PRECIOUS OBJECTS SHARED
HERITAGE and history were the order of the day at County Buildings last Tuesday as Wicklow County Council hosted its 1916 Public Collection Day as part of its 1916 commemoration programme.
Members of the public brought along a diverse selection of items, ranging from weaponry and other military garb to intensely private family documents, letters, photographs and papers. Overall, approximately 40 items were presented by members of the public.
The vast majority were family items which had been passed down through the years. A number of very personal items were shared on the day, such as the prison issue socks and belt and a prayer book, signed by the owner, a member of the Irish Volunteers, used during his incarceration in Dartmoor prison following his involvement in the Rising.
Other items relate to everyday life of the period such as the handwritten notebook of recipes compiled by a young lady; a dancing costume handmade from Irish linen, complete with brass buttons marked with the insignia of the Irish Volunteers, which was originally made by a lady in Rathdrum and helped the owner dance her way to success in many competitions in the early 1900s.
A final example of the range of objects brought along on the day were a number of rifles which had been landed in Kilcoole in 1914 and kept in the locality until their use in 1916 and the War of Independence.
All of these items have now been digitized and fully documented, and will contribute greatly to the county’s archival collection.
Wicklow is one of the few counties to host an online community heritage archive, ‘Our Wicklow Heritage’ which will become a depository in the coming weeks for sharing this information to the wider public in Ireland and abroad, see www.countywicklowheritage.org.
The event also saw great participation by historical societies and groups from Bray, Roundwood, Greystones, Wicklow and Hollywood and talks given by local experts, including Brendan Flynn, Stan O’Reilly, Ben Fagan and Brian White, along with the young musicians from Wicklow Comhaltas and all the others who freely gave up their time.
Military historian Brendan Flynn with Gail Dunne and some of his family medals.
Marie Tutty and Lucy Mooney from the Hollywood Fair.
Dylan and Abby O’Sullivan with Stan O’Reilly at the Wicklow Historical Society stand at County Buildings.
Brian White and May Harte from Bray Cualann Historical Society.
Victor Edmonds from Greystones, whose grandfather’s step-brother, Alfred Blinco, was involved in the Rising in the South Dublin Union.
Derek Neilson and Joe Timmons from Roundwood and District HistoricalSociety.