Sunday 22 September 2019

Heritage Week walk takes a trip through time in Charleville

Walk back in time led by Evelyn O'Keeffe and Sr Bernadette Maria

Michael McGrath

Heritage week was marked in Charleville by Charleville Heritage Society with a walk, in which buildings and places of historical interest were highlighted by Evelyn O'Keeffe and Sr. Bernadette Maria of the Society.

The walk was followed by a talk on 'Education in Charleville Through the Years' at the Mercy Heritage Centre in Main Street. The walk started at the Plaza, where Ms O'Keeffe gave the history of the Protestant Church, now the town library, followed by information on the Post Office, the Republican Monument,  and Fenial Hall, the former C.B.S. building and Allied Irish Bank, which was the first building to be slated in the town in 1830.

Then it was on to the location of the town's lanes, which at one time housed almost two thirds of the town's population. Walkers heard about the Market House and the building from which Daniel O'Connell addressed one of his Monster Meetings in 1843, saw the house where Professor Daniel Binchy, who was the first Irish Minister to Germany from 1929 to 1932, was born in 1899, and further down the street the house where the Browne brothers were born, one of whom, Robert, became the Bishop of Cloyne, and the other, James, was the father of the famous Jesuit photographer Fr. Francis Browne, renowned for his pictures of the ill-fated Titanic, which he left in Cobh Harbour, having travelled on the ship from Southampton.

Walkers also heard about the town's former National Bank building, which was opened by Daniel O'Connell in 1835 and now houses one of the town's two credit union offices. Sr. Bernadette Maria's talk covered the hedge schools, the Endowed School, Charter School, St. Brighid's Classical School, which was run by An t-Athair Peadar Ó Laoighre, the introduction of the national school system to Charleville, and the the modern St. Mary's School for girls and the Boys CBS, and the defunct Mannix College, which is now a centre for further adult education run by the ETB. There was also an exhibition of lace and crochet work, and other examples of hobbies from times past in Charleville, which attracted a lot of attention from the attendance.