Genealogy day prompts people to root around

At the genealogy day in association with the East Kerry Roots Festival on Friday were: Catriona Dunlea, Sheila Daly, Gareth Lawless, Rachel Foley, Joan Holland, Kay Daly, Robert Templeman and Timothy Murphy. Credit: Photo by John Reidy
At the genealogy day in association with the East Kerry Roots Festival on Friday were: Catriona Dunlea, Sheila Daly, Gareth Lawless, Rachel Foley, Joan Holland, Kay Daly, Robert Templeman and Timothy Murphy. Credit: Photo by John Reidy

FOR a topic with such a narrow and specific focus, the East Kerry Roots Festival committee attracted up to 30 people to their Genealogy Coffee event at An Riocht Athletic Club on Friday.

Manfully working through their traditional Nollaig Na mban holiday, the women of the committee greeted all comers with coffee / tea, a mountain of Christmas cake and confectionary and a few polite questions.

They were after the information their visitors could provide them with to help them build a successful East Kerry Roots Festival this coming August from the 21st to 26th.

And this is just the start of their information gathering process.

"We intend to move around to the various centres within the Sliabh Luachra area to places like: Brosna, Scartaglin and Kilcummin and where ever we can meet people with information or help to get the festival up and running," said spokesperson, Kay Daly.

"We thought we might have been busier on the day but as it turned out there was a lot of work to be done on many of the enquiries we got in. We were able to guide people in the right direction. One woman in particular was delighted at the fact that she could now go about tracing her family line after her visit to us on Friday," said Ms. Daly.

The East Kerry Roots Festival will be held in the general East Kerry area from Tuesday 21st to Sunday 26th of August and during National Heritage Week. It is hoped that the festival will gain a hold in the annual calendar of events in these parts.

The festival is being shaped into a celebration of the unique culture and heritage of the greater Sliabh Luachra area.

"We are hoping to encourage people from around the world, who have an ancestral link to East Kerry, to come back home for the this 'Week of Welcomes' and enjoy the activities and events being organised for the festival in Castleisland and the surrounding parishes," according to the press release from the organisers.

In the course of the press release there is a paragraph headed: Why get involved:

"For the times we live in, this is a project that enables communities to do something very positive for themselves. Rather that waiting for government, local or central, it shows a way forward to develop our own communities, providing social, cultural and economic opportunities for family, friends and neighbours. Through this project, parishes are being enabled to develop the prospects of their own areas by connection with their own community worldwide."

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