The Irish Workhouse Centre Project in Portumna was the overall winner at the annual Galway County Heritage Awards, which were held in Loughrea last week.
The overall winner this year, the Portumna project overseen by South East Galway IRD, involves the development and preservation of buildings comprising the Irish Workhouse Centre at the former workhouse complex in Portumna. The work carried out to date has secured the future of a number of architecturally and socially significant buildings. The project was described as a masterplan for best heritage practice which impacts at many levels: local, county, national, and beyond.
The big winner in the Ballinasloe Electoral Area was Killure Heritage Group for its book Killure-Kilgerrill By Its People & Friends, which documents a social history and heritage of the area, its people and ancestors. The runner up in Ballinasloe was Saint Cuan’s transition year in Castleblakeney, where students are recording the details of archaeological findings in Caltra Graveyard to upgrade the parish records and put information onto an internet database.
In Connemara, Ionad Oidhreachta Leitir Mealláin agus Gharumna, was awarded for two projects, a Galway hooker course held in conjunction with the VEC and area heritage tours organised with an Tógra Oideachais Gaeltachta. The Oughterard Culture and Heritage Group was the runner up in the area.
Gordon D’Arcy was recognised in the Loughrea area for his years of dedication to the education of primary school children about the environment and nature. He has also produced a teacher’s guide, with little financial support. The runner up prize went to Scoil Chiaráin Naofa, which produced a beautifully illustrated fish recipe book.
In Oranmore Eamonn O’Donoghue was the main winner in recognition of his work in restoring Claregalway Castle, while Martin T Byrne, a founder member of Oranmore Heritage, was the runner up. Mr Byrne is also a longstanding member of The Old Galway Society, a recorder with Irish Wild Bird Conservancy, and a member of Bat Conservation Ireland and An Taisce.
Milltown Community Council was the main winner in Tuam, for the restoration of the ‘Jockeys Monument’ in the town. The runner up prize went to the group behind the DVD A History Unfolds, documenting the history of Glenamaddy church and the restoration of the church’s famous Harry Clarke windows.