Friday 23 August 2019

Heritage Week in Ballymote

Judge Keenan Johnson is delivering a lecture and officially opening the week
Judge Keenan Johnson is delivering a lecture and officially opening the week

The 30th Annual Ballymote Heritage Weekend is running from Friday, August 2nd to Monday, August 5th.

Organised by the Ballymote Heritage Group, there is a comprehensive programme of lectures of a cultural and historical nature. The Heritage Group will also organise a number of visits to places of historical and topical interest. The lectures will take place in the Teagasc Centre, Carrownanty, Ballymote. Admission to each lecture will be €10. This year the committee has engaged speakers from Dublin, Sligo, Meath and Paris. All four speakers will focus on aspects of the history of Co. Sligo. These dissertations, with subsequent audience participation, will take place nightly at 8.30pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

On Friday, Judge Keenan Johnson will perform the official opening of the weekend's activities. Judge Johnson's lecture, which is entitled "Irish Legal History at the turn of the 19th Century with a focus on County Sligo", is manifestly appropriate when we consider that Keenan and his father, the late P. Keenan Johnson, have both worked as solicitors in Ballymote and they have also served as members of the Irish judiciary. Keenan was a founder member of the Corran Herald and he contributed the title for the well-esteemed annual historical journal. Judge Johnson is a Ballymote native who now resides in Dublin with his wife Marie and their children Ciara and Odhran.

The second lecture on Saturday will be delivered by Marion O'Dowd, lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology in the School of Science, IT Sligo.

Marion's lecture is entitled "Sligo's archaeology, history and folklore, as revealed through caves.".

Marion's published book "Underground Archaeology: Studies on Human Bones and Artefacts from Ireland's Caves" has received wide acclaim.

Dr. Karen Ralph, New York University, Paris is Sunday's speaker. The subject of Karen's lecture will be "The Illumination of the Book of Ballymote".

It is interesting to note that there are 429 individual artistic illustrations in the Book of Ballymote. Dr. Ralph lectures in medieval art history in Paris.

The final lecture on Monday will feature Trim based historian and poet, Dr. Michael Farry. Michael is a native of Coolaney and is the author of a number of Co. Sligo histories.

These are "Killoran & Coolaney - A Local History", "A Chronicle of Conflict, Sligo 1914 - 1921" and "The Aftermath of Revolution - Sligo 1921 - 23". The collections of his poems "Asking for Directions" was published in 2012.

Michael has also contributed articles to the Ballymote historical journal "The Corran Herald".

Dr. Farry's lecture will deal with "Sligo 1919, with a particular focus on South Sligo". Outings include a local history walking tour of Ballymote on Sunday and a coach tour to Birr Castle & Gardens on Monday.

Sligo Champion