Thursday 22 August 2019

National conference looked into our rich oral history

Conor Nelligan, County Heritage Officer

Last weekend, and for the first time, the Oral History Network of Ireland Annual Conference took place in Cork.

The venue was the Western Gateway building on the Western Road, Cork City, which is part of the U.C.C. campus. Over Friday 7th and Saturday 8th of October, a number of wonderful speakers covered a range of fascinating topics regarding oral heritage in Ireland and further afield, with wonderful examples provided.

The County of Cork is lucky to have a number of Oral History groups, with the Cork Folklore Project and the West Cork Oral History group being two of the most prominent.

Oral history is key to obtaining the full human experience of life. For example, in the context of oral interviews carried out with participants in Ireland's War of Independence and Civil War, such recordings over the decades have proved invaluable in understanding the impact of this defining period of Irish history.

This year, 2016, the Heritage Unit of Cork County Council, is producing a publication looking at the War of Independence and Civil War and the impact in Cork, as well as a range of other periods including 1916, the Fenian Rising of 1867, the Land Wars, the Young Irelanders, the United Irishmen and the Whiteboys and will furthermore examine the impact of the Norman invasion in Cork from the late 12th century onwards.

The publication, which is nearing completion, has benefited greatly from dozens of public submissions that have really added to the overall depth and scope of the publication, and it is anticipated that the publication will be available in December this year.

Now as we turn our attention to upcoming events, there is plenty on the horizon this coming week. On Saturday 15th October, a new film will premiere in Ballinascarthy Hall, called "Fordes of Ballinascarty - Freedom from Famine".

The film is set in 1847 in Ballinascarthy with the Forde families suffering from the hunger of The Great Famine, and deciding to emigrate to America. Among that contingent is 21 year old, William Forde, who was later to become the father of the famous industrialist Henry Forde.

"We are bursting with pride in Ballinascarthy to have completed this long awaited film on this chapter of our history, which has not been documented previously. Ballinascarthy Foróige Youth Group are at the backbone of this film and the teenagers did most of the research, costumes, lighting, sound and camera work themselves, with the help of film maker Tim McCoy. This is a 45 minute production that took almost 18 months to complete".

All are welcome to what sounds like a great evening. Due to popular demand, the film will also be shown on Sunday at 8pm.

Also on the evening of the 15th as well as the 16th will be a wonderful night(s) of drama in Glanworth. Four one-act plays written by members of Glanworth Players for the 1916 commemorations, which have not been performed previously will take place, including 'Bulls' eyes and silk scarves' by Bernard Gallagher; 'Matters a Rising?' by Tim Roche, 'The Sheare Street Standoff' by Bernard Gallagher and '1916 We can all dream can't we?' by Michael Murphy.

The performances look set to be of a very high caliber and all are welcome to attend.

On Monday, 17th October, in the Ballincolling Rugby Club at 20:00, historian Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel will give a fascinating talk on the beginnings of Kilcrea and Crookstown in a lecture entitled 'Kilcrea and Crookstown in the Middle Ages: The European dimension'. The event has been organised by the Muskerry Local History Society and admission for the lecture is €3 to cover costs, all welcome.

Later in the week on Wednesday 19th there will be a talk in the Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, Geology and Geography Building, U.C.C., commencing at 18:00 and entitled 'Once Removed from Revolution'; second generation memory of the 1916 Rising.

The talk, which is part of the Autumn 2016 Public Lectures Series entitled 'Reconsidering the Rising' will be given by Dr. Helene O' Keefe, School of History, and all are welcome to attend.

Next week's article will take a look at many of the further events planned for the end of October.