Galway County Council Archives launched its bi-lingual travelling exhibition From the Archives, 1916: Revolution and Recollection exhibition, at Cill Rónáin Library on Inis Mór on Friday 15th January. A Cathaoirleach Cllr. Peter Roche, launched the exhibition to a capacity crowd, which also included pupils and teachers from Scoil Ronain National School.
Prior to the launch a Cathaoirleach and staff from Galway County Libraries and Archives visited the school. The children were enthusiastic recipients of gifts of archive badges and pencils. The pupils then proudly displayed a 1916 signatories project they and their teachers had just completed.
Later at the launch the Cathaoirleach said it was appropriate that one of the first events of the county of Galway 1916 Centenary Programme was held on Inis Mór, as the islands and their culture influenced so many of those who participated in the Rebellion of 1916. He made reference to the many prominent visitors to the Islands during that period, such as Patrick Pearse and Thomas McDonagh, signatories of the 1916 Proclamation. Eoin MacNeill, a leading member of the Gaelic League and co-founder of the Irish Volunteers, and Agnes Winifred O'Farrelly, who founded 'The Women's Branch' of the Gaelic League, and was a founding member of Cumann na mBan in 1914 were also frequent visitors. Other visitors, Cllr Roche referenced, include Liam Mellows and Bulmer Hobson.
One exhibition panel includes images from a Coroner’s file (GS15/1) relating to the Inquest held at Eglinton Street Barracks, Galway into the death of RIC Constable Patrick Whelan, on 26th April 1916, held just hours after he was shot dead by Irish Volunteers at Carnmore Cross, outside Oranmore. Another panel features an image of Fr Thomas Fahy, taken from the Minihan collection (GP8/). Fr Fahy was with the Irish Volunteers in and around Athenry during Easter week 1916. Images from Galway County Council minutes (GC/1) and also from the Tomás Bairéad (GP2/) collection are also represented in the exhibition.
Concluding his remarks at the launch a Cathaoirleach said ‘It is amazing how just a few items from the Archives can illustrate so much about this period in history. They do also, of course, very clearly demonstrate the value of our primary sources and the importance of properly preserving and managing our archival heritage’.
The exhibition will be on display at the Cill Rónáin Library until mid February. From the Archives 1916: Revolution and Recollection will also travel to Inishbofin in May, and to other venues around the county during the year. The schedule for the travelling exhibition is available at www.galway.ie/gaillimh2016.
For further details on all of the Archives fascinating collections visit www.galway.ie/archives.