A Listowel woman who was the first guest on a new podcast series, Vanishing Ireland, which launched earlier this month has told The Kerryman that she has been blown away by the reaction to her episode.
88-year-old Mary Stack was the star of the first episode of a new series which features 16 interviews with elders of Irish society by historian Turtle Bunbury, who co-founded the acclaimed Vanishing Ireland project 20 years ago.
Vanishing Ireland with Turtle Bunbury is a podcast series of interviews with Ireland's over-70s and celebrates their life stories, challenges, courage, kindness and humour: "The series documents the, very often, extraordinary lives of our older population in a way that celebrates the past while informing younger generations in shaping the future."
Speaking to The Kerryman about her part in the series, Mary admitted that she found the experience "nerve-wrecking" at first but got into it after a few minutes and quite enjoyed telling her life story.
"Nerve-wrecking because I'm not a person that would like too much show or attention. I much prefer to be in the background, but all the messages that I've been getting since have been unreal.
"I can't get over the messages and the support that I'm getting from people all over and from relatives in America who have heard it. They're all texting my son, Damian, about it," said Mary. "I was asked to do it and I said no initially, but I was convinced that it would be a nice thing to do and, sure once I started talking, it all came flying out and, since then, I could not believe the response that it's gotten...I was speaking to Joan, who is Damian's wife, and I was asking 'how is anyone out there interested in what I did or have to say?'"
Mary said that, in the podcast, she talked about her life and how she came to settle in Listowel - from when she first visited the town as a child with her parents on holiday; to coming down to visit on her own when she was older; and, finally, to meeting her then-future husband in the town and eventually moving there after they were married.
Mary's podcast is available to listen on on Spotify, Google and all podcast channels.