’
ALANNAH NIC CRAITH
This is a picture of me one day before we all went into the first Covid quarantine, on March 11th, 2020. I was in sixth class and we had won at the Arklow Music Festival. I didn’t know then that that would be the last day I’d be with my class in school. I would never have believed that I would be in lockdown for much of the last year after this photo was taken.