Last Sunday, 26th August, marked the end of a most successful Heritage Week in North Tipperary. With over 70 events held throughout the County, there was something for everyone with events including walks and talks, tours and workshops, tracing your ancestors, music, dance and much more.
Heritage Officer, Marion Carey, commended the local Community Groups and Individuals who organised events throughout the County, and on behalf of the North Tippeary Heritage Forum sincerely thanked all involved. She stated that Heritage Week is ultimately about community participation, education and above all enjoyment.
Heritage Week began on Saturday 18th August, and the first weekend got off to a flying start with talks by George Cunningham in Terryglass and Roscrea on the ‘Monastic Heritage of Lough Derg’ and ‘Monaincha – The 31st Wonder of the World’. Roscrea was also host to the Flower Festival in St. Cronans Church Roscrea while the OPW held a number of events in the grounds of Roscrea Castle. Finally Cloughjordan was the venue for a Traditional Skills demonstration and an Environmental Walk.
During the week a number of events were held throughout the County including the very successful Ormond Historical Society field trip to Nenagh Jail, Guided Talks on Heritage of Lorrha, Guided Tours of Holycross Abbey, ‘Exploring Biodiversity in Kilcommon and the Upper Bilboa’ and a talk on our ‘Ancestral Routes – Archaeological Discoveries along the M7’. Nora O’Meara, Genealogist hosted large numbers of visitors to the Genealogy Centre in Nenagh and helped them trace their North Tipperary Ancestors, while Arlene While guided several tours of the Governors House/Heritage Centre. Finally, in Thurles, the Tipperary Historical Society held a very well attended talk on the ‘History of Irish Butter, while Jimmy Duggan enthralled his audience with his knowledge and passion for hurling as he took them on a ‘Walk Through Hurling History’.
The second weekend of Heritage Week was equally busy starting with a Small Mammals Workshop in Upperchurch, guided tours of Fancroft Mill, Cabragh Wetlands and Holycross. Saturday saw a very busy day in Ballina, with a number of events including guided talks on the Heritage of Ballina, before Eamon de Stafford took his audience on a trip down memory lane and rekindled many memories with his presentation on the Mining Heritage of Lough Derg. Eanna Ni Lamhna entertained and fascinated her audience, and helped us understand and appreciate the Natural Heritage of the area. The evening was finished with a fantastic display of traditional music, dance and song with performances from locals and visitors alike. Sunday saw a busy day in Lorrha, with the Lorrha&Dorrha Historical Society hosting a fun day. The highlight of the day was the unique display in both Rathcabbin and Lorrha National Schools, with the kind permission of UCD folklore department, of records of the folklore commission 1936-39. The accounts of the children of the 3 local National Schools which participated were put on display. The evening culminated with talented Limerick seanchi Tim Evans and historian and poet Donal O’Siodhachain who entertained the crowd in Mahers ‘Shed’. Killea Community Centre was the venue for an Evening of Heritage and Culture including music, chat and stories. Finally, the RosCre Beo Festival was an outstanding success with large numbers throughout the day and evening at what was a fantastic event organized by the very hard working festival committee. Events throughout the day included kiddies entertainment, busking, stalls, Miscellany in Damer House, Sacred Space in St. Cronans Church, Ceili and much, much more. Truly a fun filled family day, which was again free of charge.
Speaking about Heritage Week, County Manager Joe MacGrath commended the hard work done by local community groups and individuals in the promotion and preservation of our Heritage. He acknowledged that the success of the week was a reflection of the hard work, dedication and passion of these people. Mr. MacGrath thanked all who attended and participated in the many events throughout the County, without whom, such events simply wouldn’t have happened. Mr. MacGrath also acknowledged the Heritage Council who organise Heritage Week at a National level and the North Tipperary Heritage Forum for their work.
With a very successful Heritage Week behind us, we can now look forward in anticipation to an extra special Heritage Week in 2013 with many events already being planned to coincide with The Gathering 2013 (for information see www.thegatheringireland.com For more information on Heritage in your area, check out www.heritagecouncil.ie or the heritage page at www.northtippcoco.ie or contact your local Heritage Officer at 067-44652.