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Scattery Island’s heritage opened to the world

HISTORICAL tales of Viking invaders, salvaged ships and seafarers are among the exciting items that have been compiled as part of a new heritage website for Scattery Island.
Inis Cathaigh (SIHG) sits snugly on the Shannon Estuary, 2km from Kilrush, and is the site of a sixth century monastery founded by St Senan.
According to historical record, the island has been occupied since the 5th Century. This long and noble history is showcased on the new website, which highlights many items of historical and archaeological interest.
For those who love history, folklore, legends or just a good story, this community archive website showcases and celebrates the long and varied past of Scattery Island.
The island is also a place of great natural beauty. It is home to the ruins of seven churches, a round tower, sacred well, Napoleonic battery, lighthouse, and the remains of the last settlers’ homes and village.
SIHG was set up in 2012 with the aim of preserving these tales and sharing them online where they can reach a wider audience.
The group has developed the website through the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN); a partnership initiative between the National Museum of Ireland and Clare County Council Heritage Office, which provides professional supports to local groups collecting, preserving and sharing their local history and heritage online.
“This is a very exciting project for our dedicated group of volunteers,” said Eve Brennan, Chairperson of SIHG.
“Volunteers combine SIHG members together with former members from Kilrush Community Development Ltd group, together with members from the wider community and descendants from Scattery Island folk.
“Together, we have begun what we hope to be, a rich and sustainable platform for storytelling and a sharing of knowledge, keeping this part of Irish history alive.
“We hope this website will help to build a living history of Scattery Island and pave the way for collaboration with other groups concerned with heritage and preservation.
“We wish to thank iCAN for their ongoing support and advice with this community venture,” she added.
SIHG is now asking members of the public to share their photos, stories and memories. To continue adding to the rich history of this special Island, this community archive has been designed to expand its content with public contributions and to further develop and record the story of Scattery Island.
SIHG is seeking any information or photographs and this can be easily done by completing a contribution form which can be found on the home page.
Contribution ideas might include memories of time spent on Scattery; connections to the island; newspaper cuttings; images of the island and any historical artefacts as well as folklore, customs and traditions. Items don’t have to be donated, and can be scanned and returned.
More information and contact details are available on Scatteryisland.clareheritage.org

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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