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The History Federation of Ireland



On Saturday 1 December 2012 the Federations will jointly launch a project, in all parts of the island of Ireland, to identify and publish a digest of interesting but lesser known places and people whose personality and achievements merit being recalled to memory.

The Project will be launched at a Seminar to Celebrate Local History and Folklore in the Patrick Kavanagh Centre, Inniskeen Co Monaghan. The seminar starts at 10:00 a.m.

Most communities have a hidden gem, a place of local interest, marking an event or person of local significance. This might be an old tollhouse, a house or place of legend, a ford, a haunted house or hungry field or some important industrial or pre-industrial site, a hidden valley or secret viewpoint. Often local familiarity prevents many of these gems becoming more widely recognised and consequently they remain hidden from the rest of us. However, each one has a story to tell and that story is part of our wider social and industrial history.

In a similar way there have been many people who have contributed significantly to the local area and in some cases to the country or to the wider world, yet remain unrecognised or forgotten by most. They need not have been famous in the celebrity sense but nevertheless there may have an interesting story to tell about them. Many districts for example can lay claim to sportsmen, storytellers, inventors, community activists and other characters of note that are little known outside of their own area.

The project offers an opportunity for local people, whether as individuals or as part of local history projects, to rescue such forgotten personalities and hidden gems from obscurity and allows them to take their rightful place in the story of our island history.

The project is an ongoing one. There is no cut-off date and as the material will be displayed on its own website, www.hidden-gems.eu, it will be continuously updated.

A special leaflet, explaining the project and inviting contributions is available and will be widely available in Libraries and other outlets throughout the island, north and south. It will also be distributed to local historical societies. 

Roddy Hegarty, Chairman of the Federation for Ulster Local Studies said, “It is sometimes too easy to forget the contribution that seemingly ordinary people make to their local communities or to the well-being of the wider society. This project aims to return them to memory and celebrate their endeavours. It also seeks to highlight the lesser known but interesting places in our island that merit recognition. ”

Frank Taffe, Chairman of the Federation of Local History Societies said, “The Hidden Gems Project affords a unique opportunity to identify places and persons lost to memory and to bring them once again to local and national attention.”

Background Note

The Federation for Ulster Local Studies promotes the study and recording of the history, antiquities and folk-life of Ulster, develops co-operation between local historical groups and between these groups and statutory and voluntary organisations. Membership is about 100 Societies. Website: www.fuls.org.uk

The Federation of Local History Societies promotes the interests and represent the views of amateur historians and voluntary museums. Since 1981 membership has grown to about 100 societies. The Federation encourages research in history, archaeology, folk-life and folklore, exchanges information with, and develops mutual support among, affiliated societies and encourages the publication of information of historical interest. Website: http://www.localhistory.ie/

For further information contact:

FULS: John Dooher Tel. 07713636362, Email: johndooher@btinternet.com
FLHS: Larry Breen Tel. (00)35345897445 Email: larrybreen8@eircom.net

On 1 December 2012 the History Federations will jointly launch a project to identify and publish a digest of interesting but lesser known places and people whose personality and achievements merit being recalled to memory.

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