06 Jul 2022

Laois woman features in Vanishing Ireland campaign appeal to Ireland's senior citizens

Laois woman features in Vanishing Ireland campaign appeal to Ireland's senior citizens

Anastatia ‘Statia’ Kealy. Pic: James Fennell

An interview with a 106 year old Laois woman features in a new campaign encourage Ireland’s senior citizens to share their life stories.  

Vanishing Ireland with Turtle Bunbury is a of interviews with Ireland’s over 70’s, celebrating their life stories, challenges, courage, kindness and humour.

The series seeks to document the very often, extraordinary lives of our older population in a way that celebrates the past while informing younger generations in shaping the future. This new series aims to highlight the wealth of humour, resilience and wisdom from Ireland’s elders. 

Rathdowney’s very own Anastatia ‘Statia’ Kealy (who passed away in 2011), had her interview included in ‘Vanishing Ireland, Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World: Volume 2’ published in 2009. Living to a remarkable age of 108, Statia’s long and fruitful life is recalled beautifully in this interview, highlighting her career as a seamstress and the path she took to become one.

She was 106 at the time when she told her story. READ HER STORY HERE.

Supported by SuperValu, former RTÉ newsreader Anne Doyle, other people around Ireland are being asked to propose family members or friends over the age of 70, who would like to share their stories.

Speaking about the Vanishing Ireland Series, Bunbury says: “Twenty years ago, I teamed up with the renowned photographer James Fennell to create what became the first Vanishing Ireland book. We knew how important it was to chronicle the experience of our older generations, so many of whose fascinating lives were literally vanishing, unrecorded. Introducing the voices of Vanishing Ireland to the podcast generation is an entirely new departure for our elders but is deeply exciting and very much in keeping with our aims. It is my great hope that listening to these interviews - the wisdom, the humour, the memories - will enhance the way we live our own lives." 

Taking part in the launch former broadcaster Anne Doyle added, “this is such a special series documenting the stories of the past so that they are captured in history forever. I am delighted to work alongside SuperValu and Turtle Bunbury to ensure these stories are available for many generations to come. 

"I encourage you to enter family members to be part of this wonderful series.  It’s high time we hear from our older generation and revisit our past with its rich history. We can all learn something from the experience.”

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, SuperValu said: “The Vanishing Ireland project has a robust track record in championing local heroes and strengthening the bond between the generations".

A statement said the mission of Vanishing Ireland has always been to preserve the stories of the older generations, bringing to life the world that our grandparents knew in a manner that appeals to a 21st century audience.

The hope is for Vanishing Ireland to inspire children and grandchildren to listen to the stories of their own parents and grandparents, as well as older friends and neighbours, creating a record of memories for future generations.

Those who would like to put forward friends or family over 70’s, are asked to email podcast@ or visit 

The closing date for entries is Friday, 4th June 2021.

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