The Claregalway—Parish History 750 years book was officially launched by Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Professor of History at NUI, Galway in Kynes Tavern on Friday, November 19th.
It was a celebratory occasion for those who helped with the publication and a great night for the parish. People were eager to view this long awaited book. There was a warm atmosphere with everybody enjoying themselves. Stories and memories were exchanged no doubt prompted by the photographs and articles in the book.
Tom Lenihan, chairman of the society, acted as Master of Ceremonies for the night and welcomed the huge crowd that came to support it. He paid tribute to the many people who helped to make the publication possible. Special thanks were given to FÁS who financed the initial research and to Jarlath McDonagh who provided support and encouragement in the early days. Professor Ó Tuathaigh praised the people of Claregalway for the excellent publication. He said that Claregalway had a proud history, which is excellently documented.
The book has since got very favourable reviews. Tony Galvin from the Tuam Herald referred to the ‘incredible feat of research, co-operation and local pride that went into the mammoth task of producing it.’
The book covers about 750 years of parish history, beginning around the year 1250 with the foundation of the Franciscan Friary. It is a rich compilation of information, stories and perspectives on the lives and times of Claregalway and its people down through the centuries. From placenames to politics, superstitions to sport, religion to recreations, landscape to local lore, the reader, whatever his or her interests, will find much that is informative and entertaining in this volume.
The book is in hardback and has 277 pages of interesting details with 120 photographs and illustrations. Buy now while stocks last. Consider it a perfect Christmas gift especially for friends or relations living abroad.
It is available for sale in local shops or from any of the committee members: Brendan Noonan (tel. 798207), Seamus O’Connell (tel. 798245), Sean Concannon (tel. 798119) or Micheál Ó Heidhin (tel. 790005), Tom Lenihan (tel. 798011), Gearoid Hartigan (tel. 798236) and Michael Hession (tel. 798328)
This is indeed a book every household should have. I found myself deeply engrossed in whatever chapter I happen to open. It is a book one can take up at any stage and feel drawn to its contents. Local history is fascinating and even though I am not originally from the locality, I feel proud to live here in Claregalway and to be steeped in such history. Congratulations to Claregalway Historical & Cultural Society on such a fine publication.
P.S. The chapter on page 249 re. Parish Newsletter—John Geraghty informed me that as well as the names mentioned in the initial start up of the newsletter that David Cormican, John O’Hagan and Marie Lohan were key figures. A lot of work was carried out in David Cormican’s house and credit to the entire team for this initiative without which the newsletter would not exist.