Carn Men’s Shed will tomorrow night officially launch an exhibition focusing on the fascinating history of farming in Inishowen.
The display will include maps, census records, letters, photos and memorabilia.
Main pic: Harvesting at Malin Head.
It will be unveiled at their Moville Road premises from 7-9pm tomorrow (Friday).
The exhibition brings together items collected by dozens of men and women who attended eight evening sessions organised by the group during the long winter months.
It is aimed at keeping the local tradition of storytelling alive and combating social isolation in the rural community.
Several of the ‘farming storytelling’ sessions were facilitated by leading Irish genealogist Jennifer Doherty from Clonmany.
“I was delighted to have been asked to help facilitate this wonderful project which saw those with a background in rural Inishowen share their reminiscences with the group” Ms Doherty said.
“Having given several talks on a wide variety of subjects over the weeks, including how to use Irish land records to trace our ancestors, the history of farming in Inishowen from medieval times, and how farming has changed over the years, these acted as a prompt to encourage storytelling.”
Photographs, books, maps, videos and other resources were also used as visual aids to the experience.
Deborah Shiels, Project Co-ordinator at Carn Men’s Shed, says the interest from the rural community in the storytelling nights was ‘amazing’.
She added that the collection of items on display in the upcoming exhibition will provide fascinating insights for anyone interested in the history of farming and rural heritage of Inishowen.
“The interest from the local community in our new project was amazing!” Ms Shiels said.
“Each night was very different – with sessions where the participants shared their stories in groups, nights where Jennifer spoke of topics chosen by participants, we had butter-making classes where the participants made their own butter to take home and listened to first-hand accounts of people who had been hired out at trading fairs.
“It certainly was one of the most interesting and rewarding projects I have ever had the pleasure of being part of.
“Indeed, one of the main highlights for me was being able to source a handwritten letter by my great aunt, something very personal, and we will be letting others know how they too can source such information.”
It was also really important, she added, to keep our rich tradition of storytelling alive.
“This has not only helped create lifelong friendships in the past, but can also provide a wonderful space for sharing stories, companionship and better health and wellbeing today.
“We would therefore love to see as many people as possible attend our exhibition night which I have no doubt will provide them with a great opportunity to learn more about our history of farming and fascinating rural heritage in Inishowen.”
The official launch of the exhibition will take place from 7-9pm on Friday 3rd February at the Carn Men’s Shed premises on the Moville Road.
For further information on the exhibition, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0838422088.
The initiative is funded by the Development Fund Initiative (DFI) at Donegal County Council and supported by local councillors Johnny McGuinness, Martin McDermott and Albert Doherty.