My name is Niamh O' Meara. I'm a seventeen year old secondary student attending Mean Scoil Mhuire convent, county Longford. I live in Ardagh with my family of six. I love reading,writing and music. I hope to study music in college when I finish my leaving cert.
about the project
I applied to partake in this project because I have always had a great interest in history and in particular the world wars. From a young age I was addicted to the reading of war novels, my favourites, the likes of 'Goodnight Mr.Tom' by Michelle Magorian and 'The Book Thief'' by Markus Zusak. I was always so fascinated by the wars I suppose because of their immensity and the tremendous impact they inflicted on an international level.Predominantly my interests lie in war and people, not the leaders by which they were spearheaded, the dictatorships, communists or any of the like but the every day working people how war affected them within the struggles of daily life, whether it was an average working man or women in a city or a soldier in the trenches, each individual was affected dramatically by the violence and intensity that war wreaked. I've always thought it important that those ordinary people are recognised and that is why I was so drawn to this project. Through it I've got to learn about and get to know John Mallon. A boy who was only a year older than I am now when he first enlisted in the army and who's hometown of Edgworthstown is only five minutes down the road from where I live in Ardagh. I also got to know his niece Marie Whelan and was truly honoured to be able to inform her and her family all about their relation John who,prior to this, they had heard little about. It was a truly impacting and poignant experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it
Returning from france
Following my return from the trip I wrote an article reflecting on my experience in France click on this link to view it.
This project would not have been possible without the help of a few people and for that reason I would like to give my sincerest thanks to my mother Emer O' Meara, who was a constant motivation when I thought I had reached a dead end. To the local archivist, Martin Morris who helped me find so many significant ties and documents associated with John. To John's gran-niece Margeret Brown and his niece Marie Whelan, who gave me so much information and assistance throughout and of course, my history teacher Ms.Ross who informed about the project in the first place. Thank you all so much for helping me tell John's story.