Every Thursday morning, from February to October 2007, a group of local residents have attended a Peoples’ History course in Greenisland Library. With the help of the Ulster Peoples’ College we have researched and written a social history of Greenisland.

We chose to tell this story for several reasons:

Image from front cover of book This picture was taken from Knocksallagh Park around 1964 and shows Margaret Addis with her children Catherine, Nigel and Maurice and her Aunt Lila. In the background is Greenisland's most famous landmark, the Knockagh Monument. A steam train is passing behind the houses.

  • within the group there is a mixture of Greenisland residents; those whose families have lived here for generations, others who moved here when the estate was built and those who are the first generation of their family to be born in Greenisland. It was important for all to learn about the history of the place where they have made their home.
  • to explore the history and identity of Greenisland. This is particularly important because as a commuter town Greenisland has often struggled for its own identity.
  • to provide a resource for the community. There is currently no written history of Greenisland and we feel it is important to share this story with current residents, newcomers to the area and future generations.
  • to document the changes in the Greenisland community between the 1950s, 1960s and the early 1970s and to reflect on life in Greenisland in the 21st century.

We used a range of research skills to find out about the past – Griffith’s Valuation (a list of the rateable property in Ireland in the 1800s), old maps, interviewing individuals, group discussions, newspaper analysis and photographs.

We have learned a great deal on this course and we hope that this book will be of interest to the community of Greenisland. We certainly enjoyed researching and writing it.

The Greenisland Local History Class

31st October 2007

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