County Longford Historical Society’s Golden Jubilee celebrations

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Co Longford Historical Society

John Farrell, Martin Morris and Pat Donnelly at the Longford Arms Gala

A golden jubilee is a milestone for any individual or organisation, and County Longford Historical Society celebrated its 50th anniversary with a series of events on September 29 to 30.

Proceedings began on Friday evening with a prayer service led by Fr Tom Murray and Canon Janet Catterall.

It was followed by an enthralling talk on his family history by Manchán Magan, broadcaster and writer, during which he recounted stories of his grandmother Sighle Humphreys and her uncle The O’Rahilly.

On Saturday, members of the society went on a tour that included Edgeworthstown, Ballymahon and Ballinamuck.

To mark the occasion Donnelly’s Coaches, Granard, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary, kindly sponsored the bus.

The finale of the jubilee was a gala dinner in the Longford Arms Hotel on Saturday night. There, a very limited re-print of William Edgeworth’s map of 1813 was launched by Luke Baxter.

This very rare map of County Longford, which was first published in London in 1814, has been reproduced at its original size.

William was a son of Richard Lovell Edgeworth, engineer, inventor and educationalist, and a half-brother of the writer Maria Edgeworth.

There were also a number of presentations made after the dinner. ‘This is the first such celebration in the society’s history and we wanted to make it a special event where we honoured the contributions of long-serving officers and others to the society’, said Hugh Farrell, who is Chairman.

Presentations were made to Jude Flynn, President, and a founding member; Luke Baxter, Vice-President; James MacNerney, Vice-President; Fr Tom Murray PP, Treasurer; Maureen Mulryan, Assistant-Treasurer and Tours Organiser; and Martin Morris, PRO.

Five former Chairs were also honoured, namely Canon Owen Devaney PP, Jimmy Donoghue, Paddy Egan, Ann Donohoe and Patrick O’Doherty. Dr Fergus O’Ferrall was recognised for his outstanding contribution to local history in Longford and to historical studies at national level.

The Chairman, Hugh Farrell and Secretary, Josephine O’Donnell, were also given presentations in gratitude for their ongoing work and dedication to the society.

Copies of the Edgeworth map are available from Luke Baxter at €50 each.