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The GPO in Dublin after the 1916 Rising.

Parteen NS collects historical gems

An intriguing link between a Parteen family and the Easter 1916 Rising has emerged, following the establishment of a small temporary museum in the local national school.

Sixth-class teacher, Councillor Cathal Crowe has managed to unearth a few historical gems from the locality, as a result of the school’s appeal to assist children during their history studies.

One local family donated a lamp belonging to an old motorcycle, which was used to carry urgent messages from the GPO garrisson during Easter Week to freedom-fighters in Wicklow.

On one occasion, the motorcyclist crashed his vehicle, while travelling over the Wicklow Mountains on a mission to seek reinforcements from Wicklow to assist in the Rising.

Leaving the bike behind, the motorcyclist, who is the great-great-grandfather of a local child, continued on his journey with the lamp.

Other donations include pieces of old clothing, war medals and medals depicting military service.

Jackie Whelan from the West Clare Railway donated iron, pins, nails and a piece of the old track from Ardnacrusha into Limerick City.

The ESB gave the school a set of archival history books, outlining the history of the Ardnacrusha hydroelectricity power station.

With the support of school principal Gareth Ruane, Councillor Crowe said this project has helped to foster a huge interest in the history of the locality, from the Vikings all the way up to German Naziz in Ardnacrusha in World War Two.

“Parteen is very fortunate that people have so much history under their feet. The Germans built the hydroelectricity station in Ardnacrusha. A few years ago, The Clare Champion uncovered maps that showed German Nazis were spying in Ardnacrusha during World War Two.

“Parts of a Disney film, Guns and Heather, were filmed in Parteen in the 1960s.

“It is wonderful to see so many historical pieces coming into the school from different periods in history.
“This project allows children to develop a deeper knowledge of the history of their locality,” he said.
The school appealed to parents, guardians and grandparents of children to loan or gift historical items to assist the history project.

Loaned items will be returned to their owners at the end of June 2017. All the items should be able to fit on shelves and. therefore. not be too large or too heavy.

The appeal sought items relating to or encompassing South-East Clare and Limerick City, including Ardnacrusha power station.

It sought items relating to domestic life in the past, such as old clothes, irons, cooking implements and devices that contrast the old with modern life, such as gramophone versus CD player.

It requested items relating to major events in Irish history – for instance, The Great Famine, 1916, the War of Independence – and world history, particularly World War One and World War Two.

Old photographs and postcards of Limerick City and Ardnacrusha were also mentioned as worthy items for donation.

The school stated that it would endeavour to give each loaned item the utmost care but asked people to refrain from loaning items that are particularly delicate or are of a high monetary or sentimental value.

By Dan Danaher

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