From full lockdown to a gradual easing of restrictions for a few weeks then back to Level 5 again, 2020 has felt a bit like Groundhog Day in Dublin.
In the hit 1993 movie, Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors ends up using the fact he’s living the same day over and over again to learn new skills to woo colleague Rita Hanson, played by Andie MacDowell.
And while it feels like we’re all living the same day over again ourselves as coronavirus plays havoc with everyday life, that hasn’t stopped some Dubliners from coming up with ingenious ways to break the boredom and keep spirits lifted during those long lockdown days.
Here are five of our favourite ways inspiring Dubs have touched our hearts during the various lockdowns this year.
The residents of Canon Mooney Gardens in Ringsend have consistently won the hearts of the nation with their brilliant and inventive community spirit during lockdown.
Locals first grabbed the headlines when a balcony bingo night they hosted in March went viral.
Hilarious footage of the night showed the bingo caller perched on a wall facing the flats with a speaker system, calling out numbers while the players stood on their balconies checking off their cards.
The video went down a storm on Twitter where users praised the community spirit shown.
It even caught the attention of comedian Dara O Briain who tweeted the video to his 2.5 million followers, saying: “I just want to celebrate how funny Irish people are. Lots of love to you all x.”
Superstar garden gigs
Even before the virus made its way to Ireland, videos were emerging from locked down Italy of musicians entertaining their neighbours by playing on their balconies.
As a nation of singers and storytellers it wasn’t long before Dubs were also out entertaining their neighbours from a safe distance in the early days of restrictions.
Aslan star Christy Dignam even got in on the act, appearing in his front garden in April to belt out the band’s hit single Crazy World.
Christy revealed one of the positives of lockdown was that it gave him a chance to get to know neighbours he had lived beside for years but never spoken to.
Sadly, Christy lost his dad to the deadly virus in May, an experience he described as a “nightmare”.
Inventive birthday celebrations
Most of us would have missed out on a proper birthday celebration this year but some Dubs have ended up having their special days marked in amazing ways.
In May, Malahide man Philip Walsh feared he’d miss out on celebrating his 27th birthday – until soccer legend Robbie Keane stepped.
Goal-scoring hero Keane visited Philip, who has Down Syndrome, to present him with an Ireland jersey a few days prior to his birthday before taking to social media to ask people to send cards and well wishes.
And it turned out to be quite the day for Philip as he ended up beaming from ear to ear as garda cars, fire engines and ambulances drove in a procession past him and he was inundated with cards and gifts.
Blanch woman Annette got an amazing surprise in August when the garda band paid her a special visit to entertain her.
Along with a stunning cake depicting knitting needles and designs, there was singing, dancing and clapping along to the great music on a day Annete will never forget.
Looking after the most vulnerable
Lockdown was especially tough for nursing home residents who were prevented from seeing their loved ones for months due to tough visiting restrictions.
But one brilliant campaign saw hundreds of tablets donated to nursing homes so residents could speak to their relatives.
Lily Jackson, a patient in Clontarf Hospital, was delighted to when she could talk to her daughter thanks to the campaign.
She said “I had a lovely surprise when Anne (her daughter) walked into the room – well her face did!
“I haven’t seen Anne since the last day in March and the next day was my 92nd birthday.”
Vinny Caprani, resident in Talbot Lodge Nursing Home, said of using the tablets: “It really was wonderful to have the opportunity to see Suzanne (his daughter) and just to talk to her as if she was here with me.”
Dazzling dance routines
An we’re back where we started with the fun-loving gang of Canon Mooney Gardens.
Residents of the complex went viral again when they lined the streets, abiding by the two metre rule, to perfectly pull off moves to 90s hit Saturday Night by Whigfield taken from a scene in popular Channel 4 show Derry Girls.
The video amassed thousands of views as the flats and their amazing residents quickly became the stars of lockdown.
Have we missed any inspiring stories that happened in your area? Please get in touch and let us know.
Source: Dublin News