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February 2020
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Monday 17 Feb. at 8.00 p.m. Paul Clements  

‘The spirit of the Shannon: a journey along the River Shannon in Richard Hayward’s footsteps’ 


In August 1939 the Irish travel writer Richard Hayward set out on a road trip to explore the Shannon just two weeks before the Second World War broke out. His evocative account of that trip, Where the River Shannon Flows, became a bestseller. The book, still sought after by lovers of the river, captures an Ireland of small shops and barefoot street urchins that has long since disappeared.
  
Eighty years on, inspired by his work, Paul Clements retraces Hayward’s journey along the river, following – if not strictly in his footsteps – then within the spirit of his trip. From the Shannon Pot in Cavan, 344 kilometres south to the Shannon estuary, his meandering odyssey takes him by car, on foot, and by bike and boat, discovering how the riverscape has changed but is still powerful in symbolism. While he recreates Hayward's trip, Clements also paints a compelling portrait of twenty-first century Ireland. He sails to remote islands, spends time in rural backwaters and secluded riverside villages where the pub is the hub, and attempts a quest for the Shannon connection behind the title of Flann O’Brien’s novel At Swim-Two-Birds
Paul Clements
Paul Clements is a journalist, broadcaster and author of five travel books about Ireland. Irish Shores: A Journey Round the Rim of Ireland was published in 1993, The Height of Nonsense: The Ultimate Irish Road Trip (2005), Burren Country: Travels Through an Irish Limestone Landscape (2011), Wandering Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way: From Banba’s Crown to World’s End (2016), and his new book based on journey along the River Shannon is forthcoming later this year (2020). For this book he has followed in the footsteps of the writer, actor and singer Richard Hayward who wrote about the Shannon in 1939 and made an accompanying film Where the River Shannon Flows. In 2014 Paul’s biography of Hayward, Romancing Ireland, was published by Lilliput Press and adapted for BBC Television. He is a contributing writer to Fodor’s Essential Ireland and The Rough Guide to Ireland, and his territory for these guidebooks covers parts of the North, Northwest, Midlands and the West of Ireland. He also contributes regular local history book reviews and ‘Irishman’s Diaries’ to the Irish Times. Paul has written and edited two books about the travel writer and historian Jan Morris, who lives in Wales. In recent years, his freelance writing has taken him to France and in 2018 he received the Atout France award for the Best Culture Feature about the Lascaux Caves in the Dordogne.
 
 
We hope to see a good attendance.

Report from AGM of 27 January 2020.


Your 2019 Committee was re-elected for 2020 Helen Bracken (President), Michael Byrne, Dorothee Bibby, Pat Wynne, Charlie Finlay, Noel Guerin, Henry Edgill, Peter Burke, Niall Sweeney, Angela Kelly, Rory Masterson, Shaun Wrafter, Oliver Dunne, Ciarán McCabe, Frank Brennan, Stephen Callaghan, Reneagh Bennett, Michael Scully. In addition the committee has agreed the co-ption of Paddy Clarke, Tullamore and Jim Keating, Tullamore together with the renewed co-option of Stephen Callaghan, Reneagh Bennett, Michael Scully.

The reports from the President, Treasurer, Secretary and Lisa Shortall were read and will be published in the forthcoming Offaly Heritage 11. The membership total for the year was 128. The company accounts are for audit currently as is the CE Scheme.

Currently the Society is having to fund works to the vacant first floor (estimates awaited) and the company has directors’ loans in respect of the archive of €27,000 arising from the new archives expenditure. More on this as the year progresses. The formal opening date for the new archives has not been fixed as yet but it is expected for late March or April.

Offaly history blog every week

We publish a local history article every week on Offaly History Blog and the site now has over 150 illustrated articles all to help you and for you to enjoy. We welcome contributions marked Editor, Offalyhistoryblog to be sent to info@offalyhistory.com. The blogs are read by 1,000 people every week. Today over 100,000 have viewed the stories we put up. Don’t miss out. The most recent blogs were as follows:

Dancing with the Stars and the Tyrrellspass connection. By Bríd Ryan

Workhouse orphan emigration, particularly those from Parsonstown (Birr). By Perry McIntyre

Walking the stream at Ballinagar and district by John Malone

Offaly Archives: an overview of the local government archival collections. By Erin Sears

Some Egan family members enter the church: Brothers, Sisters and Cousins: Ireland 1850-1918. By Maurice Egan

The Queen, Princess Margaret and Dooly’s Hotel, Birr by Cosney Molloy
OHAS trip to the Rhineland Palatinate
 
from Friday 2nd October - Wednesday 7th October 2020

includes: 
bus transfers: OHAS / Dublin Airport return
  • return flights: Dublin/Cologne-Bonn with Eurowings Airline
  • 6 day coach touring around Rhineland Palatinate
  • 3 star Hotel with swimming pool: 5 nights including breakfast
  • dinner in the hotel on arrival www.vitabalance-hotel.de
  • visit a wine producer and the wine festival in Rheinbrohl (some may remember it from before...)
  • engage with the locals and learn about the living conditions over the last 100 years
  • enjoy an evening in Coblenz 
  • explore Maastricht, one of the oldest cities of Holland and take a stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of Monschau with its idyllic half-timbered houses
  • discover the many beautiful sights of the oldest city of Germany, Worms
  • and the multimedia Nibelungen Museum displaying the timeless masterworks created in literature like Richard Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelung" 
  • 2020 shows the world celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven. Visit his birthplace in in Bonn
  • as always – we have few more surprises in the hat!
 
Places are limited to 50 pax
Cost = 885 Euros
Booking Form: 
OHAS trip to Germany 
Fri 2nd / Wed 7th October 2020
Cost: 885.00 €  
 
 
Name(s) of participant (s):

Contact address:

Phone Number:

Email:

Please tick:
Single Room         
Double Room
Twin Room  -   sharing with:                                                                     

Seat(s) from OHAS, Bury Quay with Carroll’s Bus needed

(No reduction if bus is not needed. No single room surcharges.)

Please Email a copy of Passport your passport to dorothyhermann@ymail.com

450 Euro deposit to pay on booking please!
 
(We have various deposits to pay for buses, hotels and flights)
Final amount becomes due by 15th of August 2020.
  •  cheques to be made payable to:    Offaly Heritage Centre
  • cash payments to Lisa Shortall at OHAS premises, Bury Quay, Tullamore
    between 9 am and 4 pm, Mon – Fri
 
Direct transfer to OH bank account
Our account details if you wish to lodge directly rather than a cheque (payee Offaly Heritage Centre).
Offaly Heritage Centre
A/c 901909 38028690
IBAN IE31 BOFI 9019 0938 0286 90
BIC BOFIIE2D
 
If contributing in this way please email us to confirm.

We also have credit card facilities but an additional charge of 2% will arise on this method.

Please specify if a special diet, bedspreads for allergic persons or other requirements are needed.
 
Organisers contact: dorothyhermann@ymail.com  089-2272656

Looking forward having you all on board

Dorothée
Photographer James Fraher has documented the dramatic industrial complex at Derrinlough Briquette Factory in a series of black and white photos. A selection is on display in the Atrium.  This was a collaboration between James Fraher and the team at Derrinlough Briquette Factory.  In 2020 a book of photos which includes explanatory notes by Shift Foreman Jimmy Shortt will be launched.
Photographs will be on show for the month of February.
This project has been supported by Creative Ireland.

Handy Links

  1. Our Laois-Offaly family records are posted on Roots Ireland site and comprise over one million items.
  2. Our books about Offaly for sale are in the shop section of offalyhistory.com and the catalogue can be downloaded also.
  3. The Library catalogue is also there and serves as a useful local and family history bibliography. It currently runs to almost 12,000 titles and 20,000 books.
  4. We publish a local history article every week on Offaly History Blog and the site now has over 120 illustrated articles all to help you and for you to enjoy. We welcome contributions marked Editor, Offaly History Blog to be sent to info@offalyhistory.com
  5. We have uploaded guides to County Offaly including the towns of Tullamore, Birr and Banagher. See touring information in the Touring Offaly section of www.offalyhistory.com.
  6. We publish Offaly Heritage with ten issues since 2003 containing over one hundred articles and over one million words of Offaly history.
  7. We have completed a new Offaly Archives at an overall cost of €750,000. We have a donate button on our website if you would like to assist us.
  8. Email us at info@offalyhistory.com

Annual Membership subscription is now due. We urge you to pay by standing order, or next best via Paypal.  Help us save cost by using email.

 

We can notify you of lectures and other events at short notice if you send us per email or post your mobile number.

Special offer on Capard at €30  - a saving on the €40 retail price. Available in store only.

 

Caitriona Devery, Pollagh Heritage Group, The Story of Brickmaking in Pollagh, County Offaly. Softback, €15.

This is a unique story written with the community of Pollagh detailing the evolution of the village as shaped by the brick making industry. The first-hand information has been gathered through interviews over the past decades, combined with more recent research. It provides a wonderful insight into the process of making handmade bricks as well as showing the determination and hard work that was necessary part of survival for Pollagh families in the nineteenth century and beyond.

 

Mary Ward’s Sketches with the microscope, reprinted by Offaly History with introductory essays by Michael Byrne and John Feehan (Ferbane, 150 pp, hardback, €20).
This is a very limited run, so book your copy now. It’s in full colour hardback, a delight for all the family of all ages. Put away that Christmas present now.
Born in Ferbane to the King family of Ballylin, and cousin of the 3rd Earl of Rosse. Mary Ward became a well-known artist, naturalist, astronomer and microscopist.   The reprint is a faithful full-colour facsimile of the original publication and features new introductory essays by Michael Byrne and John Feehan. Some copies of the book are still available but order soon online or call to Offaly History Centre. Supported by Creative Ireland.
Renew your membership for 2020
Copyright © 2020 Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2020 Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, All rights reserved.


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Copyright © 2020 Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, All rights reserved.


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