Bernie was born and lived in 24H St Laurence’s Mansions. She’s the second youngest of eleven children. She started a part time job after school, in the local vegetable shop owned and operated by Willie Green. The butchers shop next door was run by his brother Jim green. She continued in retail for a while until she was old enough to begin working in textiles as a seamstress.
During her teens Bernie began helping out in the community, running the local discos and it was here that she discovered her passion for youth and community development work. She eventually found employment in Youth reach and continued her passion in her working life.
She met the love of her life Liam, a local lad and together they have four children and six grandchildren. Once married she moved to East wall where her other siblings settled when married.
Bernie retrained as a psychotherapist and worked in a voluntary capacity for ten years with Northside Counselling and Psychotherapy Centre. She’s also worked for the HSE helping people to cease smoking. She currently works in My Options which is a HSE freephone helpline. Bernie is very proud of her work. She equates her choice of profession to the great training and life skills that she acquired during her childhood.
She recalls that living in Sheriff St made us very resilient and entrepreneurial and she recalls her brother chopping sticks whilst she wrapped them into bundle which they sold the locally, door to door.
Her happiest memory is of long summer evenings out playing with her friends in the playground and the fact that the St. Patrick’s day Parade was only up the road in O’Connell St.
Her memory of Mattie’s shop is of the time when she was twelve and her sister was getting married. My Dad sold knick knacks in the shop. She chose a little crystal piece made up of two pieces which when put together formed a heart. She paid the present off every week doing without her beloved comics from the swop shop that he ran for customers. She recalled my father was a very kind and patient man.
She also recalled people paying off small toys coming up to Christmas. She loves Sheriff St and she is very much a woman of her community.