I VOLUNTEERED AT the Castleisland Daycare Center in 2005, where I spent my days playing bingo, doing arts ‘n crafts, and dancing the Cotton Eye Joe for a group of the village’s elderly citizens. It just further proved how awesome Irish people are, even old Irish people.

The Island Videos project, which was started by a small group of Castleisland citizens when they converted some old VHS tapes into DVDs, offers so much insight into what life was like in a small, West Irish town in the early 1980s. Aside from maybe some fashion choices, and an upgrade in video quality, I’d like to think that not much has really changed.

I think in the age of YouTube, Instagram video, Vine and other mediums of instant-access video material, it’s cool to look back on archival footage and think about how far we’ve come. It’s a way to preserve local heritage, and explore identity. These videos might not go viral, or become the basis for a major motion picture, but they are invaluable for the people and culture that exists within Castleisland.

Click here to check out the rest of the archive. Feature photo by Triona O’Connor. 

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