‘We didn’t have much, but we shared everything’ Fatima Estate celebrates 70th anniversary

“We didn’t have much, but we shared everything,” says the committee behind ‘Fatima 70 Utsav’.

Or over the past ten months a dedicated group of locals, and former residents of the Dundalk housing estate, have been compiling photos, collecting memories, and planning a four-day weekend-long celebration of events that will take place this Friday, 2 Will start on 9th August.th,

To celebrate the milestone anniversary, a book ‘Fatima 70 Utsav’ has also been published, which is filled with the faces, names and events that have made it such a popular place to live.

“We did a call out to people last October and November,” Alice Mulholland told the Fatima 70 committee.

“The response was incredible, with over 500 photos handed in, and so many home videos and personal stories shared,” Ellis said.

Generations of families who have called Fatima ‘home’ since the 1970s have been included in a fascinating list of photographs.

The book details the fascinating history of the property, where the first residents moved to ‘Fatima Park’ in 1951, then Fatima Court in 1952 saw their first families arrive, and Fatima Drive a year later.

Most of the tenants were in their early thirties, and they had families of about three children. Overall, it didn’t take long for the neighbors to become friends and a new sense of community was born.

This sense of shared community was evident with the shared traditional skill to build walls, sheds and sidewalks for additional space and access.

The young families were happy to play and make friends in the open space, and soon lifelong friendships were forming between the children who had spent many weeks, months and years in the green at the court of Fatima.

“So many of the pictures we found were large groups of kids, all hidden at a door. It wasn’t because they were all one family, but because we all lived in each other’s houses!” says Kevin ‘Jock’ McArdle.

“In the early years not many people had television, but those who did, we all gathered there. We didn’t have much, but we shared everything.”

A series of community projects saw residents from across the region join forces, the first of which was a statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the park, followed by the formation of a local school, which opened under the Sisters of St. was. 1953.

No tribute to Fatima would be complete without highlighting a Tathair Pol Mack scene. By forming Common Ogra Noam Monine, he instilled in the youth of Fatima a new found love for the sport of hurling, a relatively unusual activity for the Dundalk housing estate. It also launched the very first All Ireland Pok Fada.

Other community activities flourished, including fishing, with locals enjoying the beauty of the nearby Toberona River.

With the move of the Dundalk Rugby Club to nearby Mill Road in 1969, the area was actually opening up to a wide range of sports and activities, including Fatima Pigeon Fanciers, the Dundalk and District Brown Trout and Salmon Anglers Association, and later were involved in. Castletown Bells Women’s Football Club.

The role that Fafort Credit Union played in the lives of so many families in Fatima is also described in the book.

The Fatima 70 celebrations begin with a memorial mass at Fatima Church on Friday at 6.30 pm, and continue with a host of street activities throughout the weekend.

A sold-out reunion night is being held at the Klan Nagel GFC club on Saturday night, where a selection of home videos will highlight the many shared memories of this much-loved property.

For full details of the weekend’s events, visit ‘Fatima 70 Celebrations’ on Facebook.