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Forging Links – Kinvara 1980

Connacht Tribune 7th March, 1980 p.23

Kinvara Wool Market c.1900

Kinvara Wool Market
c.1900
Tomas O’hEidhin

‘The Irish Echo’ of New York has been devoting much attention in recent months to the quite spectacular growth of the newly launched Kinvara-Duras Historical Society which is now causing more than a stir in Irish-American circles. Founded in December following a lecture by Dr. Patrick J. Greene, Weston, Conn., U.S.A. in Stamford – the same lecture was extensively reported in ‘The Connacht Tribune’ when given by Dr. Greene in Seamount College, Kinvara two years ago – the young society has spread its wings rapidly and there is now a substantial membership in Connecticut which has a strong association with Kinvara since famine times.
At the Society’s February 24th film show there were 250 people and they now have a paid up membership of 70 enthusiasts. They are going to have a monthly event from now on covering some of the historical aspects of Ireland, and others of a lighter nature, such as a ceili and social and drama series in the winter and hope the Kinvara people, at home, will be aware of their activities here, so that closer ties can be maintained.
Dealing with the December lecture in Stamford, U.S.A. ‘The Irish Echo’ had this to say;
At the Knights of Columbus Hall, North State Street, Stamford, Connecticut, Patrick J. Greene, M.D. of Weston, presented an illustrated lecture series on the parish history of his native Kinvara. The programme consisted of the earliest documents from the Castle Tithes of 1574, dealing with Dungora castle, stronghold of the O’Hynes, to extract from the 1641 Books of Survey and Distribution, concerned with the confiscation of Irish Lands, whose original parchment documents are housed at the Public Records Office in Dublin. Also included were maps from 1683, 1839 and 1893, Church and Land Records from 1826, the original Kinvara town map of 1849, copies of the Connaught Journal of 1793 and a listing of parish householders, from Griffiths Valuations of 1849,  An extensive collection of late 1800’s and early 1900 photographs of old Kinvara and its families as well as the map collection were on exhibit at the adjoining library.  Aerial photographs of the parish, its O’Hynes Castles, Ring Forts, and early Christian Churches were also part of the presentation, as well as some striking shots of the underground caverns and subterranean passages, photographed by Dr. Greene.
A tribute to Francis. A. Fahy, playwright, poet and author who was in 1854 and wrote the popular Irish songs, The Auld Plaid Shawl, The Queen of Connemara, and many others, were part of the programme.
Included in this review were nostalgic photographs from the turn of the century to name but a few, there is ‘Loading Barley at Old Kinvara Quay, 1908’, ‘The Market 1900’, the SS Duras 1900, from the Lawerence Collection, National Library Dublin and ‘The Kinvara Fife and Drum Band 1910’.
Dr. Greene has done an extensive research on his project from Irish archive sources, over a period of four years, while living in Ireland, prior to opening his office for General Medical and Surgical practice, in Weston earlier this year. He has presented this in-depth study of his parish at Seamount College, Kinvara previously to an enthusiastic gathering of Kinvara people.
Co-ordinating the programme was Dr. Mary Savage, Administrator of the Stamford Public Schools. Both Dr. Greene and Dr. Savage are presently organising ‘The Kinvara-Duras Historical Society’, a project aimed at bringing closer ties between Kinvara people here and at home. A new year gathering of the Society is planned as well as a future trip to Kinvara next summer.

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