Saturday, 7 June 2014

Update June 2014 & Secretary's Report

We have been somewhat remiss in keeping this website  up to date. However the society has been active in other areas. This was outlined in the secretary’s report to the AGM earlier this year , a copy  is attached below.

 Secretary’s Report for year 2013

This was another very eventful year.
Planning for the 2014 Calendar was begun earlier than usual and was well received. Thanks especially to Richie Roberts, Michael Farrell, Margaret Brookes and Geoff Power for all their work in this regard.

The Threshing and field day was held  on August 5th, having been delayed due to dreadful weather. It was very successful and raised  much needed funds for our chosen charity for this year…Waterford Hospice Movement.

The single biggest event was the commemoration of the publication of Matthew Butler’s “History of the Barony of Gaultier in 1913. In conjunction with Waterford News and Star,  Ray McGrath on behalf of the Society supplied a series of 48 articles to the News and Star based on Butler’s work entitled “Rambles in Gaultier Revisited”. The articles were much enjoyed and have been highly praised. Many people made a point of collecting them all and they succeeded in their purpose of alerting local people to the legacy of Matthew Butler and to the richness of the Barony’s history. Our thanks to Ray for a great job done.
The series of articles was launched on January 12th in Jack Meade’s and featured a talk on Butler by Julian Walton.

A welcome addition to the years activities was a group trip on August 25th, 'Heritage Sunday' ,to visit  the “Caiseal”– The Knockroe Passage Tomb in  Co Kilkenny.  It included a talk at the site which is in wonderful condition and is an example of what can be achieved when the proper authorities cooperate with the local community. The passage tomb has been under going several years of excavation, led by Muiris O Sullivan from the Dept of Archaeology at UCD. 

Andrea Waters from UCD speaking at Knockroe Passage Tomb

Eastern Tomb in foreground, Western Tomb  in background

The nearby village of Tullahough was bedecked with bunting  and in celebratory mood. Refreshments were served in the old school house which also contained an exhibition of photographs and documents. We  also visited the Old Slate Quarries which were abandoned in the early 1900’s  and  the famed Crosses of Ahenny to round off an enjoyable day. Hopefully we can organise more such trips in the future.

There was an effort to move the Harristown project forward at a meeting at the Giant’s Grave during the Summer, but it has become clear that we do not have the resources to proceed without a significant commitment from National or Local Government.

Continuing our series of lectures as well as organising historical trips seem to be the best way in which we can keep our membership (which now numbers 52), engaged and interested.

 Other Events 
 In addition to the lecture on Passage by Julian Walton, we also had the following speakers ;

22/1/14   Michael Farrell  on ‘The History of the Gaultier Cooperative Movement’
19/2/14   Noel McDonagh ‘ A Virtual Tour of The Pre Christian Sites in Gaultier’
19/3/14   James Eogan on ‘Discovering Prehistoric Gaultier'

As mentioned above, the series of articles ‘Rambles in Gaultier’ was very well receive , even beyond the Barony. A sample is included below and there is a proposal that the complete collection should be published in booklet format. We have selected the Leperstown extract as we have been contacted by a reader in America whose ancestors came from that area and his interest was aroused by the report of Dr Niall Byrne's lecture on the Knights Templar.

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