Heritage Group in Offaly organizes a conference on glass making in Ireland

SHINRONE Heritage Group was formed a few years ago by a small group of like-minded parishioners and over the years have carried out many varied projects in the South Offaly area.

On Tuesday August 16, the Group will welcome Mr. Caimin O’Brien, who will give a lecture on “Glassmaking in Ireland” in the restored 16th century glass kiln at Glasshouse, just 3 km south of the village of Shinrone, with a start time of 7 p.m. .

The site dates from the 1620s and is listed as part of the European Year of Culture project and is the only intact structure of its type in the world. The group is very grateful to the Cleary family for their access and goodwill. The site will be marked and please carpool if possible. Refreshments will be served at Cloughmoyle’s former school, Shinrone, and there will be an opportunity for a ‘cup of tea’ chat.

During the Covid lockdown this proved to be a very difficult time for many people and volunteer groups such as the Heritage group found it very trying, with meetings and projects disrupted. However, everything is now in the recovery phase and with the increase in membership, the future looks bright with new faces and new ideas.

Shinrone is famous as the birthplace of the Kearney family, ancestors of President Obama, who are buried in the village cemetery.

Also Edward Hand, born in 1752, became one of George Washington’s Irish generals and later a congressman. He is one of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence.

During the 2013 Gathering Year, the Group organized a very successful day to honor the Rolleston family, and in particular the Offaly poet, Thomas William H. Rolleston, whose work has appeared on the Leaving Cert for many years . After clearing the family burial site, a most wonderful day took place, with family members traveling from the UK and Ireland.

In 2016 the Group organized an ecumenical service to remember Dr PJ Doyle, who fought in the 1916 uprising under Comd Colbert, was imprisoned at Frongoch and later served as the local dispensary doctor for 44 years of the region.

In 2018, the Group joined the Church of Ireland, under the leadership of Canon Ruth Gill, to commemorate the 38 local men who died in the First World War, and this event took almost 10 months to complete. work. On November 11, 2018, the Church was overflowing with people from near and far, as well as overseas, to pay their respects. Even the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and Queen Elizabeth II sent their best wishes to the group that day. The group received the first Offaly Person of the Year 2018/19 ‘Unsung Hero’ award for this event.

The Shinrone Heritage Group is holding a pub quiz at the Castle Bar Inn on the October bank holiday weekend, Friday, October 28, and hopes to get your support to raise much-needed funds.

They will also host a series of quality conferences during the autumn/winter period and will publish the details later on their facebook page.

In the meantime, they are all looking forward to hosting renowned archaeologist Caimin O’Brien’s lecture at Glasshouse on August 16. It promises to be an interesting event and please arrive early, follow the signs and respect the goodwill of the landowners. Full details from Group Secretary Ann Maria on (087) 9000737.


Angela C. Hale