Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Heritage Notes - 30 July 2010

Rebuilding Melleray

Our picture this week comes courtesy of Marguerite Fraher and shows a unique group of men, none of them locals as far as we know. This was the group of forty seven workmen who completed the reconstruction of the main church at Mt. Melleray during the 1930s and, as you can see, they worked for a company known as Maguire and Short, of Dublin and Cork. It’s pretty unlikely that any of them is known in the locality today but this reproduction may be one way to find out…

The Cappoquin Collection

With sales of our new postcard collection having gone well over the 400 mark in recent weeks, we are now pleased to announce that the project is now in profit. The response to the collection has been tremendous and we hope it has added to the enjoyment of the area for any tourists or returning visitors. Available in the Credit Union, Post Office and Veales Market House.

United Nations project

We are continuing to search for photographs and other memorabilia from any local people who have served the United Nations over the past fifty years. To date, we have made contact with the families of three late Congo veterans, and with Jim Fives of Tourin, a Congo survivor now living in Galway. We have also sent out feelers for any information on the careers of administrators with local connections like Frank Crowe and Maire Mac An tSaoi, and have made contact with the army in an effort to track down as many locals as possible who may have served in peacekeeping forces in Cyprus, the Lebanon, Chad and so on. Once again, if anyone has memorabilia which you would like to lend us for a small exhibition in late August, drop in to Cara at the Credit Union or any other member of the Heritage Group would be glad to hear from you too.

Raft Building

Finally, a reminder that the raft race is now just three and a half weeks away and there is no time like the present to get started on some boat building. The two-year gap since the last event certainly seems to have whetted people’s appetites for the event this year, so don’t leave it too late to make a start.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Heritage Notes - 16 July 2010

United Nations Exhibit Plan

With the various Carnival events now put to bed, we are turning our heritage focus for the next six weeks or so to trying to gather as much material as possible about the involvement of local people in the United Nations. It is fifty years ago this month since the first UN peace keeping mission to involve Irish troops began, in the Congo. It may seem strange, but in the summer of 1960, the names of Patrice Lumumba and Moise Tshombe were almost household names in Cappoquin! These were the leading figures in the growing civil war in the Congo, where men like Jim Fives, John Murphy, Mossie O’Connor and Tom Hackett served with distinction. Cappoquin’s Frank Crowe, and one or two others, served the United Nations in a number of high-level administrative posts around the same time.

Since the 1960s, many local troops have seen service with the UN in Lebanon, Bosnia, Chad and elsewhere and some of them even still find the energy for a bit of hurling or soccer locally. We feel it is only fitting that we try to commemorate some of the people at least who have worked so hard over fifty years in the cause of international peace. Our research to date with the army archives suggests it will be difficult to trace every local who has been involved but we will see what we can do. If anyone has information, photographs or any memorabilia from our local links with the UN, please let any Heritage Group member know as soon as possible. We hope to mount an exhibition in late August, if we get enough material, and perhaps to create something a little more permanent after that.

This week’s photo

An interesting picture this week, kindly donated by Tom and Olivia Murray of Kilbree. It shows a group of teachers and students at Cappoquin Vocational School, all seated in the gender-based fashion of the time. It dates, apparently, from around 1938 and includes some fascinating educational items from the time. Note the hand-crafted firescreen at the front, and the rack of rolling pins at the back corner. Is that a gramophone player at the far right? Woodwork teacher Mr Halpin is standing near the centre of this picture but if anyone can give us additional detail about the people in the picture it would be great.

Just when you thought it was safe…

It back! After a two-year break, the great Blackwater Raft Race is once again going to make a splash in Cappoquin. Tony and co (the ‘Rock’ group) are holding this year’s extravaganza on Saturday, August 21st, so put that date in your diary. All proceeds will go to support the great work being done at the Rock and no doubt a great day will be had. The event will be covered under Civic Link insurance as before and we have high hopes for making good use of some of the more ‘fashionable’ rafts for another event in the future, but more of that anon. For now, it’s all hands to the wheel, tiller or whatever takes your fancy for August 21st.