04 Oct 2022

Heritage Group in Offaly host lecture on Glassmaking in Ireland

Heritage Group in Offaly host lecture on Glassmaking in Ireland

Shinrone Heritage Group will host a lecture on Glassmaking in Ireland on Tuesday next August 16th.

SHINRONE Heritage Group was formed some years ago by a tiny group of like minded parishioners and over the years it has gone on to run a lot of varied projects in the area of South Offaly.

On Tuesday next August 16th, the Group will host Mr Caimin O'Brien, who will give a lecture on 'Glassmaking in Ireland' at the restored 16th century glass furnace at Glasshouse, just 3km south of Shinrone village, with a start time of 7pm.

The site dates from the 1620s and is listed as part of the European Year of Culture project and is the only intact structure of its kind in the world. The group are very grateful to the Cleary family for access and good will. The site will be signposted and please car share if possible. Refreshments will be served back in Cloughmoyle old schoolhouse, Shinrone, and will be a chance to have a chat over a 'cuppa'.

During the Covid lockdown it proved to be a very difficult time for many people and voluntary groups such as the Heritage Group found it very trying, with meetings and projects halted. However, all is in the recovery stage now and with increased membership the future is looking good with new faces and ideas.

Shinrone is famous as the birthplace of the Kearney family, President Obama's ancestors, who are buried in the village graveyard.

Also Edward Hand, born in 1752, went on to become one of George Washington's Irish generals and later a Congressman. He is one of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence.

In the Year of the Gathering, 2013, the Group hosted a very successful day to honour the Rolleston family, and especially the Offaly poet, Thomas William H. Rolleston, whose work appeared on the Leaving Cert for many years. After cleaning up the family's burial site, a most wonderful day was had, with family members travelling from the UK and around Ireland.

In 2016 the Group hosted an ecumenical Service to remember Dr P.J. Doyle, who fought in the 1916 Rising under Comdt Colbert, was imprisoned in Frongoch and later was, for 44 years, the local Dispensary Doctor for the area.

In 2018 the Group joined with the Church of Ireland, under Canon Ruth Gill, to commemorate the 38 men from the area who died in the First World War, and this event took almost 10 months of work. On November 11th, 2018, the Church was overflowing with people coming from near and far, as well as overseas, to pay their respects. Even President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and Queen Elizabeth II sent good wishes to the group on the day. The Group were awarded the 2018/19 inaugural Offaly Person of the Year 'Unsung Hero' award for this event.

The Shinrone Heritage Group are holding a pub quiz in the Castle Bar Inn on the October bank holiday weekend, Friday October 28th, and hope to enlist your support to raise some much needed funds.

They will also host a series of quality lectures in the Autumn/Winter period and will publish details later on their facebook page.

In the meantime, they are all looking forward to hosting renowned archaeologist Caimin O'Brien's lecture at Glasshouse on August 16th. It promises to be an interesting event and please arrive early, follow the signs and please respect the good will of the landowners. Full details from Group secretary Ann Maria on (087) 9000737.

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