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160318 Aoibhinn McCormack, the eldest pupil in the school and Iarla Duffy, the youngest, lock the time capsule at Kilfenora National School on Friday.Pic Arthur Ellis.

Kilfenora Makes Memories

IN 2067, the residents of Kilfenora will be afforded a glimpse into life in their parish half a century earlier.

That is down to the work of Kilfenora Timeline, who created a time capsule, representative of local families and the community, which was placed inside a specially hand-carved stone seat among the 12th-century high crosses in the village last Friday.

Each household in the community was invited to contribute a record of family and parish life in 2017.

Items contributed included a family tree on an A4 page, up to three photographs and an account of each family. They also had the opportunity to submit a memory stick, inclusive of video or photographic content.
The Office of Public Works (OPW) commissioned the stone seat, which was placed among the high crosses within the national monument in the local cemetery.

“Everything went absolutely to plan,” said James Kelly, one of the founder members of the Kilfenora Timeline.

All items were vacuum-packed and will be opened by family ancestors half a century from now.

The event was held at Kilfenora National School, where the pupils were given a central role.


Kevin Kemple and Aidan Finnegan, OPW, seal the time capsule at Kilfenora National School. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

“We decided to give ownership of the capsule to the kids in the national school. Fourth, fifth and sixth classes took over the ownership of it. We asked the youngest and the oldest to turn the key in the capsule,” Mr Kelly explained.
He added that an ass and cart and a wheelbarrow were used to transport the capsule to its final destination.

“We also asked the children to write a letter to their parents and grandparents and to invite them to be part of the day. Those letters and their replies were also vacuum-packed and placed in the time capsule,” he added.

Mr Kelly paid tribute to Reverend Bob Hanna for making the facility available at Kilfenora Cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1058, on the site of St Fachnan’s sixth-century monastery.

The sealing of the time time capsul. Photograph by Arthur Ellis.

“The OPW was very happy to come on board with the design and construction. We got huge support from the community and the success of the project has been wholly down to the volunteers,” Mr Kelly noted.

The Kilfenora Timeline is a local voluntary project, which is housed in the cathedral, located just off the square in Kilfenora.

The group also provides annual scholarships for students and, to date, they have distributed €24,000.

Peter O’Connell

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