Top

Launch of latest Seanchas Ard Mhacha a historic landmark for the journal

January 11, 2016

In welcoming the guests to the Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive in Armagh recently for the launch of the 2015 edition of Seanchas Ard Mhacha, the Chairman of Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, Monsignor Raymond Murray, emphasised the significance of it being the 50th issue of the annual journal since first published in 1954.
Monsignor Murray paid tribute to the succession of editors who have established and maintained the exceptionally high standard of the publication throughout those decades. He briefly refreshed on the origin of the historical society, Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha, and the publication of its first volume before going on to acknowledge the subsequent evolution of regional societies, each of them emphasising the importance of local history.
After paying tribute to the officers, committee and members of Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha, the Chairman introduced the launch guest, Kieran McConville, Creggan Local History Society, himself a regular contributor to the journal and a former Director of The Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library.
In expressing how honoured he was to be asked to conduct the launch, Mr McConville also accentuated the ‘historic landmark that had now been reached for such a publication’ before reflecting on the reality of the period when it was first launched and then noting the diligence of successive editors – Fr Tomás Ó Fiaich, Fr Patrick Campbell, Mgr. Raymond Murray and now Dr Eoin Magennis.
The contents of this present issue, he said, maintain the high standard of scholarship with eight articles, three significant notes and documents, the chronicle section and book reviews.
He noted, ‘at 330 pages it is again a very substantial book, of which the depth of scholarship and breath of scope, I believe, would be the envy of many other societies.’ The present splendid manifestation, he said, is down to the diligence and hard work of editor Eoin Magennis.
In reviewing the range of contents, he drew attention to Fr John Bradley’s detailed history of the 19th century Deans of Maynooth and also to Dr Patricia Rumsey’s article on monastic prayer in the monastic communities here in Armagh. He also made special mention of Brian Gilmore’s article on ‘A catholic burial in Tynan parish in June 1829, following Emancipation.’
Declaring his professional interest as a librarian, Mr McConville was naturally drawn to Pamela Emerson’s survey of 19th century library provision in County Armagh and noted this as being an important area of social and cultural life which is not well documented ‘so we are much in debt to Pamela for this interesting review’.
Another article which warranted special mention was ‘The catholic parishes of the barony of Cooley, and the Great Famine 1845-1851’, the detail of this being attributed to the legacy of completed, if unpublished, works of Harold O’Sullivan who died in 2009.
And in noting how Ireland has produced families who, through multiple members, make such a great contribution to the intellectual, cultural and social spheres of our lives, Kieran cited the Arthurs family of Keady ‘as providing us with three brothers, Gerry, Eugene and John who contributed so much to the life of sport, religion and scholarship in our country’.
He drew attention to Nollaig Ó Muraíle’s article, ‘Seán Mac Airt, Pioneering Ulster place-names scholar’ which looks at one aspect of the career of one of these brothers John Arthurs, better known as the Irish scholar Seán Mac Airt.
Another hugely interesting contribution to the journal which is sure to have general appeal to readers is one underlining the important resource available to historians through the work of visual artists. The author of this enlightening insight into the significant role and application of painters is Armagh based Irish Artist John Brian Vallely (JBV) whose strong themes of rural Ireland, its traditions, music and sport radiate through his work.
The article refers to the discovery of a quite amazing 18th century painting from over 200 years ago – depicting ‘The Irish Road Bowler’ – which only recently turned up in a London Art Gallery. In the words of the writer, ‘this picture stands out as one of the most fascinating and intriguing glimpses into Irish social history of the period.’  In a thoroughly detailed and very well illustrated article Brian Vallely makes the point that the recently discovered painting is available to buy ‘and it is hoped that it will eventually find a home in Ireland where it will be publicly displayed for all to enjoy.’
Current Editor of Seanchas Ard Mhacha, Dr Eoin Magennis, used the occasion to welcome two new writers in Fionnuala Gough and Pamela Emerson and also spoke of the new design of the journal before paying tribute to Brian Vallely for facilitating the colour reproduction of some of his paintings.
In noting that he is the first lay editor in the sixty-year history of Seanchas Ard Mhacha, Mr Magennis concluded by thanking the Society committee and overall membership, and in particular his wife Lesa for her support, as well as the Ó Fiaich Library personnel, Director Roddy Hegarty and Librarian Joe Canning.
Copies of the journal may be purchased through the Cardinal Tomás Ó Faich Memorial Library and Archive at Moy Road, Armagh City.

In welcoming the guests to the Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library and Archive in Armagh recently for the launch of the 2015 edition of Seanchas Ard Mhacha, the Chairman of Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, Monsignor Raymond Murray, emphasised the significance of it being the 50th issue of the annual journal since first published in 1954.Monsignor Murray paid tribute to the succession of editors who have established and maintained the exceptionally high standard of the publication throughout those decades. He briefly refreshed on the origin of the historical society, Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha, and the publication of its first volume before going on to acknowledge the subsequent evolution of regional societies, each of them emphasising the importance of local history.After paying tribute to the officers, committee and members of Cumann Seanchais Ard Mhacha, the Chairman introduced the launch guest, Kieran McConville, Creggan Local History Society, himself a regular contributor to the journal and a former Director of The Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library.   In expressing how honoured he was to be asked to conduct the launch, Mr McConville also accentuated the ‘historic landmark that had now been reached for such a publication’ before reflecting on the reality of the period when it was first launched and then noting the diligence of successive editors – Fr Tomás Ó Fiaich, Fr Patrick Campbell, Mgr. Raymond Murray and now Dr Eoin Magennis.The contents of this present issue, he said, maintain the high standard of scholarship with eight articles, three significant notes and documents, the chronicle section and book reviews.He noted, ‘at 330 pages it is again a very substantial book, of which the depth of scholarship and breath of scope, I believe, would be the envy of many other societies.’ The present splendid manifestation, he said, is down to the diligence and hard work of editor Eoin Magennis.  In reviewing the range of contents, he drew attention to Fr John Bradley’s detailed history of the 19th century Deans of Maynooth and also to Dr Patricia Rumsey’s article on monastic prayer in the monastic communities here in Armagh. He also made special mention of Brian Gilmore’s article on ‘A catholic burial in Tynan parish in June 1829, following Emancipation.’  Declaring his professional interest as a librarian, Mr McConville was naturally drawn to Pamela Emerson’s survey of 19th century library provision in County Armagh and noted this as being an important area of social and cultural life which is not well documented ‘so we are much in debt to Pamela for this interesting review’. Another article which warranted special mention was ‘The catholic parishes of the barony of Cooley, and the Great Famine 1845-1851’, the detail of this being attributed to the legacy of completed, if unpublished, works of Harold O’Sullivan who died in 2009.And in noting how Ireland has produced families who, through multiple members, make such a great contribution to the intellectual, cultural and social spheres of our lives, Kieran cited the Arthurs family of Keady ‘as providing us with three brothers, Gerry, Eugene and John who contributed so much to the life of sport, religion and scholarship in our country’. He drew attention to Nollaig Ó Muraíle’s article, ‘Seán Mac Airt, Pioneering Ulster place-names scholar’ which looks at one aspect of the career of one of these brothers John Arthurs, better known as the Irish scholar Seán Mac Airt.Another hugely interesting contribution to the journal which is sure to have general appeal to readers is one underlining the important resource available to historians through the work of visual artists. The author of this enlightening insight into the significant role and application of painters is Armagh based Irish Artist John Brian Vallely (JBV) whose strong themes of rural Ireland, its traditions, music and sport radiate through his work.The article refers to the discovery of a quite amazing 18th century painting from over 200 years ago – depicting ‘The Irish Road Bowler’ – which only recently turned up in a London Art Gallery. In the words of the writer, ‘this picture stands out as one of the most fascinating and intriguing glimpses into Irish social history of the period.’  In a thoroughly detailed and very well illustrated article Brian Vallely makes the point that the recently discovered painting is available to buy ‘and it is hoped that it will eventually find a home in Ireland where it will be publicly displayed for all to enjoy.’Current Editor of Seanchas Ard Mhacha, Dr Eoin Magennis, used the occasion to welcome two new writers in Fionnuala Gough and Pamela Emerson and also spoke of the new design of the journal before paying tribute to Brian Vallely for facilitating the colour reproduction of some of his paintings.In noting that he is the first lay editor in the sixty-year history of Seanchas Ard Mhacha, Mr Magennis concluded by thanking the Society committee and overall membership, and in particular his wife Lesa for her support, as well as the Ó Fiaich Library personnel, Director Roddy Hegarty and Librarian Joe Canning.Copies of the journal may be purchased through the Cardinal Tomás Ó Faich Memorial Library and Archive at Moy Road, Armagh City.

Bottom