Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív was warmly welcomed when he arrived at Glinsk Castle on a Friday morning in January 2003 to launch a new Community Council publication entitled “History in Glinsk”
Noting the setting, Minister Ó Cuív talked about the sense of history, of place and of time passing. “I can also sense a community that is at ease with itself – a confident and active community” added the Minister.
He continued: ” It is important that a community knows its history and this publication, edited and compiled by Martin Ward, is an important resource for a community interested in its past and looking to its future…
“At times, we greatly over-estimate the significance of our own age and tend to ignore our past. I believe that a detachment from our past and our attachment to our present contributes greatly to the malaise that can affect our communities and especially our youth”.
Again stressing the importance of history in the local community, Minister Ó Cuív said it was wonderful that the people of Glinsk were celebrating their history and heritage in such a manner. “From the evidence presented to me, I can see that you are a vibrant community – a community in action” he said.
He acknowledged the work done on various community projects over the years including the development of Lough Loung into a state-of-the art angling facility, the conservation of Ballinakill Abbey, the construction of Glinsk Archaeological and Cultural Park, the completion of Glinsk Enterprise Centre and now the publication of this book. The Minister also paid tribute to all of the agencies who had assisted in the development of these projects.
The Minister concluded by reiterating how fortunate a community like Glinsk was:- “Fortunate to live in a beautiful place rich in history and heritage. Fortunate to live in rural Ireland, which despite many comments made to the contrary, is a magnificent place to live in and raise your children. Fortunate because among you are people who are committed to rural Ireland and are willing to work to halt rural decline and to make the countryside a vibrant and living place.”
Speaking at the launch, Martin Ward, editor of “History in Glinsk” said that “every person had a story to tell… but each community also had a story worth telling…I believe that a community, like Glinsk, has a body, a soul and a spirit…. The body is seen in the landscape, the spirit is seen in its people and the soul is in its shared memories and rich heritage… A community is born of these shared memories they are really the cement that forms the nest where we can find shelter. Through this sense of place we can have a place to relax, a place where we can feel secure and a place where we can find love”
Mr Ward also paid tribute to Minister Ó Cuív on the strength and courage he has shown as a voice for rural Ireland. “Éamon Ó Cuív has stood firmly against those who would like to see a rural people deprived of the right to live in rural areas. Through his courage and commitment he has also given others ‘permission’ to speak up – rural Ireland is the heart of Ireland and we must keep that heart alive” he said.
Tributes were also paid to young Glinsk artist, Miriam Cuddy for a fine collection of original drawings which illustrate the book. All profits from the sale of this book will go towards the development of ongoing community projects.
Copies of the Book “History in Glinsk” are available at a cost of €15 plus P&P.; You can order a copy by e-mailing email@example.com