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Brian Boru re-enactment and exhibition launch
Thursday, 9th June, 2005

To celebrate the centenary of Brian Boru’s reign as High King of Ireland (1002-1014) East Clare Heritage in conjunction with the Heritage Consultancy service Boru Cultural Enterprises and Clare County Council are establishing a Brian Boru exhibition at the their heritage centre in Tuamgraney. The exhibition will seek reflect the unique association the heritage centre enjoys with the famous High King.

Although Boru is predominantly associated with his native Killaloe, Tuamgraney has the benefit of an inimitable connection with the famous High King. The Annals of Four Masters records that “In 1012 Brian Boroimhe repaired the church of Túaim Gréine and its cloigteach at this time”. Local tradition informs us of Brian being a frequent visitor to the ancient church since his childhood. This folklore and the fact that Brian’s brother Marcán was abbot of the monastery in Tuamgraney further illustrate the links between this historic building and the High King of Ireland. The fact that the doorway he used then, which was built c 950 and to this day remains unaltered allows visitors to literally walk in the footsteps of the great Brian. This leads the visitor into the only remaining preserved building in the country with a recorded association with Brian Boru. The church’s continued use today by the Church of Ireland makes it also the oldest church in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales still in use. We now seek to appropriately reflect this unique association with Ireland’s greatest son through the Brian Boru, Emperor of the Irish exhibition.

International author Morgan Llywelyn will officially launch the exhibition, which is part funded by Clare County Council, on Thursday June 9th when Miss Llywelyn author of Lion of Ireland, will provide a lecture on the life of Brian Boru at the Centre.

On the day of the launch a re-enactment will take place involving the Mogh Roith – Historical Re-enactment Group, and six local national schools who will form Brian Boru’s army! An artist provided by East Clare Heritage will work with the children in designing and creating a banner based on their interpretation of Boru which they will use to lead their respective clans on the day. The re-enactment will involve Brian as High King of Ireland visiting his brother Marcán at the ancient church. As mentioned already Marcán was abbot of St. Cronán’s, Tuamgraney as well as the nearby monastery at Inis Cealtra. Two members of the local drama group will play the parts of Brian Boru and his brother Marcán.

Following a short march led by pipe and drum, Brian’s arrival is announced, local leaders (chosen by each school) will declare in Irish their arrival and support of Boru. After his brother Marcán has welcomed Boru and a ceremonial presentation has been completed, a confrontation between two of the guardsmen (Historical Group) will ensue. This will be dealt with according to ancient laws and the school children and the assembled crowd will be informed about the ancient rules of settling disputes. In order to avoid a second Battle of Clontarf, the schoolchildren’s participation in this part of the re-enactment will be limited to vocal support!

In a fitting conclusion High King Brian Boru will then intervene in the fight to reunite the guardsmen and proceed on his journey. The re-enactment will be followed by a series of medieval interactive outdoor workshops where the schoolchildren will be thought the art of making medieval weapons, arts and crafts. There will also be workshops for adults including woodturning and craft making.

The re-enactment is aimed at primarily engaging with the local school children and educating them about their local heritage in an interactive and fun way. It proposes an alternative method of teaching schoolchildren about the importance of heritage and history. East Clare Heritage intends to hold more of these events in order to heighten the awareness of heritage and also to encourage more visitors to the area.

The East Clare Heritage profile

East Clare Heritage was formed in 1989 as a not for profit voluntary group, with the primary objective of protecting, promoting and ultimately creating access to the vast heritage of East Clare. Just two years later, President of Ireland, Mary Robinson opened the East Clare Heritage Centre at St. Cronán’s 10th Century Church. Since then, the committee have published 11 editions of the acclaimed historical journal ‘Sliabh Aughty’, six publications on local history and many other heritage projects dedicated to the promotion of heritage in East Clare. Another significant project undertaken by us, Cathsaoireach, was the restoration of a famine graveyard in Tuamgraney in the mid 1990’s. It stands as a memorial to the thousands who were buried here during the Irish Famine and is also a testament to the dedication of a committed group of volunteers. We have continued against the odds to keep the heritage centre open on a seasonal basis for almost 15 years and recently become a sponsor of a FÁS scheme to support this major cultural initiative.

As well as holding an impressive series of lectures on subjects like Biddy Early, Robert Emmet and Life in Celtic Ireland, East Clare Heritage has recently organised a variety of cultural workshops at the centre throughout the year to engage schoolchildren with their local heritage. The community has also enthusiastically received one of our most recent initiatives, a series of Irish language classes at the centre. This all forms part of the committee’s outreach policy of providing an educational as well as a recreational resource for both the locals and visitors to East Clare.

East Clare Heritage, since its inception in 1989 has been extremely active in facilitating both intellectual and physical access to the heritage and history of East Clare. Given their voluntary capacity the committee have achieved extraordinary success in promoting the importance and creating accessibility to the heritage of East Clare.

Brian Boru Day!

At East Clare Heritage Centre, Tuamgraney
Thursday 9th June 2005

11.30am – Brian Boru Re-enactment
Brian and his army visit St. Conrán’s Church
Involving local schools, historical & drama groups

12.00pm Battle Re-enactment
Two medieval warriors fight according to the
ancient rules of battle outside Tuamgraney Castle!

12.30pm - Outdoor Medieval Workshops
Including Poleaid, weapon making and arts and crafts
for adults and children

8.30pm – Brian Boru Lecture with
International author Morgan Llywelyn

Includes launch of Brian Boru Exhibition &
Sliabh Aughty Vol.12

All are Welcome!

Back to Events Calendar 2005