A fresh vibrancy to Heritage Week this year was evident all around locally. Members of the Society were involved in a number of projects and the Society itself held a number events that had fantastic interest and turn out over two weekends.
In the library, Dr Geraldine Curtin gave a talk on the 19th century reformatory school in the town, there was a collaboration with Group 8 and Aughrim 1691 to create an art exhibition themed on the Battle of Aughrim, and there was a walking tour of the town on National Water Heritage day that brought over 100 people out, and a couple of dogs, to hear talks and songs linked to water related landmarks around the town from local archaeologists, historians, authors and balladeers.
In advance of St Grellan’s Day on September 17th, the Society put an emphasis on telling the story of the town’s patron saint, with a particular focus on bringing the story to a new generation of children. Teaming up with Milkshake Dance and Performance Academy , the children learned the story of St Grellan through the medium of Rap and Hip Hop. The children recorded a video of the rap and hip hop dance which was put out on social media and was a fitting tribute to the patron saint of a culturally and religiously diverse town. Local Historian Pat Johnston also did presentation class to Ms Blade and Mr. Ronaldson’s 4th classes in Creagh School on St Grellan and his ‘Bacall’. Mass was also held in honour of former Patron Saint of the UI Maine Kingdom at Tobergrellan.
Their monthly public meeting takes place at 8pm on October 4th in the Men’s Shed, Cullen’s Yard (behind the Credit Union) and as it’s fair week, local historian Barry Lally will give a refresher on the Great October Fair.
On 24th October at 7.30pm in Gullanes Hotel, Dr Christy Cunniffe will give a talk on the outstanding examples of stained glass in the churches and chapels of Ballinasloe, along with the town’s ecclesiastical sculpture and art.
A fundraising table quiz for the Society will take place of 22nd November at 8pm in Gullanes (tables of 4 - €40) and details of the membership plan for 2024 will also be launched on the night.
Chairperson Conor Johnston stated ‘following a fantastic response to the setting up of the Heritage Society, we are looking forward to growing the Society to provide a framework for a plan of scale to preserve, protect and promote the heritage and history of our town. Our area has a history and heritage of real substance, be it architecturally, archaeologically, or industrial, through sport, music and a rich social and cultural fabric and it deserves a space to celebrate this. We particularly want to reach out to, and collaborate with, other community groups to achieve this’.
You can visit the Ballinasloe and District Heritage page on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM to keep updated!
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