One night only to view Innisfallen's famous Annals

Published 11/09/2013 | 05:36

Innisfallen Island
Innisfallen Island

THE first-ever public viewing in Killarney of the only copy of The Annals of Innisfallen is sure to attract strong interest from far and wide but it may just be an appetiser for more ambitious plans.

THE first-ever public viewing in Killarney of the only copy of The Annals of Innisfallen is sure to attract strong interest from far and wide but it may just be an appetiser for more ambitious plans.

The viewing is for one night only in Killarney Library and forms part of the Culture Night celebrations of Friday, September 20 - it comes, though, just as soundings have been made to have the original annals returned to Killarney.

The original annals have been housed in the Bodleian Library in Oxford University for more than a century but Minister for Arts, Heritage and The Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan believes they could take pride of place in Killarney House which is currently under restoration and due to open in a matter of months.

"Killarney House would provide a spectacular site to showcase these wonderful works and we will certainly pursue the idea," the minister remarked.

While calls previously to have the annals returned were silenced over costing and storage concerns, Minister Deenihan believes this would no longer be the case.

"Of course, cost would be a factor but the benefits for tourism and culture would be huge," he stated.

"Security was also a concern but we feel that a proper and fully secured exhibition area could be maintained. It would be a huge asset to the town and to the county and a symbol of the level of academic excellence that prevailed in Innisfallen at that time," he added.

While no approach has been made to Oxford University, the minister said a viable plan for the local storage and display of the annals was needed before making any case.

Meanwhile, the special viewing of the only available copy of the annals will be officially opened at 6pm on September 20 by Mayor of Killarney Paddy Courtney.

"This is a unique opportunity and something people should avail of as they are a special record of medieval times," the mayor stated. There is free admission to Killarney Library on the night.

Written by the monks of Innisfallen Abbey and detailing the medieval history of Ireland, the annals were written sometime between the 12th and 15th Centuries.

Kerryman

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