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29 May 2022

Major exhibition on Longford & the War of Independence

General Sean MacEoin

General Sean MacEoin

Longford County Library, Heritage and Archives Services will open a major exhibition on County Longford and the War of Independence on Wednesday, March 16 at 6.30pm in Longford Library.

The exhibition is a Decade of Centenaries project and was originally postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The display outlines the background to the war and traces its development in Longford.

Some important local archives and artefacts will be on display for the first time. Among them are archives from the Rathcline Parish Dáil Court, which was part of the judicial system created by Dáil Éireann to replace the British courts.

There will also be receipts for contributions to the Dáil Loan, which raised money to fund government activities; compensation claims made for loss of property; and some interesting photographs. The artefacts in the exhibition include some that have been loaned by County Longford Historical Society.

Of particular importance is the jacket that was worn by Seán MacEoin (pictured) when he was shot while trying to escape in Mullingar in March 1921; and the watch given by Michael Collins to his girlfriend, Kitty Kiernan. Other items are kindly loaned by members of the community.

The exhibition will be opened by Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan who said, “This exhibition will be a great opportunity for local people to learn about the major part that Longford played in the War of Independence. It is wonderful that we can display such rare and interesting documents and artefacts and I want to thank those who have loaned precious items from their own collections.”

Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon added, “These types of exhibitions are a huge part of the Decade of Centenaries Programme which was impacted by Covid-19. It’s wonderful to see it bringing important local history back to the fore, going ahead safely now, and I look forward to visiting it.”

The exhibition will run for a month in Longford Library and will move to the other libraries in the county over the coming months. All are welcome to attend. For further information, call Longford Library on 043 33 41124.

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