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August 05, 2009

Launch of County Kildare Folklore Project

folklore-project The County Kildare Folklore Project - 'Living Memories - Tall Tales from the Short Grass,' was launched in Kilcullen Heritage Centre on Thursday 23 July 2009


Over a period of 3 months in early 2009 the project was devised and undertaken as a means of recording the living heritage and history of Co. Kildare. Some 30 people were interviewed from all walks of life and their memories of growing up in Kildare, of working and of participating at local level in their communities will now provide us with an invaluable archive for future generations.

Initially the plan was to identify the main themes that identify Kildare as a unique county such as the horse industry, canals, bogs etc. but this broadened in scope in an attempt to target the unique individuals that can be recognised throughout the county and preserve their memories and experience. The Library Service contacted Larry Breen of the County Kildare Federation of Local History Groups and the rest as they say is history.

The Federation is uniquely placed to identify those particular individuals that exist in each local community and retain an understanding of their area and the changes that have taken place over the years. Each Local History Group (18 Groups in all) provided a person from their area and this forms the backbone of the present project. The County Kildare Archaeological Society also provided a representative and representatives of Kildare Co. Council, Bord Na Mona and the Turf Club helped to develop the collection into a truly important and unique archive.

The recording and collecting of material was undertaken by Maurice of Keeffe of 'Irish Life and Lore' and copies will be available in the near future for borrowing from the Kildare branch library network. Individual copies (and indeed the complete collection) can be purchased directly from Irish Life and Lore. Kildare Co. Council and Irish Life and Lore share ownership of the material and copies of the original disclaimer forms have been lodged with the Library.

Already the collection has been bought by other major repositories such as Trinity College and the strength of the work lies in the actual preservation of the memories of the interviewees in the various archives.

Kildare Library and Arts Services is grateful to all who helped make this project possible, especially the Co. Manager of Kildare Co. Council, Michael Malone, Co. Librarian, Breda Gleeson, the interviewees, Larry Breen and the Kildare Federation. As a way of saying thanks to the people who gave up their time and who have allowed us into their lives the Library Service presented the interviewees with a copy of their interview on CD.