Jour­nal turns spot­light on so­cial his­tory

Wexford People - - NEWS - By ANNA HAYES

A LARGE crowd at­tended the launch of the sixth Ross­lare in His­tory jour­nal, at Kelly’s Re­sort Ho­tel, Ross­lare Strand.

The jour­nal, which is edited by Gerry Breen, in­cludes a wide va­ri­ety of ar­ti­cles which shed light on the place and its peo­ple, in which there is great in­ter­est, as ev­i­denced by the crowd in at­ten­dance on the night.

Val Bog­gan, Sec­re­tary of the His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, wel­comed the at­ten­dance, thank­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity for their sup­port, and the com­mit­tee mem­bers for their work dur­ing the year.

Speak­ing about the pub­li­ca­tion, ed­i­tor Gerry Breen ac­knowl­edged that his­tory was a tricky sub­ject with many dif­fer­ent faces that pro­fes­sional his­to­ri­ans didn’t al­ways agree on the im­por­tance of dif­fer­ent branches of the sub­ject.

‘In Ross­lare His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, we have con­cen­trated on so­cial his­tory be­cause we be­lieve this is re­ally the his­tory of or­di­nary peo­ple and it tells us about their strate­gies and in­sti­tu­tions for cop­ing with life.’

He added that while some felt that so­cial his­tory was ‘his­tory with the pol­i­tics left out’ but they pre­ferred to think of it as his­tory with ‘the peo­ple tak­ing their proper place in telling their story.’

He urged those gath­ered to pick up their copy of the jour­nal on the night, re­mark­ing that ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone’.

The jour­nal was launched by Dr Austin O’Sul­li­van, a for­mer sci­en­tist in John­stown Cas­tle Agri­cul­tural Cen­tre who had been hugely in­flu­en­tial in the es­tab­lish­ment of the Ir­ish Agri­cul­tural Mu­seum there.

Dr O’Sul­li­van con­tin­ues to main­tain a close as­so­ci­a­tion with the mu­seum and is also a his­to­rian and an au­thor. Au­thor of a book about the his­tory of John­stown Cas­tle, his most re­cent book is a his­tory of trans­port in Ire­land. He gave a very in­ter­est­ing talk on lo­cal his­tory and the im­por­tant work be­ing done by his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties in record­ing the his­tory of their ar­eas.

RIGHT: Pat Byrne and Oliver Doyle at the launch of Ross­lare In His­tory No. 6 in Kelly’s Re­sort Ho­tel.

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