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Notice Board

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Notices will be removed when spent or at the request of the author.

Date Notice
Full meetings of the Society are held in Áras an Chairdinéil Ó Fiaich, (Cardinal O'Fee Centre), in Cullyhanna at 8:00pm (8:30pm if there is no lecture arranged) on the first Thursday of each month with the exception of July and August.
20 May 2010

The fourteenth edition of the Society's Journal Creggan was launched at a well attended gathering in the Cardinal O Fiaich Centre. The edition was a 20th Anniversary Commmorative one in memory of the late Cardinal. The Cardinal's sister-in-law, Mrs Deirdre Fee launched the journal. Some pictures HERE

6 March 2008

The Society's monthly meeting was held, for the first time, in Creggan Church's Parish Hall. The speaker was Clive Scoular who gave a talk on the early days of the recent 'troubles' focusing on the Ulster Workers strike in 1974.

7 February 2008

The Society's Annual General Meeting received and approved the Officers reports and they were re-elected unanimously for the incoming year. The members' sympathy and best wishes were extended to the Chairperson, Mary Cumiskey, who was uable to attend following a minor accident.

It was noted that the Journal was due this year and the Editor, Michael McShane, reported that most of the material had either already been received or was promised. Following a discussion about funding it was agreed to seek page sponsorship as had been done some years before.

15 November 2007

The 2007 the Jem Murphy Memorial Lecture was held in Áras an Chairdinéil Ó Fiaich on Thursday 15 November. The speaker was Eamonn O Huallachain and his subject was John McMoyer, the betrayer of Oliver Plunkett.

The McMoyers, after whom the townland of Ballymoyer was named had, since the 14th Century been the keepers of the Book of Armagh, the 807AD Life of St Patrick.

McMoyer had been an implacable foe of Plunkett from the first, joined the Franciscan Order in 1667 and after a spell in Louvain went to Rome from where he was expelled for beheading a statue of Plunkett. The reasons for his hatred were complex; Plunkett was from the Pale, had asked to be appointed to the Archbishopric of Armagh, had adjudicated in favour of the Dominicans in a dispute with the Franciscans and was known to be keen to reform the Franciscan Order in Ireland.

McMoyer went to Spain where he was ordained and after 3 years returned to Ireland, becoming a curate in Killeavy which was a centre for the Raparees who were opposed by Plunkett. McMoyer was subsequently suspended by Plunkett who also advised people not to accept Communion from him. This increased McMoyer's hatred and he accused Plunkett to the authorities as planning to bring in the French army. He was not believed and was in danger himself of being executed. None daunted he mounted a concerted campaign to bring Plunkett to trial which started in July 1680 but collapsed in the absence of witnesses. However, Plunket was not released and in October he was taken to London where he was tried on 8 June 1681 before Lord Chief Justice Pemberton, the main witness being John McMoyer, and on 15 June he was found guilty and sentenced to death, the sentence being carried out on 1 July. Such was McMoyer's hatred that he persuaded his cousin to pawn the Book of Armagh for 5 to cover his costs. The money was never repaid and the Book passed out of the stewardship of the McMoyers forever.

Such was the infamy associated with his name that many of the McMoyers changed their name and there are no McMoyers to be found in Ballymoyer or anywhere in the six counties.

Plunkett himself forgave his accuser who was excommunicated by Rome and expelled from the Franciscan Order. He spent some time in gaol and, disowned by his own people, subsequently disappeared from History except that it is known that his later petition for the lifting of the excommunication was granted.

23 November 2006 The twelfth edition of the Society's journal "CREGGAN" was launched. The Guest Speaker, Eamonn O Huallachain, commenting that there were over 2000 names recorded in the journal congratulated the Society on it's continuing production of a high-quality publication. Some photos of the event are available HERE.

Eamonn's talk on The Flight of the Earls was the second event of the evening and it was evident that he was well versed in the subject, taking the audience through the main events and stages of the journey, undertaken to elicit the support of the Spanish King to the Ulster cause and also to avoid capture, imprisonment and possible execution by the English. He recounted the hardships of the journey undertaken by the 99 strong party of O'Neills, O'Donnells, Maguires and others - the atrocious weather, 21 days at sea - diversion to France and Belgium, rejection by the Spanish king, an epic 229 day journey to Rome, loss of most of O'Neill's treasure, the death of O'Neill's son, Hugh. O'Neill was destined never to set foot in his beloved Ireland again, dying in 1616 and, dying with him, Gaelic Ulster.

2 February 2006

The Annual General Meeting approved the Officer's Reports and unanimously re-elected them for the incoming year. It was noted that the commemorative plaque for the five re-interred priests was ready for erection in the church and it was agreed that the Chairperson and Treasurer should be present to inspect the plaque prior to fixing. The production of the journal was discussed and additional material would still be welcome. The identification of possible speakers was discussed and the approach agree. Finally, it was noted that membership subscriptions were now due. Next meeting 2 March

12 October 2005

The 2005 Jem Murphy Memorial Lecture will be held in Áras an Chairdinéil Ó Fiaich on Thursday 10 November. The speaker, Gerard McAtasney, will give a talk on the Famine in Co. Armagh, using previously unpublished material.

11 September 2005

A fine sunny afternoon met the small group of Church of Ireland parishioners and their neighbours who gathered for the service organised by the Creggan History Society. The service has been held annually since 1988.

Officiating at the service was Rev. Sandra Pragnell. Also present was Rev. Richard Moore and Fr. John Heagnew PP Mullaghbawn.

Rev. Pragnell's address was based on the day's gospel of the Good Samaritan and will be published in full in the 2006 edition of Creggan. Afterwards the group adjourned to the nearby Parish Rooms for refreshments and dialogue.

Some photos of the event are available HERE.

5 April 2005

The Vice-Chairman, Tony Kieran, welcomed Michael McKeown and Francis Gallagher who were representing the newly-formed Friends of the Newry Museum. Michael gave a brief outline of the genesis of the Museum and how the Friends were hoping to provide additional support for acquisitions. Michael McShane mentioned the role of the Cardinal O'Fiaich Heritage Centre in acquiring and displaying items and documents of historical and cultural interest in the South Armagh area.

Kieran McConville, a member of the Society, provided an interesting talk on the Dorsey National School from 1830 to about 1860. He began by tracing the broad history of Catholic education before and during the period of the Penal Laws, which, although draconian in their intended scope and severity, were hardly enforced in south Armagh. Hedge schools were overseen by teachers of mixed ability but throughout the centuries catholic parents remained keen for their children to be educated. He briefly covered Charter Schools and the Kildare Street Society both of which had schools in the area. The big change came in 1831 with the establishment of the national Schools, controlled the Commission of National Education, with appointed Commissioners and full time staff. Unlike the previous system which was church based, the new system was secular, providing help with setting up schools, assisting with teachers salaries and approving texts. The new system was welcomed by the Catholic Hierarchy but opposed by the Church of Ireland.

In 1830 the denominations in Dorsey combined to set up a school; they obtained land from the landlord, McGeough Bond, built a one-room school, appointed a schoolmaster and got underway. When the National System was set up the Group applied for the school to become part of it and this was granted. In fact, it was the first school in the area accepted under the new system.

Kieran ran through a number of the issues addressed by the new school, some of them controversial, but it survived and continued to flourish under a succession of masters, being used as a food distribution centre during the famine.

5 March 2005 The Society's regular meeting took place on Thursday 3 March. It was reported that Father Cullen had agreed to the erection of the commemorative plaque for the five re-interred priests and had kindly agreed that the parish would meet the cost. An approach to a designer/supplier had resulted in a broad design and cost estimate. Approval to proceed was given.

The possibility of erecting a blue plaque to Art McCooey was discussed and it was agreed to ask the Ulster History Circle to include it was one of their projects, with whatever help the Society could give. It was noted that this would fit in with the 'Poets' Trail' project and would involve the District Council and other agencies active in South Armagh.

It was noted that the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls was approaching and it was agreed to participate by building on the O'Neill legacy and Glassdrummond Castle in particular. Ongoing work was approved.

The next meeting is 7 April. There will be a talk by Kieran McConville on 'Dorsey National School - the early years'

5 February 2005 The Annual General Meeting of the Society was held on 3 February. Reporting on a busy and successful twentieth year the Chairperson, Mary Cumiskey, commented on the Society's contribution to the collection and preservation of so much of the locality's history which might otherwise have been lost. The year saw the publication of the 11th edition of the Society's journal and Mary's thanks to the Editor, Michael McShane, was warmly applauded. Four stimulating and thought provoking lectures had been widely attended and a educational and enjoyable outing to Westmeath and Ballyjamesduff had been organised. There was sad recollection of members and former members who had passed away. The Treasurer, Michael McShane, presented the Financial Report which showed a healthy financial picture. Following this the Officers were re-elected for the incoming year. The meeting agreed to investigate the feasibility and cost of erecting a suitable memorial in St Patrick's Church to the five priests who had been re-interred (from the old Tullinafruchog Chapel) in the Belltower when the new church was erected in 1893.
18 November 2004 The eleventh edition of the Society's journal "CREGGAN" was launched before a substantial gathering of members. Michael McShane reminded members that the Society was now 20 years old and that in addition to the journals the Society had produced six other publications. Mons. Denis Faul PP Carrickmore, having formally launched the journal, gave a scholarly, thoughtful and interesting lecture on Oliver Cromwell's campaign in Ireland in 1649/50, raising questions about the extent of some of the reported atrocities in Drogheda, and contrasting the Irish and English perceptions of the man. Some photos of the event are available HERE.
7 October 2004 An interesting talk on hiring fairs in Ulster was given by Joe Canning. Little has been written about this form of mainly rural employment practice, common until the end of the 1930s. Joe ranged over a number of aspects of the system; location of fairs, origin of hirers and hirees, bargaining, living conditions, wages and conditions, working hours, skills etc. A lively question and answer session followed in which many members talked about local folk memories and their personal recollections of the system.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 18 November when the latest edition of the Society's journal "Creggan" will be launched. Also, Fr. Denis Faul will deliver the Jem Murphy Memorial Lecture, on Oliver Cromwell.

6 May 2004 Kieran McConville, a member of the Society, delivered a lively, interesting and entertaining lecture on a local slander case brought by a Cullyhanna schoolteacher against a locally based RIC Sargent in 1890. The dramatis personnae included the local Parish Priest, the newly formed GAA, the Land League, other members of the RIC and mysterious women of doubtful repute. Also a factor was the impact of a series of evictions in a nearby townland which stirred up the area. The schoolteacher claimed 500. He won and was awarded 40/- (2.00) as well as 180 costs. It is doubtful if he ever received his costs.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 3 June.

7 April 2004 An interesting talk on the history of the Carrickmacross Workhouse and the surrounding historical and social circumstances of the time of its construction, together with an account of its occupancy during the Great Famine, was given by Larry McDermott, the Principal of Blackstaff School. There was a lively discussion on the issues.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 6 May.

12 November 2003 Almost 90 people attended this special meeting of the Society for the launch of "The O'Neills of the Fews" - a compilation of the late Cardinal O Fiaich's articles in Seanchas Ard Mhacha, edited by Réamonn Ó Muirí and the Jem Murphy Memorial Lecture on the burning of the Wild Goose Lodge in 1816, its genesis in the economic conditions of the times and its tragic consequences; eight people burned to death and 18 hanged.

See Chambers' Edinburgh Journal (Number 296) Saturday, September 30, 1837 for an account of the events.

The next meeting will be on Thursday 4 December.

5 October 2003 The first meeting of the 2003-2004 season was held on Thursday 2 October 2003. John Gray, Librarian of the Linenhall Library, gave a learned and entertaining account of the contribution to the United Irishmen's Rebellion of Thomas Russell "The Man From God Knows Where", who was hanged in Downpatrick for his part in the failed rebellion of Robert Emmett in 1803.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 12 November when Réamonn Ó Muiri will deliver The Jem Murphy Memorial lecture "The Burning of The Wild Goose Lodge".

5 April 2003 The April meeting was held on the 3rd. The annual outing was agreed - Down County Museum and Castleward. The programme for the 2004 journal was discussed.

A new Photo Archive section has been added to the web site.

7 February 2003 The AGM was held on 6 February. The Reports of the Chairperson and Treasurer were presented and accepted. The Committee was re-elected unanimously. The lecture programme for the incoming year was discussed and agreed in outline. Next meeting will be on 6th March 2003.
6 December 2002 There will be no meeting in January 2003.

The next meeting will be the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 6 February 2003.

8 November 2002 The Society's latest publication "Tombstone Inscriptions of Creggan Parish - St. Patrick's Cemetery Cullyhanna" was launched yesterday evening.
  • A short account of the launch is available HERE.
  • Extracts from the book available HERE.
  • A list of Society publications, price and how to obtain copies, is available HERE.
1 November 2002 The next meeting of the Society will be on Thursday 7 November 2002.
  • The Guide to Cullyhanna Church and Graveyard will be launched.
8 September 2002 The next meeting of the Society will be on Thursday 3rd October 2002.
  • Clive Scoular will give a lecture on the events and personalities of the War of Independence.
  • Preparation of a detailed guide to Cullyhanna Church and Graveyard is nearing completion. More details later.
8 September 2002 With sponsorship from "Awards for All" the Cardinal ÓFiaich Centre has mounted a major exhibition on the early history of the area with contributions from local schools. Some Photos of the event are here displayed.
4 June 2002

The Society would like to acknowledge the substantial grant received from "Awards for All" which has helped the publication of CREGGAN and will be used to help defray the costs of an education and awareness project, details of which will be announced later.

"Awards for All" is a joint awards programme set up to help small groups in Northern Ireland. It involves the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland.

15 April 2002 The Next meeting of the Society will be on Thursday 9th May 2002.
  • The tenth edition of "CREGGAN", the journal of the Society, will be launched.
  • There will be a talk by a distinguished speaker on the topic of "The impact of women in Irish History"