Thursday 21 May 2020


Irish schoolgirl Bláithín shares her experience of the ups and downs of lockdown - and explains how music is helping her to cope.

Bláithín says:
I am twelve years old and I am in my first year of secondary school, and I live in Northern Ireland in a place called Mullaghbawn in County Armagh. Mullaghbawn is a small village surrounded by hills and mountains, and the nearest town is called Newry, about ten miles from our house. When lockdown was first announced I felt scared, but I thought it was only going to be for a short time so I was excited to get two weeks off school. However, we soon found out it was going to last much longer than I anticipated and then I started to feel a bit frustrated about being home all the time and not being able to see my friends. I would give anything now to get back into school.

During the lockdown, I enjoy going on walks up our local mountain, Slieve Gullion. The forest park beside the mountain is now closed to the public, but me and my family know the secret paths up to the mountain,  so we can go there for our daily exercise. I also play Gaelic Football with my older brothers every day which is a good way to keep fit. I also practice music every day - I play the button accordion and the bodhrán (the Irish drum). Since lockdown I have been doing online lessons on the harp which is great fun. Playing music is an excuse for me tp get away from the day to day worries that lockdown brings. I worry about my nanny who lives three and a half hours away from us, and I worry about people losing their lives to the virus and the sadness this brings on their families. Music helps me to feel happy again because most of the music I play is lively music.

Whilst I have lots of time to enjoy these things, I have mountains of school work from Monday to Friday. One of my school projects was on 'amazing authors' and I chose to write about Cathy Cassidy as I love her books. We got in touch with Cathy via her Facebook reader page and she very kindly sent us a letter, bookmarks and newsletters. It made my project so much more exciting! My advice to other readers is to keep washing your hands (obviously!) and try and find something to do to keep yourself occupied. And don't get too stressed about schoolwork!

Cathy says:
I love how Bláithín is managing to stay healthy with country walks and Gaelic Football, and keeping her spirits high with music practice. What has helped YOU to handle the pressures of lockdown better? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. Sounds like a lovely place to be in lockdown!

  2. I would LOVE to be in Ireland for lockdown! Southampton is sooooo boring!



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