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Local pride inspires high quality projects in County Heritage Awards

Wednesday, 1st February, 2012 10:04am

Martin T Byrnes is a founder member of Oranmore Heritage and is the driving force in all the activities. He is a longstanding member of The Old Galway Society and a recorder with Irish Wild Bird Conservancy.

He is also a member of Bat Conservation Ireland and An Taisce, and was known as the Bat Man in Oranmore. He participates in all these with great joy and his enthusiasm is infectious. For preservation and conservation Martin Byrnes is passionate, committed and hardworking.

Tuam Area

Winner: Milltown Community Council

Milltown Community Council has given their help and encouragement to the Restoration of the Jockey's Monument. The monument is known thus as local folklore has it that Edmund Hopkins who was leading the hunt fell off his horse and was killed while jumping the ditch at this point. The monument dates back to 1686 and is the only known monument to have a direct link to the phrase "To Hell or to Connacht" as it commemorates the Hopkins family who were evicted from Leinster under Cromwell.

Runner Up: Glenamaddy DVD A History Unfolds

A lot of time was spent by the group gathering the information to compile this DVD. The aim was to bring the history of Glenamaddy Church to a new technological era. It records the restoration of the famous Harry Clarke windows and looks back on the history of the Church and parish. Lots of research was done, a lot of time was spent gathering material, going to libraries, visiting local people, graveyards, taking and collecting photographs. Months of extremely hard work went in on a voluntary basis to the making of this DVD.

Best Publication

Winner: Muintearas for Leabhar Inis Bearachain.

Runner Up: Mná Fiontáir, Inis Mór

This women's group on the main Aran island compiled a book of island lore.

Third Place: Catherine Forde, Crumlin National School, Ballyglunin, Tuam

Ms Forde researched and published a book Crumlin National School 125 years 1885-2010. Interviews from past pupils document the way of life in the area and the history of the local Railway Station (Ballyglunin) and the importance of the railway in the life of the local people. Documents retrieved from the National Archives give a history of the built heritage. All copies of documents from the National Archives, old photographs, and the Schools' Manuscript Collection 1937-1938 for Crumlin National School were displayed at a book launch held in the school in December 2010 and are available for viewing at any time in the school. Publication of the book and the book launch was of great significance to the community and has initiated a renewed interest and discussion in local history and heritage.

School Projects

Winner: Scoil Bhriocáin, An Gort Mór, Ros Muc.

The pupils used all modern technologies to document their local Golden Mile.

Runner Up: St Thomas National School, Peterswell

The school became involved in an international schools project based on a 1560 painting by Dutch artist Pieter Brueghel of children at play. The school re-enacted and filmed many of the medieval games that appear in the original painting, some of these were also enjoyed by Irish children of that period.

Third Place: Knockroon NS, Headford

Knockroon NS produced a documentary on the Cong Hatchery and on the life cycle of the salmon. As their movie documentary shows, they also secured a strong appreciation of the importance of the Cong Hatchery and the work of the Inland Fisheries Ireland in maintaining fish stocks in Ireland's and Galway's lakes and rivers.

Highly Commended

Áras Mhuire Heritage & Folklore Group, Tuam

The Áras Mhuire Heritage & Folklore Group's intergenerational project in which the local secondary students interviewed and captured the life stories, histories, traditions and events from the early 19th Century has  resulted in the production of a beautiful book, Opening Doors, Recalling Memories of Yesteryear. This book will be a very important heritage resource in the future for people in the wider community and county.

Children's Burial Ground Committee, Scotland, Glenamaddy

In the townland of Scotland there is a killeen in the centre of a ringfort. It is difficult to estimate the number of burials due to the abundance of trees and undergrowth. The Children's Burial Ground Committee has organised the access to the Lios, the construction of a path to the site, the placing of an inscribed plaque and gate. It also organised a Mass for the consecration of the burial ground on June 19, 2011. It has helped to increase Community awareness of the existence of such sites.

Comhlacht Forbartha an Spidéil Teoranta

Ten years of work have gone in to St Enda's cemetery, Spiddal, and the old monastery building that survives there.

Kiltartan NS

Kiltartan National School produced a film documentary entitled The Townlands of Kiltartan. The school mapped out and researched the origins of the names of each of the 22 townlands that constitute Kiltartan. The 5th and 6th class pupils visited each of the townlands. They have brought to life the area as it looked 1,000 years ago and it will serve as a valuable heritage resource to the present community of Kiltartan.

Scoil Naisiúnta Maigh Cuilinn agus Scoil Náisiúnta Tuairiní Maigh Cuilinn.

The pupils of these schools were invited to replicate the Schools' Folklore Scheme 1937-8. The pupils responded with essays collected from their elders.

The project will be a valuable source for the local historian and it will allow future comparison with the 1930s way of life.

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