Castleisland District Heritage Website and Fundraiser Launched

Project manager, Janet Murphy pictured at the launch of the Castleisland District Heritage project which incorporates the Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project at The Island Centre in Castleisland this week. Included are: Cllr. Charlie Farrelly (left) Johnnie Roche, project chairman; Cllr. Fionnán Fitzgerald and Tomo Burke, project treasurer. Photograph: John Reidy 21-10-2020
Joe McGill , The Saturday Supplement presenter on Radio Kerry gave generous air time to the Castleisland District Heritage site launch this morning.

A new website has been launched this week to preserve and showcase the rich and varied history of the Castleisland area and its hinterland.

The need for the new site has grown from the sheer depth and scope of material left by the late Michael O’Donohoe (1936 – 2008).

While his material has been digitised and presented on its own site, the need to preserve the spin-off material it attracted as an entity led to the setting up of the new site.

Joe McGill on Radio Kerry

The venture got great coverage on Joe McGill’s  Radio Kerry programme The Saturday Supplement this morning.

Here,  project manager, Janet Murphy outlines the reasons for the new direction of the project and its plans for the future.

To Cease to Change Is to Cease to Live – Froude

To cease to change is to cease to live. So philosophised historian James Anthony Froude as he looked upon the ivied ruins of Muckross Abbey in the 1840s. 

And so it is with the Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project in Castleisland which has transformed considerably since it was established in 2014.

By Janet Murphy

The digitisation and cataloguing of the papers of the late Michael O’Donohoe, principal of Castleisland Boys’ National School, is now complete – with far reaching results.

New seeds have been sown as a consequence of this work, and the project is now custodian of new collections of Castleisland material and there is much work to be done.

Castleisland District Heritage

At the last meeting of the project committee attended by the late Colm Kirwan, secretary since its foundation, a unanimous show of hands signaled the adoption of ‘Castleisland District Heritage’ as a new name for the archive to better reflect the changes that have occurred along the way and to signpost the way forward.

Project Publications Available

The changes include, besides new collections, an office in The Island Centre where copies of the project publications are available.

The nature of archiving and research demands an unavoidable reliance on the support and generosity of business and community.

Fund-Raising Support Needed

The year has presented challenges in terms of fund-raising but those who wish to support us can do so on the project website below.

We acknowledge the recent support of Kerry County Council Heritage Department and NEKD Rural Development Programme, as well as the ongoing and considerable assistance of Craggeen Employment Ltd.

We remain indebted to Noreen and Donie Ring for contributing so generously to the work in hand.

The need for funding is an ever present reality in projects like this. We have launched a GoFundMe page on the Michael O’Donohoe site and it can be accessed with a click on the link here:

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