New book on the history of Croghan Hill launched

croghan Hill is the subject of a glossy new publication which was launched at a very special ceremony in Croghan last Friday evening. The book evolved from a study which commenced in 2010 by Masters degree students from UCD working in conjunction with renowned local author and environmentalist Dr John Feehan.

croghan Hill is the subject of a glossy new publication which was launched at a very special ceremony in Croghan last Friday evening. The book evolved from a study which commenced in 2010 by Masters degree students from UCD working in conjunction with renowned local author and environmentalist Dr John Feehan.

The book launch last Friday night was hosted by Croghan Development Association who also assisted in the production of the book which provides an extremely detailed history of the area from its volcanic history to the impact modern man has had on the famous Croghan Hill.

Among the attendance on Friday night were local curate Fr Greg Corcoran, County Manager Pat Gallagher, Amanda Pedlow Offaly Heritage Officer, Offaly County Councillors, Dr John Feehan and the people of Croghan.

Roisin Swords of Croghan Development Association acted as Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening. She outlined the background to the book that started its incubation period in 2010/11 under the direction of Dr John Feehan and his Master Degree students at the School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin when they commenced a new study on the landscape of Croghan with the interaction of human activity on the area since time began.

The study, by an international postgraduate group at UCD, would involve 20 students of different nationalities who would bring a whole new vision and appreciation of Croghan as they researched their specific areas of study.

The group consisted of 12 Irish, 3 from Malawi, 3 Nigerians and 1 each from Greece and England. They carried out some of their field work while staying in the Croghan area and during this time made many friends here, pointed out Roisin.

When this work was finished, which again formed part of their Master Degree Thesis it was agreed by Croghan Development Association that they should talk with Dr Feehan and Amanda Pedlow, Offaly Heritage Officer seeking advice, guidance and support with regards to developing this research work. Dr Feehan agreed that a publication on Croghan was very important because of its interesting landscape. It was agreed thatsuch a publication was very important so that people could understand in greater detail how the area had developed over many thousands of years.

It was equally felt that this new publication would offer a greater appreciation of the importance of the Croghan landscape in the context of its relationship to the heritage of Offaly and the greater midlands. Finally it was felt that the book would form part of a new educational source for all people who are interested in learning more about the area and who might like to further add to the body of knowledge now written so interestingly by Dr Feehan.

Fr Corcoran pointed out that forty two years ago he was born in the shadow of Croghan Hill and that it was one of those places about which there was always a great mystique. He recalled the tradition that every St Patrick’s Day they would always come to Croghan Hill to visit and burn the furze.

“The book is a monument to the work of John Feehan, Oliver and the different local people,” said Fr Corcoran. He said he believed the book is an absolute treasure and while it was very much appreciated on the night, it would only be in years to come that it would be fully appreciated by people far and wide throughout the world.

A full report on the book and the launch will appear in next week’s Offaly Express.