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KELLS & DISTRICT TOURISM FORUM

2012

A look back over the year Time flies and the process of preparing an annual summary provides us with an opportunity to take a step back and look at our overall achievements, as well as enabling us to develop both perspective and direction going forward.


Kells & District Tourism Forum

Kells & District Tourism Forum MAXIMISING THE TOURISM POTENTIAL OF OUR HERITAGE TOWN

DECEMBER 2011 / JAN 2012 Bid for the Olympic Torch to stop outside of Kells In tandem with Meath County Council, the Kells & District Tourism Forum highlighted the importance of the Tailteann area and Ireland’s pre-Olympic Games by calling for the Olympic Torch to make a stop here in July on its way through from the North of Ireland to Dublin. The bid was unsuccessful; however it is always important for point out Ireland’s many influential impacts as and when necessary. “When they are displaying the Olympic Torch through O'Connell Street en route to the London festival this summer, it would be an appropriate gesture to pay some sort of tribute to much more ancient Games. That's the Tailteann Games, just down the road, a few minutes from Kells in a place now known as Teltown. The Tailteann Games were first held in honour of Queen Tailte back in 1829BC. The ancient Olympics were first held in Greece in 776 BC, which means that the festival in Royal Meath is 1,053 years older. In his history of athletics in these islands, Melvyn Watman writes: "...the most ancient of all sports festivals were the Tailteann Games, which are thought to have been established as long ago as 1829 BC. Staged in County Meath, this annual 30-day gathering included such events as foot racing and stone throwing, and it survived in all its splendour until the Norman invasion in AD1168". But a gesture of appreciation towards this most ancient of all the planet's sporting celebrations? The denizens of O'Connell Street will hardly deign to cast their eyes westwards, just a few miles down the road, and the majestic members of the International Olympic Committee will luxuriate in their graciousness of allowing the sacred flame to make an entrance to this green and misty isle of ours.” Sports writer, Sean Diffley concluded in his article for the Irish Independent that it was “strange, really, that Baron Pierre de Coubertain was never acquainted with the historic Tailteann Games.”

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Kells & District Tourism Forum Meath Chronicle – 14 December 2011

Irish Independent – 11th February 2013

JAN 2012 Meeting the Chinese Ambassador, Luo Linquan, and his wife, Mrs. Qiao Li Chinese Ambassador Luo Linquan, and his wife, Mrs. Qiao Li together with the head of the political section at the Chinese Embassy, visited Kells yesterday on the invitation of cathaoirleach Cllr. Brian Collins in the afternoon to mark the start of the Chinese New Year. The Ambassador watched a game of handball and he was interested to have a go himself – he later said he was very good at it and cathaoirleach Cllr. Brian Collins called him a “natural”. At the Headfort Golf Club, the Ambassador was greeted by the officials of the Golf Club, Cyril Cole (President), Aidan Foley (Captain), and Martha Kennedy (Lady Captain) along with other officials and was presented with gifts. The Ambassador and his wife presented gifts to the President, Captain, and Lady Captain of Headfort Golf Club, as well as to Lucy O’Reilly of the Kells Tourism Forum. He was also welcomed by international golfer Damien McGrane, who was the winner of the Volvo China Open in 2008. The Ambassador took the opportunity to plant a tree on the golf course, and promised to come back regularly to check on its growth and well being. Meath Chronicle 18th January 2012

Kells on Line 20th January 2012

FEBRUARY 2012 Launch of the Kells & District Tourism Brochure with the Deputy US Ambassador, John Hennessy-Niland. The US Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission, John Hennessy-Niland, officially launched the Kells and District Tourism Brochure at Headfort House last week. Earlier on Tuesday, he Donaghpatrick Church, and the graveyard at Headfort House and

had been taken on a tour of Rath Airthir (the Eastern Fort) Teltown, as well as a tour of its historic eating parlour.

US E MBASSY D EPUTY C HIEF OF M ISSION , J OHN H ENNESSEY N ILAND WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF C LONABREANY H OUSE WHO SPONSORED THE EVENING CANAPÉS AT THE LAUNCH OF THE K ELLS & D ISTRICT T OURISM B ROCHURE

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The launch was attended by over 100 people, including the cathaoirleach of Kells Town Council, Cllr Brian Collins; Aidan Wall, chairperson of Kells Tourism Forum; Dermot Dix, headmaster of Headfort School; Dr Stacey Alyn of Trinity College's Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies; Kevin Stewart, Kells area manager, and Geraldine Gaughran, president of Kells Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Wall said that Meath was a treasure trove of history and archaeology and Kells was at the centre of it. "The brochure will be instrumental in helping visitors to the area, as well as local people, who will hopefully interact and help out tourists - this would really make their holiday," he said.

D R . S ARAH A LYN -S TACEY , T RINITY C OLLEGE , AND US E MBASSY D EPUTY C HIEF OF M ISSION , J OHN H ENNESSEY N ILAND AND CATHAOIRLEACH , C LLR . B RIAN C OLLINS

Cllr Collins congratulated the Kells Tourism Forum for its work on the brochure and thanked the sponsors and Meath Partnership. He said that Kells had seen worse times - in the Dark Ages, Kells and other monastic sites kept the light of learning alive and defeated barbarism.

Mr Hennessy-Niland expressed his great pleasure to be back in Kells and said he was delighted to launch the Kells and District Tourism Brochure in the historic surrounds of Headfort House. He acknowledged the work of the Kells Tourism Forum, which includes tourism providers, businesspeople, community workers, church bodies and other community groups and interested individuals. He said the brochure would help maximise the tourism potential of this historic area of Ireland.

He also acknowledged Meath Partnership for its efforts and for providing the funding for the brochure which was sure to bring many new visitors to this very special area, and hopefully that would include many Americans, he added. "Last year, just over one million American tourists visited Ireland and, in 2010, 360,000 Irish tourists visited the United States," he said. "Looking forward to the Olympics in London this summer, we're reminded that nearby Teltown is the home of the ancient Tailteann Games, which not only pre-date the ancient Greek Olympic Games but possibly - who knows - may have been their inspiration.".

S EAN K IERNAN (K IERNAN ’ S B AR , C ARLANSTOWN ) PRESENTS US DCM J OHN H ENNESSY -N ILAND WITH A SPECIAL EDITION SHIRT FROM THE P UB

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Kevin Stewart of Meath County Council said a key part of economic development in Meath was the contribution of tourism. He pointed out that tourism added â‚Ź5 billion to the Irish economy and provided employment for 200,000 people. Of this, approximately 3,500 were employed in Meath. Dr Stacey Alyn said Trinity College had been delighted to welcome Aidan Wall and members of the Kells Tourism Forum in October of last year so that they might explain their campaign for the return of one volume of the Book of Kells to the town. She said the college was more than willing to work with the Kells Tourism Forum to promote the region's cultural heritage. "The way forward, clearly and quite simply, is for Kells and Trinity to work together in a truly collaborative spirit," Dr Alyn said. W ITH K ANE O' ROURKE , G ERALDINE G AUGHRAN AND US DCM J OHN H ENNESSY -N ILAND .

There was a danger, though, she said, that the Book of Kells, in light of its celebrity status, could overshadow the other magnificent treasures of Kells, including the monuments and sights mentioned in the new brochure - in particular, the four ancient crosses carved with animal and figure sculptures, the round tower of the Abbey of Kells, and 'St Columba's House', the 11th century church which stands with its ancient stone roof astonishingly intact. "Conservation of these treasures should, of course, be a priority and undoubtedly the invaluable work and enhanced profile of the Kells Tourism Forum will do much to highlight the importance, indeed, pressing necessity, of restoration work," she added. Secretary of Kells Tourism Forum, Lucy O'Reilly, presented Mr. Hennessy Niland with a bog oak carving made by local artist, Patrick Morris.

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C LLR . C ONOR F ERGUSON , K EVIN S TEWART (M EATH C OUNTY C OUNCIL ), US DCM J OHN H ENNESSY -N ILAND , C LLR . J OHN F ARRELLY , CATHAOIRLEACH C LLR . B RIAN C OLLINS , M ARTINA O'D WYER (F ÁILTE I RELAND )

Meath Chronicle 15th February 2012

Kells on Line 10th February 2012

Photos: KTF FaceBook Page

Pascal’s Pics

FEBRUARY 2012

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Kells Tourism Forum Lecture Series: “The Irish Colleges of Europe” (1530 -1830) – Rev. Professor Devlin (NUI Maynooth)

R EV . P ROFESSOR B RENDAN D EVLIN AND M ICHAEL H EARY STUDYING "E PITOME ANNALIUM O RDINIS M INORUM " BY F RANCES H AROLD (1660).

L AURA F ARRELLY PRESENTING R EV. P ROFESSOR B RENDAN DEVLIN A G IFT (F ROM THE R OUND T OWER G IFT S HOP , INSCRIBED WITH THE WORDS "W HILE WE TEACH , WE LEARN " BY S ENECA ) WITH MEMBERS OF THE F ORUM - R ENEE C LARKE , M ARIA F LANAGAN , E AMON C OOKE , M ICHAEL M C G OVERN , LAURA F ARRELLY , R EV. P ROFESSOR B RENDAN D EVLIN , C LLR . O LIVER S WEENEY , P ETER M OONEY , LUCY O'R EILLY , A IDAN W ALL AND R ONNIE M C G RANE .

Rev. Professor Devlin gave an engaging talk about the young Catholic men who had to go abroad for their freedom of conscience ended up enriching the history of Europe. They set up colleges mainly on the western coasts of Europe – in areas as diverse as Paris, Louvais (Belgium), Santiago, Salamanca and Seville (Spain), Prague and even Rome.

faceBook Photos

MARCH 2012

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Launch of Weekend Tourist Information Point Kells & District Tourism Forum was delighted to announce the placement of Lisa-Marie Comiskey, a TĂšS worker with them for the purpose of providing a Weekend Tourist Information Point for Kells. The placement started in March 2012 and the point is currently based in the foyer of the Headfort Arms Hotel. The point is manned on a Friday afternoon, Saturday & Sunday. Tourists are able to access and book accommodation and restaurants from the desk, as well as local tourist information. This is a very useful addition to the excellent information already being provided during the working week by the Tourist Office in the Kells Town Hall.

faceBook Photos

Kells on Line TĂşs is a Department of Social Protection Job Activation Initiative and thank Meath Partnership for this placement, the Headfort Arms Hotel for the use of space in their foyer, and Kells Town Council who donated a laptop & printer;

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and thanks to Town Clerk Áine Bird for advertising this facility.

MAY 2012 “The Great Kells Clean Up” –Kells & District Tourism Forum Gets Involved

Ronnie McGrane negotiated with 15 main property holders in the town for the upgrade of their buildings together with negotiating a 10% reduction rate with Kells Stores, sponsorship for free paint from Fleetwood along with Betty Newman-Maguire, as well as providing machinery and all round expertise. We were delighted to assist with this clean up of the town, and many have commented on how the town is looking brighter and more attractive. More photos on faceBook

Kells Online

Meath Chronicle

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MAY 2012 Maureen O’Hara Receives the Freedom of Kells The Tourism Forum were asked to assist in the Maureen O’Hara event, and Aidan Wall spoke at the launch and members of the Forum attended the Gala Dinner. The star of 'The Quiet Man' was bestowed with the freedom of the town after unveiling a bust in her honour at Bective Square, during a weekend of celebrations to mark her association with the town. The actress, who lives in Glengarriff, Co Cork, is now in her early 90s. Her father was a native of Kells, although she was born in Dublin. She was a regular visitor to Kells to see her uncle Frank, who was a blacksmith in the town, and she still has relatives in the area. Ms O'Hara arrived in Kells on Saturday 26th May in a cavalcade with a garda motorcycle escort, and was met by the members of the Reserve Defence Force (RDF), Kells Brass Band and local schoolchildren, before unveiling the bust at Bective Square and receiving the freedom of the town from Kells Town Council. She attended a gala evening in the Headfort Arms Hotel that night and also attended a Shamrock Rovers v Kells Blackwater soccer match at Grange at 2pm the next day, as well as an event at Headfort Golf Club. She then met with members of the Fitzsimmons family.

P EGGY O’R EILLY, AIDAN W ALL AND MICHAEL MC GOVERN

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JUNE 2012 German Ambassador launches German translation the Kells Tourism (L-R) Geraldine Gaughran (President,Kells Chamber), Cllr. John of V Farrelly (Chair, Meath Tourism), Cllr. Brian Collins (cathaoirleach, Kells Town Council), Dr Eckhard Luebkemeier (Ambassador), Mrs. Dr Brochure Eckhard Luebkemeier, Aidan Wall (Chair, Kells & District Tourism Forum), Tom Dowling (County Manager, , The German Ambassador Ireland, Dr Eckhard Luebkemeier, visited Kells last Thursday to officially launch Meath CountytoCouncil) the German translation of the Tourism Brochure. (Photo courtesy ofKells Seamus Farrelly) The translation was undertaken by Dr Tina-Karen Pusse in the German Department of NUI Galway.

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At a civic reception in his honour, the ambassador received one of the newly minted ‘Book of Kells’ coins from the cathaoirleach of Kells Town Council, Cllr Brian Collins.

(L-R: G ERALDINE G AUGHRAN (P RES . CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ), CLLR . JOHN F ARRELLY (CHAIR , M EATH T OURISM ), CLLR . B RIAN C OLLINS ( CATHAOIRLEACH K ELLS T OWN COUNCIL ), D R . L UBKEMEIER (G ERMAN A MBASSADOR ), M RS . LUBKEMEIER , AIDAN W ALL (C HAIR , K ELLS & D ISTRICT T OURISM F ORUM ), T OM D OWLING (M EATH COUNTY M ANAGER )

He also received a hamper of local food products from the president of the Kells Chamber, Geraldine Gaughran. “In Germany, quite a number of people know about the Book of Kells, but not all of them know about the connection between the Book of Kells and the town of Kells,” Dr Luebkemeier said. “So congratulations on the idea and initiative to launch a website in German. It will make it a lot easier for Germans to make the connection between the book and the town,” the ambassador added. He went on to say that it gave him a much-appreciated respite from the eurozone crisis. “I am firmly convinced that we will overcome this crisis together. In all the talk about gloom and doom, let us not forget that in the history of Europe and in the history of this country, people had to cope with much more daunting challenges than those we are faced with today,” said the ambassador. “Our Union of European Peoples has been a uniquely successful way of banishing the spectres of the past once and for all and of ensuring peace, prosperity and human dignity. If we keep this in mind, and as the German ambassador, let me assure you that we Germans will continue to keep this in mind – we are all in this together and that we must all act for it together, there is every chance that we will succeed and prosper together.”

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He said that we are neighbours in Europe forever. “The Book of Kells reminds us that our ancestors were well aware of this fact. Irish monks came to Germany several centuries ago and their traces are still visible in Germany. Your website will bring even more Germans to Ireland and to Kells, enabling them to visit and make friends with their Celtic European neighbours,” he said. While in Kells, the ambassador also took in a talk in the Kells Lecture Series on Count John McCormack at Headfort House, presented by the author, Gordon T Ledbetter. It was attended by the granddaughters of the Count, Carol Ann McCormack, Caroline McCormack and Tish Tinné. Dr Luebkemeier has been Ambassador to Ireland of the Federal Republic of Germany since August 2011. The Kells Tourism Brochure was developed by the Kells and District Tourism Forum, and was part-funded by Meath Partnership. It is now available through tourist offices nationwide and online at www.visitingkells.ie “We hope that having the information attractively presented on the web, and in their own language, will encourage more visitors to base themselves in the Kells area and take in the wider Boyne Valley region as well,” said Aidan Wall, chairperson of the Kells & District Tourism Forum. (Ann Casey, Meath Chronicle, June 2012)

JULY 2012 The Inaugural Kells Summer School The inaugural Kells Summer School took over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd July in the Kells People's Resource Centre, Carrick Street.

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The school was launched by a lecture by Prof George Eogan, who this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of his discovery at Knowth.

For the inaugural Summer School weekend, there were five lectures each day on a range of subjects, including natural history, Meath through the ages, art history, museum collections and 'The Big House' in Meath. There were an interesting range of speakers from the National Museum, the OPW, Trinity College, the Institute for Advanced Studies, graduates and local historians - all of whom are passionate about their individual fields of research.

Aidan Wall, chairman of Kells and District Tourism Forum, which organised the summer school, said there is a strong interest in Kells and district in cultural heritage, especially in the areas of local and oral history, archaeology, folklore and the role played by the town and its inhabitants throughout history. The summer school helped to promote awareness of the rich cultural heritage of the area in and beyond Kells and also established links between the forum and academic bodies such as the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, based at Trinity College. The Kells Tourism Forum has been working to keep Kells in the public eye and has attracted considerable media interest and regenerated interest of local people in the town.

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(Meath Chronicle)

AUGUST 2012 Kells Tourism Forum & Friends – Day Out ! The Kells & District Tourism Forum took advantage of an invitation by DCM John Hennessy-Niland to visit the US Ambassador’s Residence in the Phoenix Park last Wednesday. The beautiful home is surrounded by 62 acres, was completed in 1776 by Col. John Blaquiere, Chief Secretary of the British government and Bailiff of the Phoenix Park. 69 Chief Secretaries lived here from 1776 until 1922 when Ireland gained its independence. Among the prominent Chief Secretaries who had occupied this residence were Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington. Young Winston Churchill as a small boy, roamed the gardens and woods and took great delight in riding up and down the paths in his donkey and cart. The United States of America was one of the first countries to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with the new Irish Free State, and the first Envoy, the Honourable Frederick A. Sterling, arrived in Dublin in 1927, and after taking a lease on the property from the Board of Works, (with the rent set at a penny per year), he took up residence here in the Phoenix Park.

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When Ireland became a Republic, the status of the Legation was upgraded to a full Embassy, and the first United States Ambassador, George Garret, was appointed to Ireland. The offices of the Embassy moved out of the house, and this became the home of the Ambassador. Extensive renovations to the house and property were made by the U.S. Government in 1952. This fine old house, overlooking Dublin from the quiet seclusion of Phoenix Park, harbours memories that span over two hundred years of Irish history. The tour then went on to visit the 18th century Farmleigh House, an estate of 78 acres also situated in the Phoenix Park, which was purchased from the Guinness family by the Irish Government in 1999 for €29.2m. The house has been carefully refurbished by the Office of Public Works as the premier accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation, for high level Government meetings, and for public enjoyment. The group were much taken by the collection in the Benjamin Iveagh Library, which amounts to over 5000 items and includes a copy of Topography of Ireland by Gerald of Wales dating from 1280, an Irish primer that Queen Elizabeth I used to learn phrases from the Irish language, as well as archive material relating to Daniel O’Connell, Sir Roger Casement and Lennox Robinson. The printed works include many early Irish imprints and rare periodicals. All of the major Irish writers are represented in the collection with first or special editions including first editions of Ulysses and Gulliver’s Travels. The library holds some of the finest examples of Irish bookbinding from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

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After lunch the last visit was to Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum, which showcases the social, historical, political and artistic development of modern Ireland through the lives of the 1.5 million people buried in the Cemetery – Ireland’s national necropolis. Glasnevin Cemetery was originally opened by the great ‘Liberator’, Daniel O’Connell, in 1832 for the purpose of burying ‘people of all religions and none’ with dignity. The tour included visiting the graves of Daniel O'Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, and many more interred there. It was a fantastic day out for the Tourism Forum and friends, and the sun shone and we were driven in the safe care of Val Russell of Royal Breffni Tours. The day finished with a meeting in the newly re-opened Cross St. Bistro, now under the management of James Plasic, formerly of the Park Hotel, Virginia, and Thornton’s Restaurant, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin. James provided a delicious taster of his new menu which was thoroughly enjoyed. The restaurant is now open on Thursday – Sunday evenings weekly and is well worth a visit.

Co-ordinating national heritage week for kells The Kells & District Tourism Forum’s projects for 2012 included making sure that all events were properly recorded and advertised for the National Heritage Week. In consequence Kate Flood made sure that all events made it into the National Heritage printed book as well as their website. Events included the ever popular bat watching in Moynalty, a walk through the Girley Bog, the Ringfort & Blackwater River Walk, and the Heritage Walk around Kells. The latter coincided with being able to show visitors from the Hay Festival around the town! Many thanks went to Loreto Guinan (Arts Officer, Meath County Council) for her assistance with this.

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Opening of the Spire of Lloyd The Kells & District Tourism Forum came to an arrangement with Kells Town Council to open the Spire on agreed dates throughout the year. This will provide more access to the Spire which is already open on certain bank holidays by the Kells Archaeological & Historical Society. This inland lighthouse was designed by Henry Aaron Baker (designer of the King’s Inn, Dublin) for the First Earl of Bective in memory of his father Sir Thomas Taylor in 1791 and to provide work during the time of a local famine. Photo: Courtesy of Fáilte Ireland

The plaque reads: 'This pillar was designed by Henry Aaron Baker Esq. architect was executed by Mr. Joseph Beck stone cutter Mr. Owen Mc Cabe head mason Mr. Bartle Reilly overseer Anno 1791'. At 30m (100ft) high, on the summit of the Commons of Lloyd, from 428 ft above sea level one can see magnificent views of the surrounding countryside as far as the Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland on a clear day. The Spire is said to have been used to view horse racing and the hunt in the 19th century. Inside there is a 164-step spiral staircase, with a central protective cage. The plaque on the east side of the Spire carries the Headfort Coat of Arms with the family crest – “Consequitur quodquinque petit” (“He follows what he seeks”). The spire stands on the site of an Iron Age ring fort but evidence is mounting to show that the site dates further back to the Bronze Age. The hill was known as Mullach Aiti, which graduates to Mulloyde and to the current day Lloyd. The Hillfort guarded the approaches from the Kingdom of Bréifne (Cavan) to the ancient Kingdom of Midhe (Meath). The legendary Queen Maeve (Medbh) was said to camp here with her armies on her way to steal Ulster's prize stud bull in the story of Táin Bó Cúailnge ("The Cattle Raid of Cooley"). Edward The Bruce also camped here following his victory at the Battle of Kells in 1314. During the times of the Great Famine, destitute people lived on the hill. The community park (The People’s Park) includes the “Paupers Graveyard”, in which many victims of the mid19th century famine lie buried.

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The Tourism Forum is also encouraging people to try the 45 minutes Ringfort & Blackwater River Looped Walk which starts from the Spire.

NOVEMBER 2012 Continuing the Lecture Series: Dr. Peter Harbison on the “High Crosses of Kells” Kells Winter Lecture Series: Dr. Peter Harbison on “The High Crosses of Kells” A large crowd braved the Irish weather for an elucidating afternoon with Dr. Peter Harbison on his talk: “The High Crosses of Kells” on Sunday afternoon. (25 Nov 2012).

Lucy O’Reilly, secretary of the Kells & District Tourism Forum, welcomed Dr. Harbison and thanked the different groups for their involvement in this and many other projects around Kells. She thanked Stephen Strong from the Church of Ireland for helping to co-ordinate the event, and acknowledged the voluntary but excellent work that the members of the Tourism Forum had put in to help organise the event. Dr. Harbison began by expressing his opinion that Kells and its early Christian architectural wealth represented a most important contribution to the European medieval expression of art. He took the fascinated crowd round the Broken Cross, explaining its possible re-erection in the late 17 th century, but facing in the wrong direction. “The head of the cross”, he explained, “could be reasoned to still be close by in the grounds, and that a geophysical search for it would be welcomed.” As he went around the 3 main crosses on the Monastic Site, he explained the different themes and panels, and their reflection of an art that came from older panels, possibly carved in wood or bronze, which have since disappeared, but very much influenced by the court of Charlemagne, founder of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, and his grandson Charles the Bald, whose reign marked a revival of art, religion, and culture. The carvers in Kells, however took on distinctive Irish features in their carving of the crosses. Dr. Harbison showed the group how the Cross of St. Patrick & Columba might come from a later date than had previously been believed, uniting the theme of both saints under the commission of Máel Brigte mac Page 19


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Tornáin, Abbot of Armagh who then became the Abbot of Iona in the 9th century. On this cross possibly both Columba and Patrick are depicted, hence its name. After refreshments the group continued to the Market Cross, where further explanations and discussions of the science of the future maintenance of the crosses were discussed. These and many other interesting details can be found in Dr. Harbison’s useful pocket-book on Irish High Crosses, currently being reprinted by Boyne Valley Honey and where, along with his earlier books, full details of our fascinating early Christian artefacts can be perused at length. It was a delightful afternoon, and we would like to thank Jack’s Porterhouse for providing the refreshments at lunchtime. Exciting future lectures are planned for 2013, and will be detailed both in the local press and on http://www.kellstourismforum.com/lectures.html .

DR . HARBISON RECEIVES REPLICA OF THE M ARKET CROSS FROM T OURISM F ORUM ( HANDMADE BY C LLR . CONOR F ERGUSON )

THE

Dr. Peter Harbison spent much of his working life as archaeologist and magazine editor with Bord Fáilte and is now an Honorary Academic Editor with the Royal Irish Academy. He is the author of over twenty books, mostly on the archaeology and art of Ireland, including 'The High Crosses of Ireland' (3 vols.,1992). Dr. Harbison is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, an Honorary Member and Professor of Archaeology at the Royal Hibernian Academy and an Honorary Member of the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, in addition to being a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

DECEMBER 2012 Santa Comes to an Unusual Grotto – St. Colmcille’s House This year Santa came to St. Colmcille’s House. It was a really enjoyable occasion, especially for local people who had never been inside this 10th century building before.

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The children received a present from Santa and Helen Moriarty of “No Fuss Fotos” and Anne Hughes of “Picture This” took photographs of the occasion. Many thanks for the assistance of the Office of Public Works for facilitating this event.

JANUARY 2013 Farewell to Reverend Ása & Opening of the Spire of Lloyd

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A sad start to the year as we say “au revoir” to Reverand Ása who moves to her new diocese of Dun Laoghaire after an impactful 2.5 years as Rector of the Church of Ireland in Kells. She will be missed.

The Tourism Forum arranged a small farewell for her in Jack’s Railway Bar, Kells. On the same day we opened the Spire of Lloyd to the public.

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RANDOM PHOTOS

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20TH FEBRUARY 2013 Annual General Meeting The Kells & District Tourism Forum held its Annual General Meeting on the 20 th February 2013. A review of the year and projects was undertaken. Many thanks were given to outgoing officials who were retiring after a two year stint of hard work. Lucy O’Reilly thanked Aidan Wall for his steerage of the Forum through its initial teething and sometimes exciting times, as well as putting in important structures for the group. Kate Flood thanked Lucy O’Reilly for her hard work on behalf of the group. Oliver Sweeney was thanked by Peggy O’Reilly for his level headed advice in dealing with matters.

New officials were voted in as follows: Chairperson Vice-Chair: Assistant: Assistant & Lecture Series Coordinator: Treasurer:

Lucy O’Reilly Hugh Morris Emilie Gustafsson Laura Farrelly James Tallon

The Kells & District Tourism Forum meets weekly in different locations in the town. All new members welcome.

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Kells & District Tourism Forum 2013 A Glimpse at some of our Projects for 2013 A Downloadable Audio App for Kells Year 2 of the Lecture Series and Book of Kells / Summer School Maintaining the Weekend Tourist Information Point Translations of the Tourism Brochure into Chinese, Spanish & Irish Book of Kells Campaign National Heritage Week Accessibility to our Monuments Upgrade & Maintenance of www.visitingkells.ie And more – watch this space! Interested in local tourism? We welcome new members and ideas – contact us at info@kellstourismforum.com!

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