As we approach Christmas, there are some publications that Longfordians expect to see in the shops and one of those is Teathbha, the Journal of County Longford Historical Society.
The publication of a journal is one of the society’s core projects since its foundation in 1967, and the first edition of Teathbha appeared in 1969.
The 2020 edition continues the high standard that has been set by editor James MacNerney since 2006.
As always, the journal provides a platform for new contributors and the regulars. “Every year we ask for society members and others with an interest in local history to contribute, and I am always impressed by the range and quality of articles,” says James.
The subjects in the new edition include the lordship of Annaly, the charter schools, the Turlough races, the Moxham family, Fr Peter Monahan, the Latin School in Moyne, evictions in Drumlish, the use of the scythe and the Pollaness Waterfall, Aughnacliffe.
You can also read about Françoise Edgeworth, the first woman to serve as a councillor in Longford, and one of the first in Ireland.
There are the stories of James O’Hara, who served in the War of Independence, and Patrick Tiernan, who fought in the American Civil War.
To mark their centenaries, there are accounts of the burning of Granard and the Battle of Ballinalee.
Another aspect of the journal is its coverage of the county. This year’s articles relate to several places including Dromard, Drumlish, Granard, Ballinalee, Edgeworthstown, Longford and Newtowncashel.
That isn’t all. There is an account of the piece of music known as ‘Greg’s Pipes’, poetry, ‘Times Past’, a review of the books on Lismoy Cemetery and Clonguish parish records and a very useful glossary of terms used in local history.
Reflecting on the pandemic, James MacNerney thinks that publications like the journal are perhaps more important now than previously.
“We are all staying close to home and during the lockdown, many people took more interest in their localities and saw things with fresh eyes,” he says.
“In the journal, we are highlighting people, places and experiences that have been forgotten or else are lesser-known,” James continued.
“Of course, people have more time to read now that they are more confined,” he added.
Teathbha is a tribute to all involved, particularly to its hardworking editor.