Durrus cheese marks 40 years with a nostalgic trip for locals

February 26th, 2020 7:15 AM

By Brian Moore

Celebrating 40 years of Durrus Cheese with an exhibition looking back at how the village has changed over the decades. From left: Josie McAuliffe, Ella O’Donovan, Delilah Roberts, Ann McGrath, Beibhinn Horstmanshoss, Jeffa Gill, Michael Cronin, Ruby Farrelly, Anna McAuliffe, Sarah Hennessy and Marie Wiseman.

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IT was 40 years ago this year that the very first wheel of Durrus cheese was produced in a little farmhouse just a few miles outside the village that gave the award-winning cheese its name.

And to kick off the celebrations Durrus cheese creator, Jeffa Gill and her daughter Sarah, invited the children of St James’ and Carrigboy National Schools to look back on how their village and community has changed over the last four decades.

‘We were delighted to invite the children to come up to see how we produce our cheese and to talk with them about how we started here 40 years ago,’ Jeffa told The Southern Star.

‘After making their own cheese, which will be ready in a few weeks, the children then went off to find out what their village was like from their parents, grandparents and neighbours.’

Having completed their research, the children gathered their findings together and presented their work at an exhibition at the local community hall.

Michael Cronin, principal at Carrigboy National School, said the kids were delighted to take part and really enjoyed finding out about Durrus 40 years ago.

‘Some of what they learned shocked them, such as the fact that there was no internet and only one channel on the TV,’ he said. ‘Also they were fascinated to discover the fact that not everyone had a phone and that there was a “telephone box” in the village.’

However, as Josie McAuliffe of St James’ National School explained, the project provided the children with a dilemma they had not expected.

‘These days when we ask children to go off and learn about a subject, their first port of call is the internet,’ Josie said.

‘This time the web was of little use so they had to go out and talk to people such as their grandparents, parents and members of the community. The really enjoyed this and it was wonderful for them to see their community through different eyes.’


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