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Aislinn Adams


Born in Belfast, 1979

Colour photograph of the head and shoulders of Aislinn Adams.
Aislinn Adams, at work in Verdon Street recreation Centre, 2006 © Nikky Wilson


Aislinn was born and brought up in Belfast but came to live and study in England a few years ago almost by accident, as the story below reveals. Burngreave has been her home ever since then. She was interviewed by Nikky Wilson in October 2006.

I was born in West Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1979. I'm one of six, I have four brothers and one sister. Being the second youngest had certain advantages. I used to get spoiled by my older brothers and sisters. Our family experienced the 'troubles' first hand but whilst I was growing up they kept me away from this and protected me from the politics of the time.

I think of my childhood as a happy time. Of course there were occasional arguments but we were a close family and we all got along together. I was very involved with the local camogie* team, the Connelly's, and was centre field in the team. I used to train twice a week for that and at weekends we went off playing matches all over Ulster. In the holidays we used to head off to Cushendall on the Antrim coast, to the family caravan. We spent every summer there, it feels like I practically grew up there! We were always off fishing, or going on picnics or doing something outdoors. I loved it!

I've been in Burngreave now for seven years. I first came for a holiday to see my brother and I ended up staying! I went to college in Sheffield and now I work in Verdon Street Recreation Centre. One of the things I love about Burngreave is the chance to meet people from so many different cultures. We didn't have any of that in Belfast when I was growing up, although it's changed now. So for now, my life is in Burngreave but Belfast is still very much home to me.

* Camogie is an Irish game a little bit like hockey, played by women. Instead of keeping the ball on the ground, you are allowed to hit it into the air.