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Wexford residents invited to take a step back through time at launch of new oral history collection

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At the launch of the collection in December 2018. Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, Michael Fortune and the late Fr Donal Berney.

At the launch of the collection in December 2018. Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, Michael Fortune and the late Fr Donal Berney.

Eileen O'Sullivan.

Eileen O'Sullivan.

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At the launch of the collection in December 2018. Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, Michael Fortune and the late Fr Donal Berney.

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People from across the community are invited to take a journey back through time at the long-awaited launch of a new folklore/ oral history collection in Ballyfad Hall this Friday, June 17.

Produced by artist/ folklorist, Michael Fortune and members of the Old Kilnenor Historical Society, this work been in the pipeline for some time. In December 2018, Michael Fortune and the Old Kilnenor Historical Society launched three collections of folklore/oral history entitled ‘A Ramble Through Time’ in Ballyfad. While they received further support from the Arts Department of Wexford County Council to produce another collection, this was put on hold when one of their founding members, Fr. Donal Berney passed away in August 2019. Meanwhile, the onset of the pandemic caused further delays to the launch.

Now, over three years later, Michael and the group are preparing to launch volumes four and five of the new collection. The latest volumes feature new content from local people as they chat and bring us on rambles through the fields, yards and homes around the area. Interviews were recorded in homes and local sites, and content ranges from the 1798 Rising to Fair Days, and from old pastimes to local superstitions and beliefs. Each interview has been catalogued for ease of viewing and for historical research. These new collections feature stories from Tom Cullen, Mary Fortune, Joe Miller, Peter Kelly, Maureen Cullen, Tom Boland, Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, Kathleen Kinsella, Eileen O’Sullivan, Patsy and Nellie Murray.

"The areas have one of the richest streams of folklore in the county and it is great to be able to hold a mirror up to the lives of the people and their stories,” said Michael.

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The launch takes place in Ballyfad Hall at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 17 and will be officially launched by Cllr. Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin. Michael and the group will give an introduction to the project and the content and will present a screening of some of the material which stands out in the collection. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

The films will be made available to watch for free on the YouTube channels of Old Kilnenor Historical Society and Michael Fortune (folklore.ie). For more information and to get these links please, you can contact Michael by phone on 087 6470247, email micfortune@gmail.com or keep updated on their social media pages. The project was supported by the Old Kilnenor Historical Society and the Arts Department of Wexford County Council.


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