independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

'Our Local Heroes' project launched

Tidy Towns members Joe Berrill, Kathleen Dunbar, Helen Byrne (Chairperson), Anita McEneaney, Assumpta Gray, Colm and Rafael Matthews and Catherine White at the launch of the new banners held in the County Museum. Pictures: Ken Finegan
Tidy Towns members Joe Berrill, Kathleen Dunbar, Helen Byrne (Chairperson), Anita McEneaney, Assumpta Gray, Colm and Rafael Matthews and Catherine White at the launch of the new banners held in the County Museum. Pictures: Ken Finegan
McClintock family members John, Irene, Patrick and John McClintock with Helen Byrne, Chairperson of Dundalk Tidy Towns Committee and Brian Walsh, County Museum at the launch of the new banners held in the County Museum
Helen Byrne, Chairperson of Dundalk Tidy Towns Committee (right) with Cllr. Emma Coffey and Brian Walsh, County Museum at the launch of the new banners
Tidy Towns members Joe Berrill, Kathleen Dunbar, Helen Byrne (Chairperson, Anita McEneaney, Assumpta Gray, Colm and Rafael Matthews and Catherine White at the launch of the new banners held in the County Museum. Picture: Ken Finegan

Olivia Ryan

The international achievements of twelve Dundalk people is to be recognised in their hometown with an outdoor banner project titled 'Our Local Heroes'

The outdoor banners will be hung in the coming days on lampposts along Park Street.

The first phase of the 'Our Local Heroes' project was launched at a special event in the County Museum last week, which was attended by some family members of the late heroes thrilled to see their relative honoured by Dundalk

Led by Dundalk Tidy Towns and in association with The County Museum, Dundalk, the first 12 local heroes to be unveiled are:

Dorothy MacArdle, Writer, novelist and playwright; Peter Rice, Engineer; Thomas Coulter, Botanist and explorer; Brendan O'Dowda, Irish Tenor; Henry McShane, industrialist; Sir John MacNeill, engineer; Tom Sharkey, Champion Boxer; Peadar Ó Dubhda, writer; Paul Vincent Carroll, novelist, playwright & musician; Peter McArdle, Olympic athlete; Tomas McAnna, Theatre Director & playwright; Sir Francis Leopold McClintock, explorer.

Newly elected Chairperson of Dundalk Tidy Towns, Helen Byrne said the project has been an amazing learning experience for her with potential for future expansion.

'I'm not from Dundalk originally so when I look at the twelve people who are on this list I'm just blown away by it.

'We have an engineer who worked on the Sydney Opera House - one of the most identifiable but certainly unique buildings in the world. We have athletes of world class standard, we have a number who made amazing contributions to the world of arts, culture, industry and exploration. They are all worthy to be in this first phase of 'Our Local Heroes.

I have to recognise the work put into this by the County Museum. Indeed it was Anita McEneaney who is also a member of Tidy Towns who brought this project to the Committee. I'm so happy she did as it shows how many more legends could be added to the project in future phases.'

County Museum Curator, Brian Walsh in speaking of the project said: 'This project provided us with a fantastic opportunity to effectively bring an exhibition on to the streets of Dundalk. Our main problem was how to keep it to twelve people in the first phase. We did make a decision to veer away from politics but we did hit a wall on finding more women to feature. Of course we know there were more women out there who should be recognised as local heroes but maybe due to the times there were years ago, they couldn't or didn't want to be noticed. We would love to hear from anybody who can help us highlight our female heroes.'

The Argus

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