Fan­tas­tic in­sight into one of the blood­i­est bat­tles

Wexford People - - NEWS - By PÁDRAIG BYRNE

AR­CHAE­OL­O­GISTS and his­tory buffs ar­rived from all over the coun­try to the Pre­sen­ta­tion Cen­tre in En­nis­cor­thy to mark the 220th an­niver­sary of one of the most piv­otal bat­tles fought on Ir­ish soil with the Vine­gar Hill Ar­chae­ol­ogy Con­fer­ence.

The three day con­fer­ence saw some of the fore­most ex­perts on the era speak­ing and also saw some of the find­ings from the large scale ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sur­vey pub­lished and ex­am­ined.

At the of­fi­cial launch of the con­fer­ence, Chair­man of En­nis­cor­thy Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict Keith Doyle pointed out how the peo­ple of the town are ‘pas­sion­ate about their his­tory’ and con­grat­u­lated every­body in­volved in ‘The Long­est Day Project’ and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal work which un­earthed arte­facts such as bul­lets, weapon frag­ments and var­i­ous other items as­so­ci­ated with camp life. Key­note speaker on the night was Mr Noel Whe­lan, Ju­nior Coun­sel, Au­thor and Po­lit­i­cal An­a­lyst and Colum­nist with the Ir­ish Times, who spoke of the rel­e­vance of the themes of democ­racy from 1798 in to­day’s world.

Fri­day night also in­cluded a pre­view of footage in­tro­duced by Sharon Clancy who worked on the film­ing of The Vine­gar Hill Re­search Project and the com­plete doc­u­men­tary pro­duced by Michael Ben­son will be re­leased later in the year.

The idea be­hind the con­fer­ence was to shed new light on old sto­ries from Vine­gar Hill and the ex­perts cer­tainly achieved that task. Project lead Dr Ro­nan O’Fla­herty got the ball rolling on Satur­day fol­lowed by talks with sev­eral lead­ing in­ter­na­tional ar­chae­ol­o­gists who worked on the project in­clud­ing Dr Niall Brady, our own Jac­qui Hynes, Cian Ho­gan, Ed­mund Joyce, Mar­tin Cahill and Damien Sheils. Among the top­ics cov­ered were the ar­chi­tec­tural land­scape of En­nis­cor­thy in 1798, un­der­wa­ter per­spec­tives of The Long­est Day, geo­phys­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the site and the ac­tual ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sur­vey of the bat­tle­field.

The speak­ers were de­lighted to see great in­ter­est in Vine­gar Hill from both in­side and out­side county Wex­ford, with del­e­gates in at­ten­dance from Meath, Kil­dare and Wick­low. On Sun­day morn­ing the con­fer­ence con­cluded with a site visit where 40 del­e­gates were brought to Vine­gar Hill to ex­plore and hear more of the in­sight­ful sto­ries from the hill with man­ager of the 1798 Cen­tre Rory O Connor and Dr Ro­nan O’Fla­herty.

An ini­tia­tive of En­nis­cor­thy Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict, Dis­trict Man­ager Liz Hore says it has ‘re­ceived very pos­i­tive feed­back’ and com­pli­mented the de­liv­ery and the cal­i­bre of the speak­ers at the event.

Ray Mur­phy, Dr Ro­nan O’Fla­herty, Dr Niall Brady, Liz Hore, En­nis­cor­thy Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict area man­ager; Jacqi Hynes, Michael Cahill, IT Sligo; Cian Ho­gan, Earth­sound and Damien Sheils, Ru­bi­con Her­itage at the Vine­gar Hill Ar­chae­ol­ogy Con­fer­ence in the...

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