By Dan Walsh
Two new volumes of the publication On Our Own Ground: County Wexford Parish by Parish were virtually launched today via Microsoft Teams by Dr. Patrick Prendergast, Provost, Trinity College Dublin. It follows on from volume one launched in 2013, with the launch of volumes two and three delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and abnormal activity interruptions.
Dr Prendergast spoke about his family connections with Raheenaskeagh, Oulart, and growing up with the townlands. “It is wonderful to have this piece of Wexford here in my hand and to read about the county and the beautiful photographs and to be reminded of the history and topography.” He described the volumes as “impeccably researched to satisfy the scholars and academics, but also succinct and entertaining enough to appeal to the wider public.” He congratulated everybody associated with the publication series.
Dr Ned Culleton, who is a native of Piercestown said; “My aim has been to publish material on the archaeology of Wexford in a manner that ordinary people can understand and to direct them to the sites that they can look at. I also decided that getting this material across to the ordinary people of Wexford was through the parish and the townland. People love their own parish and everything in it.”
CEO Wexford County Council Tom Enright said he has been in Wexford seven years and found volume one a fascinating insight to the history and tapestry in the form of the buildings and landscape of County Wexford and it highlights the fantastic history we have here in the county, and he is eagerly looking forward to enjoying volumes two and three with equal enthusiasm.
Cllr Garry Laffan, Leas-Cathaoirleach, Wexford County Council, welcomed the attendance of more than 80 people to the virtual launch of a series that defines the heritage of County Wexford ‘parish by parish’ and a lasting record of the heritage of the county. Cllr Laffan complemented all associated with the publication.
County Librarian, Eileen Morrissey, co-ordinated the launch and introduced the speakers. She also thanked them for their contribution.
This comprehensive three volume series, written and compiled by Dr Ned Culleton, with contributing editor Celestine Murphy, is a standout publication that details the built and natural heritage of County Wexford through the centuries. It is beautifully illustrated with colour photography, drawings and maps to compliment the detailed text.
On Our Own Ground provides researchers and local people with a record of the landscape, archaeological sites, industrial, commercial and domestic buildings, and other man-made objects that define the rich culture of the Wexford countryside. The books showcase the impact man has made on the landscape and his contribution to the heritage of our localities.
The parishes referenced in On Our Own Ground, are the modern Catholic parishes and parts of parishes that lie within the County Wexford boundary. As Dr Culleton notes in the introduction, the use of the Catholic parish unit, as a vehicle for conveying information, is based on practical considerations of useful geographic size, local familiarity with the landscape, and on community and sporting allegiances within each area – parish by parish, On Our Own Ground gives brief descriptions on all significant man-made and natural places of interest in the county. Within the parish, the townland, the smallest administrative territorial unit in the county, provides the most intimate connection between the landscape and its people. The townlands system is of Gaelic origin, many pre-dates the Norman invasion, although their number, boundaries and names have been considerably altered over time.
Within County Wexford there are forty-five parishes and seven parts of parishes from bordering counties, and almost 3,000 townlands. Volume two and three, complete the three-volume series.
VOLUME 1; Adamstown, Arklow (part of), Ballindaggin, Ballycullane, Ballygarrett, Ballymore, Bannow, Blackwater, Bree, Bunclody (part of), Camolin, Carnew (part of), Castletown (part of), Castlebridge, Clonard, Clonegal (part of), Clongeen, Cloughbawn, Craanford, Crossabeg, Cushinstown, Davidstown and Duncannon.
VOLUME 2; Enniscorthy St. Aidan’s, Enniscorthy St. Senan’s, Ferns, Glynn, Gorey, Horeswood, Kilanerin, Kilaveney (part of), Kilmore, Kilmuckridge, Kilrane, Kilrush, Marshalstown, Monageer and Newbawn.
VOLUME 3; New Ross, Oulart, Our Lady’s Island, Oylegate, Piercestown, Ramsgrange, Rathangan, Rathnure, Riverchapel, St. Mullins (part of), Taghmon, Tagoat, Templetown and Wexford town.
On Our Own Ground: County Wexford Parish by Parish, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 can be ordered online from selected bookshops and will be available soon from bookshops in County Wexford, price €30 each.