An awareness of the untold story of the heritage of Lough Ree encouraged members of the local community to establish the Glasson Lough Ree Heritage Group.
Their determination was recently rewarded with a successful funding application to the Heritage Council under the Community Grants Scheme 2021.
Local county councillor and committee Chairman, Frankie Keena, noted his delight that the Heritage Council has approved €4,600 funding towards the audit for this study area.
“Glasson and the surrounding areas are rich in heritage sites that not only includes the built heritage but also the heritage of the inner lakes and islands.
“The Glasson Lough Ree heritage group have a fantastic and enthusiastic committee who are delighted to have secured the professional services of Dr Eoin Sullivan of Gort Archaeology fame. The support from Westmeath County Council’s Heritage Officer, Melanie McQuade, is very much appreciated.
“At this stage the heritage group would like to invite the wider community including students from Tubberclare National school to assist us with our work. The completed heritage audit will be made available to the public and will be disseminated to local schools, the Athlone library, the Heritage Council, Failte Ireland and all other interested groups,” Cllr Keena stated.
The Heritage group secretary, Lisa Connaughton, expressed her satisfaction with the funding received by the group.
“I believe it affords recognition to the value of the heritage in this area. The committee, as a whole, is looking forward to working with Dr Eoin Sullivan who will be preparing the heritage audit with the community over the summer months,” Lisa commented.
Dr. Eoin Sullivan stated that he was really enthused to explore local monuments from the land and water, more typically associated with coastal areas.
“That’s the uniqueness of the lakes of Westmeath and Lough Ree which are a treat to research. I am very fortunate to work with community stalwarts like Johnny Coghill who has a vast wealth of knowledge on the area and is eager to share,” Dr Sullivan remarked.
The Glasson Lough Ree heritage group will regularly inform the community of audit developments and potential discoveries courtesy of social media and are encouraging local residents to become involved so that a deep and rich narrative of the area is realised.
“The Glasson Lough Ree heritage group are enthusiastically looking forward to uncovering the rich heritage of the locality, in particular, committee member,Aine Ryan, who is eager to create an exciting and engaging piece to celebrate the heritage of Ballykeeran and Glasson environs for Heritage Week 2021,” Lisa continued.
To keep up to date with what is happening and how the project is progressing, follow the Glasson Lough Ree heritage group on social media @lough_Ree on twitter and Instagram and on the Glasson Lough Ree Facebook page.
While the enchanting and tranquil Lough Ree is nestled in the Hidden Heartlands, Killinure Lough, Ballykeeran and Glasson’s rich heritage will soon be hidden no more. These areas and their resident’s stories will resonate that bit better with much appreciated supports and encouragement from the Heritage Council.