The much anticipated launch of Roscrea Through the Ages took place on Thursday evening last in the White House, Roscrea. The website www.roscreathroughtheages.org is sponsored by Roscrea Credit Union and builds upon the fabulous success of the Roscrea Through The Ages Facebook Page.
The launch night was a fitting tribute to the great work of the organising committee, and the sponsors who are confident that the website will go from strength to strength.
Opening proceedings was Joe Coughlan who together with Joe Moloughney and Sharon Edwards inspired the Facebook page that is now complimented by the fantastic new website.
Joe invited everyone to sit back, relax and enjoy the evening. Joe recalled that Roscrea Through The Ages came about after he wrote a piece in the Roscrea People in 2011 about the executions in Roscrea Castle during the civil war. Joe said that after writing that piece it occurred to him that all these stories should be written down so that they were never forgotten and so that the younger generations in particular could learn from. This inspired Joe to meet with Joe Moloughney and Sharon and the Facebook Page was formed and now has 1400 members.
Some of the stories featured on the facebook page and the website include the runaway train, the life of Daisy Bates who was born in Roscrea, John Moyney who won World War 1 honours in addition to stories about the civil war in Ireland and the famine.
Joe thanked all those who have made contributions to date and said he welcomed all photos and stories with a Roscrea connection.
In December 2013 Joe approached Brian King from Roscrea Credit Union with the idea of setting up a website so that there would a be a more permanent record of these articles for students and locals into the future and that all this would not be lost. Joe said that Brian was very enthusiastic about this and when he put it to the credit union board they got behind the committee and the project 100%. Brian then introduced Joe to Dick Conroy whose Trojan work and technical experience ensured that the website was set up.
One of the advantages of the website will be that the committee can put extended versions of some of it’s facebook page features on it. Another advantage of the website is that the committee can put up galleries of photos by local people. In particular Joe was grateful for the use of the Billy Delaney Collection which captured so much of Roscrea’s social history from the past. Joe thanked the Delaney family and particularly Billy’s wife Josie who was present for the launch.
Joe then thanked Brian Redmond who has been capturing Roscrea events since the 70’s and he thanked Herbie Moynan and John and Ann-Marie O Meara for their contributions.
Joe had a very special welcome for Kathleen Moloughney who was in attendance to launch the website. Kathleen is a great collector of folk history and traditions of Roscrea and Joe said that he hoped that we can add to and benefit from Kathleen’s wealth of knowledge for many years to come.
Joe had a very special welcome for his friend Joe Hargrove and his wife Carol. Joe Hargrove is a grandnephew of Daisy Bates and he attended the launch and spoke on the night about he’s connection to Daisy Bates. Others in attendance that would add to the launch night were thanked by Joe and they included Joe Moloughney who would deliver a poem later in the night, Colin Williams and Sinead Brown who would sing, Tom Stapleton who delivered a very emotional talk about his grandfather, Sean Gleeson who sang the Roscrea Rose and Sharon Edwards who told the story of the famine orphans. Joe Himself who would sing an emotional song about one of the orphans called “The Ballad of Theresa Hughes”
Joe Coughlan then invited Brian King the Manager of Roscrea Credit Union to address the audience. Brian welcomed everyone once again on behalf of the Credit Union. Brian congratulated the committee including the two Joe’s and Sharon and said that their facebook initiative had certainly built upon some great social media projects unique to Roscrea in recent times all of which have helped lift the profile of the town and instil a sense of pride and passion in us all. Therefore Brian said it would be remiss of him not to compliment the Shanahan family and Sean Hogan all of whom were at the launch for their success to date with their Facebbok Page “Well Kid, I’m from Roscrea”.
Brian King said that the Credit Union was delighted to be involved with this project. As regards the financing of the site, Brian said that the Credit Union like most organisations and businesses were very mindful of costs and while the credit union continues to be supportive of many local clubs, organisations and projects it must do so in a very practical and prudent manner. In this regard Brian said he approached Dick Conroy a Director with Roscrea Credit Union and rather than having to pay a web design company, Dick epitomised the very ethos of the credit union and voluntarism by agreeing to voluntarily give he’s expertise to help put a website together. Brian said that the result is something that web designers across the world would be envious of. Brian thanked Dick who he described as one of many unsung heroes living in our midst in Roscrea. Brian who is also the Chair of the Roscrea Enhancement Plan Committee said that the “Roscrea Through The Ages website” is something the committee fully endorse and that it complements two exciting projects that will be launched by the enhancement committee in the near future. With a number of prospective local election candidates present, Brian challenged those present to support projects such as “Roscrea Through the Ages”, “the Roscrea Enhancement Plan” and most importantly develop job creation incentives for our town.
As regards the Credit Union, Brian thanked all the credit union members present for their support over the past four years in which their credit union has gone through a lot of change. Brian acknowledges that it has been a very difficult few years for the current board of directors and staff but most of all he said it has been a most difficult time for credit union members and that the credit union fully acknowledges this. Brian spoke about the challenges and changes the credit union has embraced. As the credit union works towards it’s outstanding Agm’s, Brian said it was important to stress once again that the credit union was lending and that no stone would be left unturned to ensure all loans are repaid. In conclusion Brian once again thanked all involved in the Roscrea Through The Ages Project and said that their was an onus on us all and in particular our teachers and local businesses and organsiations to show leadership in our community which will help safeguard the future of our town by instilling a sense of pride and passion in our younger generation so that they respect their town and help it grow and prosper. Brian King said that Roscrea Through The Ages is a powerful tool and will help achieve this while leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come to learn and benefit from.
For the remainder of the launch the audience was thrilled with poems, songs, ballads, stories and recollections.
The final and most important honour of the evening was left to local historian Kathleen Moloughney who pressed the magic button and declared www.roscreathroughtheages.org officially launched. Dick Conroy and Joe Coughlan then gave an overview of the many aspects of the website before a final presentation was made to both Kathleen and Josie Delaney who was celebrating her birthday that day. Congratulations to all involved in a most memorable holy Thursday evening.