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Connecting Through Heritage with Leitrim County Council
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Connecting Through Heritage with Leitrim County Council

Author: Leitrim County Council Heritage

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We're proud to deliver our first ever podcast series which highlights much of Leitrim’s natural, built and cultural heritage from the people who know most about it. We’ll hear stories about potato planting and traditional farming methods; an overview of ecology and conservation; discussion on what sets Leitrim’s singing and fiddle music apart from other counties and take the chat right back to Leitrim’s prehistoric archaeology – all from a range of experts and local people passionate about heritage.
5 Episodes
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Local History

Local History

2020-08-1442:09

ContributorsJohn Bredin is the Chairman of the Carrick-on-Shannon Historical Society and runs St George’s Heritage Centre in the town. The latter is the former place of worship for the town’s Church of Ireland congregation; now, it celebrates the contribution of the town’s Catholic and Protestant communities, or ‘twin traditions,’ who have lived alongside each other since the town’s inception. John gives us a history of the town through its shared heritage.Margaret Connolly is a member of the Manorhamilton and District Historical Society. She has studied the establishment and activities of the town’s workhouse, and offers a fascinating understanding of its governance. It gives her a unique insight into the human cost of the event most associated with Manorhamilton’s workhouse: the Great Hunger.Noel McPartland set up Drumshanbo’s history museum ‘Glimpses of the Past’ to exhibit the photographs, documents and other material he’s collected over the years pertaining to the town. Noel gives us a personal account of events commemorated by the museum, including the narrow-gauge railway that gave great life to Drumshanbo, until its closure in 1959.
Traditional Farming

Traditional Farming

2020-08-1430:56

ContributorsJohn Reynolds has had an interest in the farming methods used by his ancestors since he learned them from his grandfather as a young boy. He takes us through the traditional way of sowing and harvesting perhaps the most historically important crop in Leitrim: the potato.Tommy Earley has been farming his family’s plot on the shores of Lough Allen for many years. When he first learned about organic farming in 1996, he didn’t know much about it - but what he heard he liked. He’s since ‘gone organic,’ and has adopted a number of new working practices to the farm, such as introducing new habitats and conserving existing ones.
Musical Heritage

Musical Heritage

2020-08-1433:34

ContributorsFionnuala Maxwell is a singer and teacher who has made it her mission to promote and recover Leitrim’s musical heritage. She finds the lyrics or music of often forgotten Leitrim songs in historical manuscripts or publications, and performs her own interpretations of them. In this episode she takes us through a song called ‘The Little Hills o’ Leitrim’ which she found in an old Irish-American newspaper.Conor Ward is a fiddler living in Cootehall. He learned his craft in local céilí bands, where he was first introduced to the music of Leitrim. He has recently completed a masters on a musical manuscript found in the 1960s, which traces the fiddling tradition of Leitrim and Longford to one nineteenth century source: the style and teaching of Thomas ‘Blind’ Kiernan.
Ecology

Ecology

2020-08-1432:16

ContributorsNeil Foulkes has made a 30-year career out of hedge laying, and is an advocate for their maintenance. He knows all about the essential role hedgerows play in providing shelter and nourishment for wildlife in the county. He’s also in awe of their beauty, especially in Leitrim; and calls the Irish landscape a ‘wonder of the world.’Kate Bismilla is an ecologist working with the Irish Breeding Curlew EIP, which has been set up to address the decline of breeding curlew in Ireland. The curlew is a bird that mates for life, and around its South Leitrim breeding grounds, Kate’s pioneering project works alongside farmers to help protect curlew pairs.Annie Birtwistle and her family have farmed their plot of land at Battlebridge on the Leitrim-Roscommon border for 24 years. They’ve had great success in running a productive farm, while farming with conservational principles in mind. Annie’s family see themselves as ‘stewards of the land’; their farm is teeming with an abundance of habitats.
Leitrim Prehistory

Leitrim Prehistory

2020-08-1433:48

ContributorsDonna Gilligan is a museum archaeologist and heritage consultant, who has recently published an authoritative book chapter survey on Leitrim’s prehistory. As part of her work at the National Museum in Dublin, she has also studied prehistoric artefacts from Leitrim found in the museum’s collection. She discusses the significance of several of these objects, and explains the varied groups that settled in Leitrim during the prehistoric period.Sam Moore is a prehistorian and archaeologist, and a lecturer in IT Sligo. He teaches listeners about the hugely important prehistoric site at Fenagh. The area is best-known for its medieval abbey, but millennia before that a series of prehistoric communities chose this site as a sacred place, building portal tombs and standing stones. Sam reflects on the significance of these monuments, as well as explaining how, in later times, their legacy is mixed with myth and folklore.
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