Showcase of Wicklow's heritage
History lovers, artists and community group representatives attended a free local heritage seminar, Our Wicklow Heritage: Sharing Our Stories, in the Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh, recently.
The morning session featured the latest Our Wicklow Heritage initiatives in 2018 with speakers on a selection of recent projects, including exhibition, animation, film, digitisation and music - showcasing examples of creative ways of gathering and sharing information about Wicklow's heritage.
Wicklow Heritage Officer Deirdre Burns gave updates on a range of projects carried out this year, including Our Wicklow Women - a community-sourced exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the People's Representation Act of 1918 which allowed women to vote for the first time; The River Liffey Stories, a series of short films exploring the natural and cultural heritage of this part of north Wicklow and Blooming Bees, an animated film in support of the National Pollination Plan.
Catherine Wright of the County Archives and Genealogy Service gave an update on the latest collections to be digitised in the County Archives, including the Wicklow Workhouse Records, as well as upcoming special collaborative projects: Coolattin Estate tenant records database and the Wicklow-Cumberland Miners Project.
Sample projects supported under the Creative Wicklow programme were also showcased, including: Kevin and Eleanor Lee from the Coolattin-Canadian Connection spoke about their innovative project linking Canadian-Irish descendants to their homeplace on the Coolattin Estate in County Wicklow - promoting the rich heritage of this beautiful part of the county.
Paul Flynn presented on a project from the Schoolhouse For Art which researched and celebrated the lesser known story of artist Paul Henry's close association with the Enniskerry area and his romance with Mabel Young.
Fay Whelan from the Kilmacanogue History Society spoke about their oral history project and the development of an online training resource.
The seminar was treated to a beautiful music performance by young harpist Rose from the Bray Harp ensemble. Rose's mother, Caroline Hill, spoke about the first synod of harpists from Ireland, England and Wales at Glendalough in the 11th century and how it was marked by a concert with new compositions at the Brockagh Centre in August 2018 with the help of Creative Wicklow funding.
Roisin Burke and Neil Jackman of Abarta Heritage gave a presentation on their experience on the recent Wicklow Trails heritage recording project, co-ordinated jointly by Wicklow County Council and the Wicklow Uplands.
As part of this project Abarta have compiled extensive information on over 50 selected points of interest from Bray to Woodenbridge as a baseline to inform the future development of interpretation and tourism services. Information includes desktop research, photos, interviews and a short film.