Fantastic insight into one of the bloodiest battles
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...