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Historical Places & Cultural Points of Interest

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The Somerset Hoard

The unique tapestry of Aughrim village’ rich archaeological and cultural life is reflected in the many ways its inhabitants have contributed to the nation’s history and cultural wealth through the ages. Earliest evidence of the village’s human activity is indicated in its’ archaeological heritage and ancient artifacts, found from as long ago as the early Iron Age and Mesolithic period almost eight thousand years ago, including most significantly that of the Somerset Hoard, dating from the first century A.D.

A number of burial mounds or barrows, to be found on the outskirts of Aughrim Village in Somerset, dates from around 2000 B.C . In 1947, a local farmer, discovered a hoard of decorative objects as he tilled one of his fields. One object, known as the Aughrim Torc, is made from gold and the remainders are of copper alloy. All were made in Ireland. In 1958 this collection was presented to and is now housed in the National Museum of Ireland.

Aughrim International Summer School

Mindful of the unique cultural history and legacy of the Village of Aughrim and its fatal Battle in 1691, the Rev. Canon Trevor Sullivan secretary of the Christian Training Institute, together with Mr. John Flynn, Consultant Surgeon, established the Aughrim International Summer School, engaging visionary and futuristic activity in inviting various speakers from across the religious and political divides to speak and debate the very live issues affecting the people both North and South today.

Martin Joyce

Martin Joyce, Aughrim’s favourite son, whose contribution to the Vilage and it’s history has been remembered alongisde that of his famous collection and legacy of museum artifacts, preserved over the years in the local primary school where Martin was Head Master, and which are currently housed in the Aughrim Interpreative Centre. Martin worked tirelessly in gaining recognition for the important legacy of the The Battle of Aughtim and in getting the Battle of Aughrim Centre.

Annually, in July, C.T.I. hosts an International Summer School in Aughrim and in conjunction with RTE broadcasts a Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation on the National Day of Remembrance, established by the Irish Government in 1937.

The Service is held in Glan Church and is led by International Lecturer and Broadcaster Pastor Robert Dunlop.

Themes of the Summer School have included:

• Healing Wounded History, following Russ Parker’s book published in 2000.

• Symbolism and Reality

• Finding a Grammar of Consent in the Language of the Peace Process

A commemorative tree planting programme was also initiated with some 11,000 trees being planted in Aughrim, in memory of all the fallen of the Battle and those subsequently affected by it.

The Women’s World Day of Prayer is alternated between the churches each year and the choirs of both churches unite on the annual occasion of the Aughrim International Summer School’s Service, broadcast last from St. Mathew’s Church, Clontuskert.

Sunflower Chernobyl Appeal

Aughrim is home base for the charitable organisation Sunflower Chernobyl Appeal which carries out vital voluntary work, such as fundraising, family exchange and children’s holidays for areas in Belarus affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.


Heritage and Themed Folk Park

The Aughrim Community Development Association, in partnership with Galway County Council, recently undertook a significant landmark development for the Village, in the form of a unique Cultural Heritage Park, including a state of the art Children’s Playground, portraying the Village as a dynamic and ever changing place.

In keeping with the rich historical and cultural legacy of the area, the Community took an innovative approach by developing the park into a unique heritage themed park, incorporating artifacts and information integral to the life, history, culture and character of the area down through the years. The area developed is about an acre in total including park furniture such as picnic tables and park benches and enhancing the economic and social attractiveness of the village and the surrounding countryside.

Recent Developments in Aughrim Village…

Continuing into the first half of the twentieth first Century, the Aughrim community continues to contribute to the area’s cultural heritage into the present day.

Most recently Aughrim’s unique place in Irish History was dedicated and saluted by the community, through the publication of A Social History of Aughrim in 2006.

The Book plays testimony and homage to all the people from the the Village of Aughrim, who made, shaped and contributed to the area and the many people who spread to all corners of the globe, who have made their mark on society and who have contributed so much to the Irish Diaspora.

The book was initiated and coordinated by the local Community Development group, in partnership with local FAS participants, and sets out to give a social history of the community, in which it gives an inkling of the life, work, music, sports, achievements, failures and disappointments over the years.

The Hymany Way

The Hymany Way follows in the footsteps of Donal Cam O Sullivan who was forced to flee West Cork with 1000 followers in 1603 to meet up with the O‘Roukes of Breifne.

Aughrim forms a stage of the national Beara-Breifne Greenway, called The Hymany Way, which is part of the greater Beire Breife Walking Route, starting on the Beara Peninsula and is intended to link up with the Cavan Way.

The Hymany Way, is one of a series of 11 sections of the greater Beara Breifne Way, going in a northerly direction on the western side of the Shannon tracing the epic march of O Sullivan Bere in January 1603, accompanied by 1,000 followers and reaching O'Rourke's Castle in Leitrim with only 35 people remaining. DoorThis 48 km walking route starts in Portumna and northwards to Meelick, on to Clonfert and through the battle site at Aughrim and into Aughrim itself Clonfert Cathederal.

‘The Hymany Way traverses the most beautiful and least explored of local areas with its watercourses, including the biodiversity of the Shannon River and the species rich mosaic of habitats along its banks, cutover and drained and raised bog, forest paths and quite country roads. The Shannon Callows are famous for their birdlife with internationally important numbers of Skylark, Meadow Pipit,, Reed Buntings, and Sedge Warblers. The Callows continues to hold over 40% of the Irish population of the globally endangered Corncrake. The route takes in rich collections of features, which will ensure that many walkers will want to linger along the way. Adding enjoyment to the walk are interesting information panels at the Shannon Crossing, Blackloon.Castle, Clonfert Cathedral, Meelick Abbey and St. Ruth's Bush, site of the Battle of Aughrim in 1691, the fiercest fight ever fought in Irelands turbulent and bloody history’. (Source: www.Irishtrails.ie)

Townland Markings

Townland markings made from stone incorporates a map of the Aughrim area giving its village names in both Irish and English.

Martin Joyce

Martin Joyce, Aughrim’s favourite son, whose contribution to the Vilage and it’s history has been remembered alongisde that of his famous collection and legacy of museum artifacts, preserved over the years in the local primary school where Martin was Head Master, and which are currently housed in the Aughrim Interpreative Centre. Martin worked tirelessly in gaining recognition for the important legacy of the The Battle of Aughtim and in getting the Battle of Aughrim Centre.

The Orphanage

The Aughrim park stands on the very site that was the Orphanage and that was home to 384 children spanning three quarters of a century. In the early 1870’s every county in Ireland had an Orphan Society for the support of destitute Protestant children who were either fatherless or deprived of both parents. The Home in Aughrim was privately run and financed, but received a subvention towards its upkeep from the Protestant Orphan Society. Successive reports show that it relied heavily on its benefactors for its financial survival.

James Mc Nevin

James Mc Nevin, (1763-1841) a native of Aughrim, a United Irishman and titled ‘Father of American Chemistry’ as a founder and renown author and lecture of American chemistry.

‘’He was the eldest son of James and Rosa (born Dolphin) MacNeven. As a Catholic, William suffered the effects of the penal laws and was forced to further his education on the continent. His maternal grandfather was Sir William O’Kelly, of Aughrim, who became Professor of Heraldry in the College of Nobles in Vienna. In 1744 the young boy was sent to study with his paternal uncle, Baron William O’Kelly NacNeven. He was to spend the next ten years studying medicine in Austria. On his return MacNeven was to give up his promising career in medicine to take up the revolutionary cause and became involved in the cause of Catholic Emancipation, which was to become a lifelong commitment. MacNeven joined the Directory of the United Ireland Movement, together with his close friend, Thomas Addis Emmet.

In 1805 MacNeven arrived in America. He was to become a leader of the United Irish colony in New York; while, at the same time, achieving great distinction in his medical career, earning him the title of “Father of American Chemistry. Emmet and MacNeven share equal monuments on Broadway in New York. In the form of a thirty-five foot cenotaph erected in his memory, with its inscriptions in Gaelic, Latin and English. (From ‘Social History of Aughrim’ 2006)

He is rememerbed by an information stone plaque, located within the Village Cultural Heritage Park.

Miniature Battle Field

A plan drawn up of the miniature Site and battlefield of the Battle of Aughrim is embedded into two mounds of earth in the Heritage Park, representing the Headquarters of the two opposing armies the Williamites and Jacobites; reconstructing a small replica of the O‘Kelly castle which was in ruins at the time of the battle and using coloured bark to illustrate the bog and the streams so that the visitor will be able to gain an overview of the whole battle site in the park. Two mounds of earth were created in the park representing the two main battle command posts of the Williamite position at Urrarcree and the Jacobite position at Kicommodan.

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