Tralee grannies taking a wrecking ball to perceptions of mature ladies

Four retired Tralee grandmothers are attempting to take “a wrecking ball” to perceptions of older women.

Celine Slattery, Phil Daly, Mary O’Donnell, and Marian Dillon lip sync to the Miley Cyrus hit ‘Wrecking Ball’, where they partially — albeit fully clad — reenacted the sledgehammer scene using Celine’s house and garden in Oakpark, Tralee.

They collaborated with a new media start-up and their effort has gone viral, with texts coming in from grandchildren in Dubai to Dublin — and it has been picked up in online news too in Ghana.

The ladies are all members of Tralee Probus, an association of retired and semi-retired professional and business people. They were not familiar with ‘Wrecking Ball’, taken from Cyrus’s fourth album; the single pairs with a controversial video of the singer in her underwear swinging on a wrecking ball.

Kerry’s answer to the Calendar Girls did it all in one take, explains Francis Fitzgibbon, chief executive of StoryStock, which is based in the Tom Crean Centre in the Kerry Technology Park.

“We wanted to show you don’t have to be 19 or 20 to be sexy or cool. We have this culture obsessed with youth and being young. It doesn’t respect age or getting old, the way other cultures do. We wanted to have a conversation to reflect that,” said Fitzgibbon.

Christmas is a great time to show that there is a lighter side of life, he said.

The ladies are a class act and show you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously, he said. “And they are now available for gigs!”

Celine Slattery, aged in her 80s, has been grand-marshall of the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Tralee and is heavily involved in tourism and historical societies in the town. She objects to the word ‘old’, preferring to use ‘mature’.

“We want to get the message across to young people… I hate the word ‘old’ — we may be mature but we still realise we may not agree with what young people do but we accept it... That’s life — it changes — and we have accepted there are these changes.”

When the mini-skirt came out and she began wearing them, Celine said her mother “nearly threw holy water on me”.

Young people are under huge pressure today and the ladies wanted to show that “we are behind you”, explained Celine.

To see the video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ starring Tralee Fáilte Ladies Probus Club, go to irishexaminer.com.


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