It was with great honour and a very special occasion, for Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady, Mayor of Sligo, when she launched the ‘Merville and Environs’ DVD: a magnificent photographic record of the area’s local history and culture.
Mayor O'Grady who grew up in the area welcomed the co-coordinator of the project, Bridie Nicholson, Bishop Christopher Jones, local councillors, deputy Tony McLoughlin and all her friends and neighbours from the local community.
The Merville area is one of Sligo’s oldest communities, where generations of people have their stories to tell and memories to share, this DVD will be a permanent memento of the special nature of this community.
This project originated when Bridie Nicholson came across an advertisement in a local paper encouraging people to document and record their local history, an initiative supported by the Sligo County Council’s heritage section.
Availing of her expertise and knowledge as an employee with Sligo Library Service and amateur photographer, Bridie quickly identified the potential in compiling a photographic record of Merville and its surroundings. Bridie worked on the DVD on a totally voluntary basis, having gone to the group initially to do flower arranging with them. The group meets on Tuesday nights at Merville Community Centre.
With the intense pace of life and the various pressures we experience, it can be very difficult to reflect on something as important as the oral or documented history of an area.
The older people of this community have a wealth of stories, history and folklore: they recall the major events of the past and the special characters who lived in the Merville area
These memories are now preserved for posterity and will pass on to future generations, and will be a hugely valuable reference for people who take an interest in their community.
There are so many facets to this production it is hard to know where to begin… in the arena of literary culture, there is the connection through Merville House with the Yeats, Pollexfen and Middleton families. There is the sporting association with the area’s neighbours Sligo Rovers, and what excellent neighbours they have been through the many bleak and challenging years of Rovers history, the Merville community has always been steadfast and loyal, and this has helped the club through many very difficult seasons. There is also the very significant social dimension to this production, events such as the ‘family circle’ in the Gilooly Hall which has been part of this community for many years.
This is an excellent production, and Bridie and her colleagues on the production team can take great pride on their achievement. They have enjoyed great support from people like Charles and Neil O’Connor and Brendan Noonan who provided the backing music, Shay Monaghan and transition year students (Caroline Allen and Mimi Hinz) at the Ursuline College and John McMorrow (video productions). The illustration on the cover of the DVD was specially sketched by a group member, Joan Gallagher.
The proceeds from the sale of the DVD’s go to the Irish kidney Association. They can be purchased at Liber bookshop, O’Connell Street, Sligo, Nicholson’s Pharmacy, Stephen Street, Sligo and Centra Supermarket, Maugheraboy, Sligo. Inquiries to Bridie 087 6390355.
- Bridie Nicholson, coordinator of the project presenting Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady, Mayor of Sligo with a copy of the DVD
- Garda Pat Conway, Deputy Tony McLoughlin, Bridie Nicholson, Bishop Christopher Jones
- Back Row: Bill Divers, Eileen McGurran, Kathleen McTighe, Ann Marie Duffy, Meryl McAleer. Front Row: Dorothy O’Grady, Anne Mahon, Councillor Rosaleen O’Grady, Mayor of Sligo, Bridie Nicholson, Eileen O’Connor
- Eileen McGurran, Eileen O’Connor and Meryl McAleer