St Connell's Museum in Glenties
A quiz, in aid of St.Connell's Museum, Glenties takes place in the museum this Saturday, January 25, at 8.30pm.
St Connell’s Museum is a small, not-for-profit enterprise, run by CE workers and volunteers. It was established to preserve and cherish the history, customs and traditions of the parish of Iniskeel.
In addition to outstanding natural heritage sites, the parish of Iniskeel, and specifically Glenties, is a centre of literary, cultural and architectural heritage.
Brian Friel’s family home, The Laurels, is in Glenties, Patrick MacGill, ‘the navvy poet’, was born in Glenties and inspired the MacGill Summer School.
In August they have Frielfest which attracts leading actors of stage and screen including Tamsin Greig in 2018 and in 2019 Hollywood actor, Patrick Bergin for example.
In addition, Glenties has won the Tidy Towns competition a record five times, and in September the community welcomes the traditional Harvest Fair.
The museum is pivotal to displaying and preserving this local and national heritage.
"We have some of the furniture from The Laurels – a unique display - as well as a room devoted to memorabilia and the writings of Brian Friel and Patrick MacGill.
"We also have information about Liam McCormick, the internationally renowned architect who designed the magnificent St Conal’s Church in Glenties, one of the seven churches he designed in Co Donegal.
"St Connell’s Museum is a priceless cultural asset, not just locally, but on a national level, helping to ensure that our rich heritage is protected, valued and enjoyed.
"The coffee shop provides a small income for the museum, but the reality is that we run on a shoe-string budget. Last year the security gates at the side of the building had to be renewed, costing in excess of €900.
"The museum deserves to be on the radar of every cultural tour guide. However, we are in desperate need of funding to maintain the current exhibits, and to help preserve the heritage of our town and county.
"The staff all volunteer at Halloween and Christmas to run events for local children, they organize regular school visits from local national schools, they volunteer for quiz nights, and the museum has hosted talks on local authors as well as ‘rambling nights’ of storytelling and music.
"Next month, February 2020, we will be holding an exhibition of photographs of local people taken by an award winning photographer over a period of two months in the summer of 2019.
"Some of these events help with the running costs of the museum, but mostly they are intended to fulfil the museum’s function of cherishing our heritage as well as staying engaged with the local community.
"To continue this work and expand it we need financial assistance. We have a wealth of local information already gathered including local stories, songs and recitations based on local people and events. We have national school roll books, private letters of local authors, posters and programmes of local events from years gone by.
"We need the finance to have staff trained to digitize these collections in order to preserve them in digital form. In order to preserve the originals, we need funding to install appropriate lighting and heating systems.
"This museum is for everybody, and should be supported by everybody. This is an opportunity to do so. Why not come along, enjoy yourself, have a cup of tea, answer a few questions, query a few answers, and help your community," said a spokesman for the organisers.
Saturday night is quiz night in Glenties and for a very worthy cause so why not get along and support it.
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