New digital map of Fethard

New digital map of Fethard

Dr. Rachel Murphy with Fethard Community Council chairman Brian Sheehy.

The Fethard Historical Society have just received the good news that their application for funding towards the creation of a Digital Map of Fethard has been approved by the Heritage Council in their Grants List for 2018.

The project is to create a digital mapping ‘app’ of historic locations in Fethard from Medieval times through to the 19th century.

 The content for the project is The Historic Town Atlas of Fethard which was produced by the Royal Irish Academy in 2003. This Atlas was Number 13 on The Historic Town Atlas (I.H.T.A.) series and it was a great honour that Fethard was one of the earliest historic town to be chosen for such a prestigious project at that time.

The author and compiler of the Number 13 Fethard Atlas was Dr. Tadhg O’Keeffe of UCD and many of the maps used had been preserved in Grove House and their reproduction and inclusion in the Atlas was enthusiastically supported by the Ponsonby family.

This new project is being co-ordinated by the Historical Society, but central to the whole project is society member Dr Rachel Murphy of UCC - long-time resident of the parish- whose area of expertise includes the whole digital mapping area and also the use of ‘ArcGIS’ software to produce user friendly mapping and information applications for both locals and visitors alike.

The Historical Society will be seeking help from anyone with normal typing skills to join some ‘transcription’ sessions so as to transcribe the material from the No. 13 Fethard Historic Town Atlas onto computer for use in the new Digital Map.

 AGM of the FHS 

Further information on the Fethard Digital Atlas Project will be outlined at the AGM of the Fethard Historical Society on Tuesday next, May 1, at 8.30pm in the ICA Hall on Rocklow Road and members and non-members are very welcome to attend. As the recent 30th Anniversary celebration of the society demonstrated on March 23, the Historical Society has been an important community organisation for the past three decades and it has played a vital role in reminding official agencies that ‘Fethard Walled Town’ is of national importance and deserves special attention. It must be admitted that all the effort has finally paid off and that all the government bodies have in fact given great support to Fethard in recent years – and the Mapping Grant is further evidence of this.

The next thirty-years now beckon and we invite the next generation to take up the ‘baton’ and go forward in ways that are in keeping with current needs, but also to have fun along the way, as the social aspect is a very important part of the society’s ethos. Therefore, a big welcome awaits anyone who wishes to join the society and who wants to explore aspects of Fethard’s history - other than its medieval heritage- and there’s no shortage of material. For instance, some Fethard people were very prominent in the whole ‘fight for freedom’ a hundred years ago and this needs investigation and exposure in the coming years.  Then, going way back to pre-Christian times, you have the sagas of two-thousand-years ago when Fionn MacCumhaill and The Fianna were hunting deer with their great hounds around Slievenamon. These stories would be especially interesting to children if researched and ‘delivered’ in new and exciting ways.

Annual Membership is €7 for an individual and €10 for a family and contact can be made with the Historical Society via email at history@fethard.com or by phoning 087 9009722 or 087 9305232