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Westmeath Historic Graveyards Information & Training Begins

Do you have a historic graveyard in your area?  Is your community group involved in the up-keep of the graveyard? Are you interested in recording the headstones and memorials in your local historic graveyard?  If so, then you will be interested to hear about a series of Information Sessions taking place over the summer.

These sessions are organized by the Heritage Office, Westmeath County Council, with the support of the Heritage Council.

Come along to the Annebrook Hotel, Mullingar on 9th June to hear tips and advice from Archaeologist Caimin O’Brien of the National Monuments Service, Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Ecologist Donna Mullen. The speakers will discuss what you need to know about legislation concerning historic graveyards and the practicalities of how best to care for historic graveyards. Light lunch will be provided in the hotel and will be followed by a field trip to several graveyards in the area (parking is available in the hotel and a bus will bring the group to the graveyards and back to the hotel). Caimin and Donna will lead the fieldtrip in the afternoon and will be on hand to answer any queries you may have.

Anyone interested in learning a simple, effective system for high quality surveying of historic graveyards is invited to attend a workshop by John Tierney and the Historic Graves Team on 7th July in Ballymore Community Hall at 10:30am.

The Historic Graves Team have worked with many community groups nationwide publishing over 700 Irish graveyards to the website www.historicgraves.com. Expressions of interest will be sought from community groups who are interested in having training provided in their local graveyard. The Historic Graves Team will select one historic graveyard for survey and training this year.  The training survey will take place in the selected graveyard over two days. Techniques for reading headstones such as high-powered flashlamps and mirrors, as well as newsprint paper rubbings, will be demonstrated. The use of a gps camera for survey will also be taught. Those who attend this two-day training session learn the skills necessary to survey their own graveyard and the techniques learned in the graveyard can be applied to community surveys for other heritage sites.

As well as being a sacred space, historic graveyards are key heritage tourism resources for any county. It is hoped that the Information and training sessions will not only give guidance in historic graveyard care and conservation, but also assist in developing a rural tourism genealogical resource.

 All are welcome to attend the Information Session and Field trip on 9th July and/or the Training Workshop on 7th July.  

These events are free. To book your place please contact Melanie McQuade, Heritage Officer Westmeath County Council (044)9332098 heritage@westmeathcoco.ie

Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 29/05/2018