County Kildare historians meet in Kilcullen
Historians from all over Co Kildare assembled in the Kilcullen Heritage Centre for the 12th annual AGM and Seminar of the Co Kildare Federation of Local History Groups. Ger Mc Carthy, Federation Chairperson welcomed the representatives from over twenty local history groups from around the county who come together each year to exchange views and share information about their activities and projects. The Co Kildare Federation of Local History Groups was formed in 1999 in order to optimise the resources of local groups and foster communications, exchange ideas, and generally raise the awareness of local history groups within the county as well as improve accessibility and representation on relevant county committees and associations. Paddy Behan of Naas Local History Group the MC for the seminar introduced Co Kildare Deputy Mayor Cllr Senan Griffin who officially opened the proceedings and spoke with fondness and nostalgia about his own involvement in local history and praised the groups for the work which they do in fostering the history and heritage of their areas.
The guest speaker of the seminar was Dr Marian Lyons, Professor of History, NUI, Maynooth who spoke at length about the many facets of involvement of the Irish on the European mainland in a lecture entitled “The Irish in Europe, 1600 – 1820, featuring profiles of Kildare émigrés” This is an area where most of us are not familiar as we tend to think of emigration to the Americas and Australia, but those of us who were fortunate enough to be present to hear Dr Lyons speak on this subject will look on this aspect of our past in a more understanding and enlightened way in the future. Dr Lyons has published extensively on Franco-Irish relations and Irish migration to continental Europe in the early modern period as well as on various aspects of Irish history, she is a delightful speaker and her subject was both entertaining and absorbing.
Mario Corrigan, Executive Librarian, Co Kildare Library Service spoke on the excellent service available to local history enthusiasts to help and encourage them in the research of the history of their local areas. Mario was praised by many speakers for his commitment to local history and genealogy. The attendance was loud in their praise for the service and support that Kildare Co Library and Heritage Service provide.
The next item on the agenda was the election of a committee to run the affairs of the federation over the next year. It has been the custom of the federation since its foundation for the annual meeting to elect about ten members from the attendance and that this committee would then elect their officer board from amongst that group, Present officers and committee especially Ger McCarthy and PRO and webmaster Adrian Mullowney, were praised for their work during the past year.
The members “speake” followed, this is a part of the proceedings where each group speak about themselves. This session is always enjoyable and informative as most groups tell about their own areas, projects, publications and activities during the previous year. This closed the morning session and after a most enjoyable lunch in Fallon’s Restaurant the afternoon field trip was to the serene country setting of Yellow Bog to view the beautiful and historic St John’s Church, with its beautiful stained glass windows and many memorials to local families and war veterans, a fitting completion to a most successful seminar.
Annual Seminar Saturday 8th October 2011
9. 30am Assembly, Registration Tea / Coffee
10. 00 Official Opening by Michael “Spike” Nolan, Mayor of Kildare
10.30 “The Irish in Europe, 1600-1820, featuring profiles ofKildare émigrés” Lecture by Dr. Mary Ann Lyons, Professor of Modern History, NUI, Maynooth.
11.45 Address by Mario Corrigan, Executive Librarian, Co. Kildare Library Services
12. 00 Annual General Meeting. Reports and election of officers & committee.
12.15 Society Speake
1.15 Lunch in Fallon’s Restaurant
2.45 Field Trip to St. John’s Church, Yellow Bog.
Cost inc. lunch – €20