16 August 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Clonakilty 2015 Heritage Week programme of events, organised by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage and Cumann Seanchais Chloch na gCoillte was launched at the Clonakilty (West Cork Regional) Museum last Friday by Mayor of Clonakilty, Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin.
The combined efforts of both organisations will see no less than nine events – all free of charge to the public, taking place between this Saturday 22nd and Saturday 29th August.
A number of items which were popular last year are included on the programme again this year but there are also a number of first time events organised, including historical walks of Ardfield and the Kilmeen/Castleventry Parish.
Clonakilty Heritage Week kicks off on Saturday 22nd and will see free entry into the local Museum from 11.00am to 3.00pm. There will also be a guided tour of Lios na gCon Ring Fort – over 1,000 years old and the only one in Ireland restored on it’s original site, (located opposite the main entrance to Darrara Agricultural College), starting at 2.30pm, led by Traolach Ó Donnabháin of An Cumann Seanchais Chloch na gCoillte.
At 8.30pm that evening, Traolach will also chair the annual non-political Michael Collins Commemoration at the patriot’s statue at Emmet Square.
On Tuesday 25th there will be a Heritage Tour of Ardfield’s Old Cemetery, (where the headstone erected to his parents to Patrick “Rocky Mountain” O’ Brien, prominent Fenian and friend of O’ Donovan Rossa will be pointed out); a visit to the Signal Tower and St James’ Well led by local historian Tim Feen. People should assemble by 7.00pm at O’ Sullivan’s Mountain House, Ardfield.
There are two events happening on Wednesday 26th: A Guided Tour of Castleview Mills starting at 6.45pm which will be lead by resident Joe O’ Leary on the history of the mill and the famous Hurley Eviction that occurred there in 1886. The mill houses a display of letters, newspaper articles and tools. Due to limited space, advance booking is essential by contacting Marian O’ Leary – phone 087-7642465 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also on Wednesday, there will be the usual weekly guided town walk of Clonakilty organised by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce. These walks have been popular all summer with between 30 and 50 tourists attending every Wednesday evening. Meet at the Michael Collins statue at 7.00pm.
On Thursday 27th there will be another Guided Historical Walk of Clonakilty Town this time starting at 7.30pm from Asna Square led by Traolach Ó Donnabháin of An Cumann Seanchais.
On Saturday afternoon 29th Heritage Week moves out the country again when local historian Dan O’ Leary will lead a history tour of his Kilmeen and Castleventry Parish. Meet at Tot’s Pub, Ballygurteen at 2.00pm. The itinerary includes a trip to Castleventry old church and graveyard (situated in an unusual setting within a bivallate ringfort, which at one time also contained a watchman’s hut); a wedge tomb and stone circle.
Also on Saturday 29th, there will again be free entry into the Clonakilty museum from 11.00am – 3.00pm.
All events during Clonakilty Heritage Week are free and open to the public, and with the exception to Wednesday’s visit to Castleview Mills, no booking is required.
Further details, including contacts for those leading the walks and talks are on the http://www.duchasclonakiltyheritage.com and on Duchas Clonakilty Heritage Facebook and Twitter pages DuchasClon.