Heritage Week 2022
Reflecting on our Celebrations
The lead up to Heritage Week 2022 was particularly busy with plans for some very different events being finalised.
Heritage Week was opened with a Natural Heritage Event – ‘Forage by the River’ – on Saturday 13 August from 2 pm to 4 pm. This was a collaborative walk and talk event with Visual Artist, Therese Murphy and Forager, Olwyn Williams to explore riverbank biodiversity in our locality. It was a most interesting and educational event with the emphasis on what we can do to improve water quality for our collective and sustainable futures.
It is intended to follow up this event with a public meeting to draw attention to improving this important village amenity and to get expert advice on how best to achieve this and improve our river and the quality of the water.
Once again, after a two-year lapse because of COVID 19, we held our Cemetery Mass on Monday 15th August in the unique setting of Kilnalahan Monastery, the site of the only Carthusian Settlement in Ireland and dating back to 1252.
While this annual ceremony remembers all those who lived and died in this Monastery and also all those from Abbey and the adjoining parishes who have been buried in Kilnalahan cemetery, it is also important to remind young and old of the importance of preserving and respecting our built heritage and of re-visiting and re-learning some of its history.
Cultural Heritage – Digital Project
With this in mind our closing event on Sunday 21st August, held in the village Community Centre, focussed on our cultural heritage. We set out a village trail of ‘our place’ recalling a brief history of points of interest along the route. These can be accessed through the QR Codes system and locals and visitors to our village will be able to listen to the narrations recorded by various members of our community. One such point of interest is Kilnalahan Monastery, above, which we have linked to the narrated story and this can be accessed when the QR Code is scanned at the entrance to the monastery. All of these places of interest will be added to the Abbey Heritage website in the near future.
We also recorded stories from some of the older people in our village and intend to add to these as time allows. One such story was recorded only a few months ago by a 100-year old Abbey man – Vincent Conroy – who sadly passed away during Heritage week and it highlighted once again, the importance of collecting and preserving stories from our past.
‘Stories of our People and our Place’ was launched by John Donnelly who paid tribute to all involved in keeping the history and heritage of Abbey alive.
It is our hope in Abbey Heritage that this event will create increased interest in the local history and heritage of our village and that further stories will emerge in the future. This will enable us to revise and update existing stories and to add further ones to our collection.
At the launch of ‘Stories of our People and our Place’ – l to r: Grace Roche, Therese Murphy, Ann Hodgins, Frances Holohan, Niamh Holohan and Eileen Keane. Photo Courtesy: Colin Killeen