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Work has commenced this week on the construction of a new museum in the parish of Claregalway. This is the latest project of the Claregalway Historical & Cultural Society. The museum will be located on the same site as the old blacksmith’s forge in Rooaunmore, which the society restored a few years ago and will comprise a carpenters museum and interpretive centre. You can check out a photo album of the restored blacksmith’s forge here.

The centre will be an invaluable asset to the area and will be a great educational and cultural resource providing visitors with an insight to the traditional way of life in rural Ireland of the 1950s and before. It will complement the very unique historical features of Claregalway, which comprise the 13th Century Franciscan Friary, 15th Century Claregalway Castle and the 17th Century Nine Arch bridge.

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Pictured above are PJ Moran, Seamus O’Connell, Colin Ó Connaire and Gerry Cloherty inspecting the plans for the new Claregalway Museum.

The building will cost in the region of €130,000 and has been part funded by a grant from Comhar na nOileáin with the remainder to be raised through fundraising efforts. The site was given free of charge by the Smyth and Glynn families, and without their commitment and generosity none of this would be possible. The contractor, Cloherty Construction, who was selected by public tender, will benefit the locality with local employment.

Chairman Tom Lenihan said “We have been contemplating and preparing for this for a long number of years and after going through the process of preparing detailed plans, getting planning permission and now been successful in our grant application, this project will come to fruition within a few short months.”

The museum is expected to be completed by the end of January 2014 and will then be open to the public. Further information will be available over the coming weeks.

CHCS

Further information on Claregalway Historical & Cultural Society


Background
Founded in 1991 and our main goal is to encourage the appreciation, knowledge and preservation of the Claregalway area’s rich historical, cultural and archaeological heritage.


Main achievements to date

  • Publication of the Claregalway Parish History 750 Years book (1999)
  • Publication of the Claregalway Parish History Pictorial book (2002)
  • Restoration of an old Blacksmith’s forge (2007)

Project details

  • Located in Rooaunmore, Claregalway and adjacent to the recently restored old blacksmiths forge.
  • To renovate / rebuild an existing derelict cottage and adjoining shed for use as a carpenter’s museum and an interpretive centre for the local area of Claregalway.
  • The proposal is for a single storey building which will have three rooms:
    Carpenters museum, which will contain carpenters old-style manual tools donated by a local carpenter.
    Interpretive centre, which will contain local artefacts, local old photographs, old farm equipment donated by a local all-Ireland horse ploughing champion, musical equipment from the old Claregalway Fife and Drum Band (founded in 1909) and more.
    Small office and toilet.
  • When complete, the facility will be open to the public for a modest charge. The typical visitor will come for educational and cultural reasons.
 
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