New Online Graveyard Resources for County Galway
Care, Recording and Conservation of the Graveyards of the County of Galway
Galway County Council in partnership with Galway Rural Development has embarked on the development of online resources for individuals and communities who wish to record the memorials and heritage of their local graveyards. In addition to this it also highlights some of the issues of graveyard management and provides information for community groups on how best to deal with such issues.
The aim of this online resource is to showcase and create a greater awareness of the wealth of heritage and local history contained within the graveyards of County Galway.
As part of this initiative Galway Rural Development received LEADER funding to develop a suite of heritage training programmes for communities in East Galway. Archaeological training for community groups and Cartographical training for community groups were key elements of this project. The project was overseen by Galway Rural Development with guidance and assistance from the Heritage Office of Galway County Council.
Initially all the training was to be given to groups on the ground but due to Covid19 restrictions a new way had to be found to deliver the remainder of the training and it was decided to create online resources as part of this training.
David Nolan, an expert trainer in AutoCAD and Information Technology has produced 3 videos dealing with using Gmail, Google handouts and Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet programme. Link to these videos here:
Dr Christy Cunniffe, Archaeologist and Heritage Expert has produced three videos, one with regards to ‘Heritage Legislation and Advice’, another on ‘Reading Inscriptions’ and a third on ‘Identifying Memorial Types’. In addition to this he has also provided a very insightful account of ‘The work of Murphy Monumental Sculptor of Glenamaddy’ These videos and document can be found here: https://heritage.galwaycommunityheritage.org/content/category/topics/care-recording-and-conservation-of-graveyards/recording-historic-graveyards
Cllr. Jimmy McClearn, Cathaoirleach of the County of Galway said, “Through the development of this online resource it is hoped that local communities and individuals will be inspired to explore their own local graveyards and to discover the collection of local heritage that lies within”.
Conor Carty, LEADER Programme Manager, Galway Rural Development notes “Developing community groups abilities to upskill and increase knowledge is a key objective for GRD through the LEADER programme. This project is a great example of how LEADER can assist community groups in undertaking training that generates practical and transferable knowledge and skills to ensure important community facilities such as graveyards can be recorded accurately”
Graveyards vary in complexity and those working or visiting a graveyard may encounter a variety of features that they need to know about in order have a good understanding of the graveyard. Due to their long history of use, historic graveyards tend to be rich in built heritage and often contain elements from many periods. Modern graveyards have not yet had the time to accumulate the same number of layers and are generally more formal and functional in appearance.
Over the years Galway County Council in partnership with Galway Rural Development, Forum Connemara and various community groups and schools are involved in the recording and digitally mapping the graveyards and their memorial inscriptions. The recording of the memorial inscriptions takes a lot of hard work and perseverance in dealing with the older and hard to read memorials. Local peoples’ knowledge and expertise is essential with regards to their knowledge of local names and also the local area. All of the communities and school groups who undertake this work, do so in an entirely voluntary capacity. This work is available online on the following link: http://gccapps.galwaycoco.ie/graveyards/
Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Galway County Council said, “It is hoped that these new online resources will motivate more people to document their local graveyard and that this in turn will be a rich resource for the people of our county and its far-flung diaspora”.
This new online resource is available on the following link: https://heritage.galwaycommunityheritage.org/content/category/topics/care-recording-and-conservation-of-graveyards
Also see the following link for digitised memorial inscriptions from various graveyards throughout the county: http://gccapps.galwaycoco.ie/graveyards/
For further information please contact:
Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Galway County Council phone 087 9088387 email [email protected]
Conor Carty, LEADER Programme Manager, Galway Rural Development phone 091-844335 and email [email protected]