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Glinsk 100 – A Century in the Life of Glinsk Community – August 24th – 26th 2012

Bonnets and braces were the order of the day as Glinsk celebrated the centenary of the ‘big move’ in the area last weekend.

Dowd’s Shop sold out of braces, and knitting needles, crochet hooks and sewing needles were put to good use to create bonnets, men’s socks and other 1912 apparel. A large number of local people, both young and not-so-young, entered into the spirit of the event by dressing up in the clothing of yesteryear and adding to the spectacle of the event.

One hundred years ago, between the years 1910 and 1918, a large amount of untenanted land in Glinsk was divided by the Estates Commissioner, which had purchased a number of large farms in the area. New families settled in the area and the land they vacated was divided among their former neighbours. Where the land involved was untenanted, new houses had to be built and distinctive two-storey houses were constructed.

The weekend got off to a wonderful start with a re-enactment of the move. John and Patricia White and family began the re-enactment from the Community Centre, representing the many moves within and without the Toberroe area, while Joe and Evelyn Kelly and family started their move from Ballincurry Cross, representing the many families that moved from the Mount Mary area to Glinsk.

Both converged at the Glen opposite Glinsk Castle and there the weekend was officially opened by former West of Ireland correspondent for RTE, Jim Fahy. Glinsk Castle proved an imposing and spectacular backdrop for the event and organisers were fortunate in that heavy rain cleared just in time for the event. Mr. Fahy delivered a memorable speech, making reference to many of the local stories and events relating to the move. He referred to Owen O’Neill putting the Irish tricolour flying from the chimney of Glinsk Castle and spoke of interviewing an elderly couple in Curraghboy, both of whom had been involved in the Volunteer movement. The man exhorted Jim Fahy to always remember whenever he saw the Tricolour flying, the efforts that it took to put it there and Mr Fahy in turn exhorted those present in Glinsk to always remember the efforts that it took to gain Irish independence. His speech, which was both humorous and well-researched, was particularly well received by all present.

Afterwards Andy Quinn from Arda played the role of his grandfather, Andy Quinn, in recalling the move and the neighbours met along the way.

Following the official opening, the carts carrying the various families set off for Glinsk Church, followed by hundreds of people on foot and a special Mass to mark the centenary celebration was celebrated by Bishop Christopher Jones, who has family connections in the Fairfield area of Creggs. The procession to the Church was led by piper Billy Canavan from County Mayo and he was followed by a large number of people decked out in the fashions of 1912. Bishop Jones was joined on the altar by local priests Fr. Michael Joyce and Fr. Liam Kelly and local parish priest Fr. Noel Hogan.  Before the start of the Mass, a number of symbols were brought to the altar by members of the organising committee, symbolising aspects of life in the area through the last century. The choirs of both Glinsk and Creggs joined together for the occasion and included many hymns of yesteryear in the musical programme.

Following the Mass, refreshments were served in the Glencastle Lounge and a memorable and enjoyable night of music featuring local talent followed, which was enjoyed by young and old alike. The night featured songs from many talented local musicians, as well as a newly-written song commemorating the move, performed by local poet John Malachy Raftery from Clondoyle, Glenamaddy.

Saturday got underway with a very well-attended seminar in Glinsk NS, which featured presentations on the subject of landlord Allan Pollok from Glenamaddy native William Keaveney and Glinsk native Pauline Scott, a presentation on the legislative background to the Glinsk move by Martin Duffy from Milford, Creggs and a thought-provoking paper by Dr. Micheál Cuddy, Professor Emeritus of Economics at NUI Galway on the subject of the challenges and opportunities facing communities such as Glinsk, which are at a remove from the important urban centres.

Later that night, a book celebrating the centenary was launched by Fr. Michael Joyce in The Glencastle Lounge, Glinsk. Speaking at the launch, Fr. Joyce praised the efforts of all involved and noted that the book contains a pen-picture of local families as well as many fine photographs. The book is now on sale locally, priced at €10.

Dancing followed to the strains of well-known Caherlistrane musician Matt Keane and his daughter Orla and son-in-law Colm Naughton from Sonnagh. Once again, a large crowd had gathered for what proved to be a memorable night of music and dancing.

Sunday afternoon saw a craft display at Glinsk Community Centre, featuring a black smith, and wood turning, wool spinning, butter making, boxty making, weaving, pottery and once again it was a venue where people met and chatted with friends and neighbours.

At 5 pm, the GAA teams of Glinsk and Creggs met for a 1912 rules game, complete with peaked caps for the players.  With no soloing allowed, no frees taken from the hands, no handpasses and the ball thrown in from the sideline, it was an enjoyable spectacle and the partisan supporters of both sides greatly enjoyed the game, which was refereed by Glinsk native and well-known inter-county referee Mickey Curley from Sonnagh. Victory on this occasion went to the men of Creggs on a scoreline of five goals to four. Sunday night brought the event to a close, with music by Sean Brennan.

Organisers of the event were delighted with the number of people that turned out for the various events, all of which were very well supported.

An important part of the Glinsk 100 weekend was the presentation of prizes in both the art competition and project competition for pupils of Glinsk NS.

Here are some of the prize winners:

Summer School in Glinsk

The “Glinsk 100” week-end featured a seminar entitled “Land and People” which looked at the historical perspective surrounding the ‘move’ to Glinsk in 1912. The whole period was put in context by speakers Mr William Keaveney(author of ‘Land For The People’), Pauline Scott, editor of the “Glinsk 100” Book and Martin Duffy.

Following the presentations on the historical context, Dr. Michael Cuddy presented a paper on what the future may hold for rural communities such as Glinsk.




Cutting the Cake

The “Glinsk 100” cake was cut in the Glencastle Lounge on Friday night 24th August by Mrs Baby Kelly and Mr Johnny O’Neill.

Launching of the Glinsk 100 Book

A central event of the “Glinsk 100” week-end was the launch of the “Glinsk 100” book by Fr. Michael Joyce SVD. The Book which was the culmination of months of work by the organising committee was edited by Pauline Scott. The Book features a pen-picture of all families in the community and includes many photographs which were published for the first time.

To mark the enormous amount of work and dedication of Pauline Scott in editing the “Glinsk 100” a presentation was made to Pauline on behalf of the organising committee.

Planting of Memorial Tree

A living memorial to the “Glinsk 100” week-end is the Holm Oak planted in the Nature area at Glinsk by Mrs Nan Nolan who is seen here with some members of her family after she had planted the tree on Friday evening 24th August 2012.

At the planting of the memorial tree – Mrs Nan Nolan is seen here with her daughter, Mrs Marian Beattie.

A great night of music, song and dance for the Glinsk 100 weekend was led by the renowned Matt Keane and Friends.

Central to the Glinsk 100 weekend was the demonstration of traditional crafts at Glinsk Community Centre on Sunday August 26th 2012.

Among those who demonstrated was Barry Noyce who made a ‘Joyce Country Skib’