22 Jan 2022

Inaugural Longford History Month takes place for month of November

Inaugural Longford History Month takes place for month of November

Dr Mel Farrell, Longford's first History Ambassador, with Mary Carleton Reynolds, Martin Morris and Mairead Ni Chonghaile launching the inaugural Longford History Month Picture: Tommy Reynolds

This November will be the first History Month in County Longford. Organised by Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services, there is a full programme of events around the county, with something for everyone.

As part of this initiative, Ardagh man Dr Mel Farrell has been chosen as Longford’s History Ambassador and he will be involved in several parts of the programme, especially those relating to schools.

Dr Farrell is an expert in the politics of the Irish Free State and is currently Director of the Irish Humanities Institute in the Royal Irish Academy.

Apart from celebrating the county’s rich history, there will be an emphasis on the Decade of Centenaries, particularly the War of Independence (1919-21).

On November 7, there will be seminars for primary and post-primary teachers in Backstage Theatre on the topic ‘County Longford, 1919-23’. There will also be seminars and talks for students, especially at senior cycle, throughout the month.

Dr Mel Farrell will be available to give talks on ‘Ireland, 1919-23’ on Thursday, November 21 and Thursday, November 28.

Martin Morris, County Archivist, will hold seminars in Longford Library HQ on ‘Longford, 1919-23: overview and sources’ on Wednesday, November 13 and Wednesday, November 27.

These events must be booked and for bookings and further information, please ring 043-3341124 or e-mail

On Thursday, November 21, a History Ireland Hedge School, will take place in the Canal Studio, Backstage Theatre. Moderated by Tommy Graham, editor of History Ireland magazine, a panel of four distinguished historians will debate ‘County Longford and the Global Irish Revolution’.

The participants will be: Dr Mel Farrell, Dr Darragh Gannon (Queen’s University Belfast), Dr Paul Hughes (historian and journalist) and Ailbhe Rogers (Maynooth University). Places at this event must be booked.

Throughout November, local historians will be available to give talks on a range of subjects to primary school classes either in schools or in local libraries.

For bookings and further information, please ring 043-3341124 or e-mail decadeofcentenaries@

During the month, there will be five book launches taking place: on Tuesday, November 5 in Longford Library, the 2019 edition of Teathbha, the Journal of County Longford Historical Society; on Thursday, November 7 in Ballymahon Library, the Ballymahon Leo Casey Local History Group’s book Historic Shrule; on Tuesday, November 12 in Ballymahon Library, Pádraic McCormack’s first novel Beneath the Silence; on Thursday, November 14 in Longford Library, Dr Fergus O’Ferrall’s John Ferrall: Master of Sligo Workhouse, 1852-66; and on Thursday, November 28 in Longford Library, Jude Flynn’s Fireside Tales, no. 17.

Professional genealogist Eilish Feeley, will conduct three sessions on ‘Tracing Your Family Tree’ in Granard Library on successive Tuesday evenings: November 12,19 and 26.

Mairead Ní Chonghaile, Heritage Officer, will speak on ‘Alfred MacHugh, man of mystery’ in Longford Library on Tuesday, November 19.

For further information on History Month and for bookings, please ring 043-3341124 or e-mail

Read also: PICTURES | The good old days relived at Laurel Lodge in Longford

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