Monday 15 July 2019

History comes to life at Ballymore

Richard McCormack, Enniscorthy Historical Reenactment Society.
Richard McCormack, Enniscorthy Historical Reenactment Society.

Cathy Lee

Ballymore Historic Features museum marked its 25 years in existence with a special celebratory event, with guest speakers speaking about the site to the group of about 50 people that turned out to Ballyoughter to enjoy the museum and art gallery all under the sunshine in the picturesque grounds.

Ballymore is an old family property located away from the main routes in a particularly scenic part of North Wexford.

It retains many features which have survived from past periods of occupation, and all are secured in amongst mature trees, in a location that has views of the surrounding countryside.

Part of the Wexford Heritage Trail, Ballymore Historic Features contains both family and local history, and includes vintage farm equipment, a nineteenth century wedding dress, as well as a room dedicated to 1798 memorabilia.

Maria Nolan, Richard O'Sullivan and the rest of the 16 members of Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society treated the audience to a re-telling of the story of the Norman invasion, which started in Wexford in 1169.

The group began by wielding swords and wearing chain mail, helmets and leg wraps and they acted out the ancient tale of Skulduggery, starting with Strongbow and Dermot MacMurrough.

'A plentiful sprinkling of jokes added to the entertainment,' said Katie Donovan of Ballymore Historic Features.

Poet and professor Bill McCormack from Shillelagh gave a speech about the long-standing plurality of Irish identity, from the United Irishmen to the Irish soldiers who fought in the British Army in World War II. Margaret Donovan, the proprietor of Ballymore Historic Features, paid tribute to her late husband, Richard Donovan, who died 14 years ago the same day.

'Together they created the award-winning museum and gallery on the North Wexford family farm, parts of which date back to the 17th century,' said Katie.

Guests at the event included bookseller Ruth Webster, writer Adrian Kenny and local historian Brian Cleary.

Gorey Guardian