The Golden Jubilee of St Brigid’s GAA club was the starting point for this book but gradually it became ‘Stories from around Ballinacree’ – a fairly general title. The ‘around Ballinacree’ is used in order to keep the boundaries fairly flexible. The stories are old and new and are written by many people. They tell us a lot about our past, and also something about our present. The story of Ballinacree did not begin with us; we belong to a stream of history.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus may have been on to something when he said that you can’t step twice into the same stream; but even if we only step once into the stream of history it does make a big difference if we know about the things that happened ‘upstream’ in the past. That knowledge can help us to understand the present a little better. When you have read this book you may begin to see things around you that you hadn’t noticed before.
We tried to do as much research and checking of details as time permitted. The deadline we set was, in hindsight, probably too tight. Most likely there are some errors of fact. If you notice them and point them out that also is progress.
This book should go a long way towards preserving some elements of the ‘stories’ that are the threads of a rich tapestry that is Ballinacree.
We hope that Stories from Around Ballinacree will give you a greater appreciation of our past and our present; provide you with many hours of enjoyment and be of interest to all age groups for years to come.
Some of the material in this book comes from the written, video and audio archives of the Ballinacree Historical Society. Most of the photographs were taken by local photographers and are owned by them. We have also used a small amount of written and photographic material taken from various sources. Wherever we knew the source we obtained permission for use. In some cases we did not trace the source and we used the material on the presumption that it was in the public domain. We apologize if we have inadvertently contravened any copyright protection.
Final editing on the book was done by Seamus Smith, Alo Connaughton and Bernard Smith with the invaluable help in design and layout from Deirdre Garry. A great amount of work was done by others whose names may (or may not in a minority of cases) appear throughout the following pages.
This project has been co-financed by Meath Partnership through the Irish Department of Environment, Community and Local Government’s Rural Development Programme, Ireland 2007-2013,’ and through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe Investing in Rural Areas.”