THE work done on restoring Loughnane and Quinn Memorial Hall in Labane was recognised at the Galway County Heritage Awards which took place in Claregalway last week.
The committee in charge of the memorial hall’s major conservation and restoration project was awarded second place in the Loughrea Electoral Area section of the awards which seek to acknowledge voluntary contributions to the county’s heritage.
There were 13 nominations from the Loughrea Electoral Area where Comhar Creidmheasa Naomh Breandáin in Loughrea scooped the top award. The other nominees were Carrabane National School, Carrabane, Athenry; Craughwell National School; Doorus Orchard Project, Kinvara; Eoghan Mac Cormaic and Pádraig Ó Baoill, GLÓR-Gaeilge Locha Riach; Karen O’Neill, Ardrahan Heritage Group; Kileeneen National School, Clarinbridge; Kilnadeema National School; Killeenadeema History and Heritage Society; Scoil Chiaráin Naofa, Kinvara and Saint Joseph’s National School, Woodford.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Councillor Tom McHugh, Mayor of County Galway, said, “Our heritage belongs to each one of us and it is vital that it is valued and appreciated at a local level if we are to manage, preserve and protect it. It is clear from the number, quality and calibre of the nominations for a County Heritage Award, that our built, natural and cultural heritage is valued at a local level.”
The judging panel consisted of Michael Gibbons, archaeologist, David Burke, editor of The Tuam Herald and Mary Flynn, community planner.
Twenty-seven clubs and societies regularly use the Loughnane Quinn Memorial Hall and it has been an integral part of parish life in the village since the 1940s. The building itself is a protected structure and the works which took place included repairs to four valleys on the roof, replacement of slates and concrete rendering. Doors were also repaired and the billiard room was completely refurbished.
Another factor in the group receiving the accolade was that all works were carried out in accordance with the principles of the Venice and Burra Charters with advice sought from architectural heritage specialists.
“It is very important that we recognise and acknowledge the voluntary contributions and work of people on the ground, such as schools, individuals and community groups. Leading by example, they foster awareness of the history that surrounds and connects us all and show how each of us can play a role in caring for this unique asset,” Conor Newman,chairman of The Heritage Council said at the ceremony.
The overall county heritage award winner was Dr Tony Claffey from Tuam.