Sunday 25 August 2019

Programme emerging for Heritage Week events

Mike McGrath's Charleville

The members of Charleville Heritage Society, who are still basking in the success of their hosting of the Goodwick Brass Band and Croesgoch Heritage Society over the weekend of Charleville Agricultural Show, are now looking forward to celebrating National Heritage Week from the 17th to the 25th of August next.

They hope to organise a town walk, a talk on 'Education in Charleville' as well as a talk on the revival of lace and crochet making in the town, as well as a photographic exhibition over the course of heritage week. All events will take place in the Provincial Heritage Centre.

It will be recalled that lace making and crochet work was started by the Mercy Nuns among the young women of the town after they took over the operation of the former fever hospital in Smith's Lane after the famine years in the 1850's. This was a thriving business in which the produce of the Charleville women was exported to the United States via an agent in Cork City.

The business flourished up to the time of the American War of Independence when the hostilities there put an end to the export trade from Ireland and the business fell away and was discontinued.

The building afterwards became known as St. Josephs Infant's School. Today, it is called the Mannix Block and is part of St. Mary's Secondary School.

The upcoming talk is to explore the possibility of reviving the craft of lace making and crochet work locally, and perhaps re-establishing Charleville lace on a par with that of Limerick or Carrickmacross in the fashion world.