If we, as a community, didn’t fully appreciate what we’ve been gifted with in The Master’s Legacy we got a reminder on Friday night with the visit of Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan, TD.
Minister Deenihan was in town for the launch of the Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project website.
As someone who took an early and instant interest in the project, Mr. Deenihan was hugely influential in providing initial grant aid to get the project out of the cardboard boxes, out of the folders and onto the world-wide web.
A group of over 35 local people visited the ‘pop-up’ exhibition venue at No.32 Main Street and the location has proved most ideal and convenient. The venue and the research centre have both been provided by Tomo Burke Electrical and Tomo is also the project treasurer.
His son Jeremy was on hand with technical back-up to ensure the smooth launch of the website. After a speech full of encouragement for the efforts of local groups in community situations, Minister Deenihan pressed a button and the site was launched there and then.
Project chairman, Johnnie Roche’s carefully prepared cupla focal included thanks to everyone who contributed in getting the project to this point in so short a time.
He singled out: Minister Deenihan; Cllr. Bobby O’Connell; Dr. Paul Dillon; Michael O’Donohoe’s sister, Breda Brooks; Tomo Burke for the use of his premises; librarians, Eamonn Browne and Michael Lynch; Kerry County Council Heritage Officer, T.J. O’Mahony, Margaret O’Connor of Crageen Employment and the hands-on project manager, Janet Murphy and Micheál Reidy, website construction for their enormous help in getting the huge undertaking to this important stage in its development.
There was a special word of thanks from the chairman to his grandson, Jack Roche who did a fantastic job in preparing the venue for the exhibition.
Mr. Roche said that the committee had been humbled by the generosity of the people of the locality when they were asked to contribute the matching funds to get the work underway.
“We couldn’t get over how generous people were when they realised what we were collecting for and I’ve been gathering money for one cause or another for the past 50 years. It was like we were doing them a huge favour.
“There are stories to be collected and told about Castleisland people who made their mark in many parts of the world and their deeds are now all but forgotten. If we don’t do it now that we have this momentum going it will be lost forever.’ he said.
The first entries have been loaded onto the website and project manager, Janet Murphy will be selecting pieces and updating the site with the passing weeks and months.
It is a huge and fascinating collection and it’s a mammoth contribution of historical data in the life of a town and countryside.
World Wide Audience
It’s bordering on incredible that one man would have compiled that volume of research work without the use of computers. It’s now considered quite fortunate that it has been made available to a world-wide audience with Minister Deenihan’s launch last night.
The site can be accessed on: www.odonohoearchive.com and it will be updated constantly as the voyage of discovery and research work continues.