Bliain na gComóradh

Tower Museum. 3003JM61
Tower Museum. 3003JM61

Caithfidh mé a rá go raibh imní orm ag tús na bliana seo.

An dtiocfadh na scoilteanna traidisiúnta sa phobal chun tosaigh mar gheall ar an dá chomóradh mhóra? Ach sílim gur mhaolaigh ar an réamhchlaonadh i rith na bliana de thoradh na n-ócáidí a d‘eagraigh grúpaí éagsúla. Anseo i nDoire ba chóir trácht ar leith a dhéanamh ar an Leabharlann Láir agus Iarsmalann an Túir.

Tá na leabharlanna agus na hiarsmalanna athraithe in achan áit. Tá i bhfad níos mó ná leabhair sna leabharlanna anois: faigheann tú réimse nuachtán agus irisí, dlúthdhioscaí agus DVDanna. Tá tú ábalta úsáid a bhaint as ríomhairí. Thig leat cuidiú a fháil le taighde. Go minic bíonn grúpaí comhrá agus clubanna ar siúl. Déanann na hiarsmalanna iarracht daoine a mhealladh le taispéántais tharraingteacha agus trí úsáid na nuatheicneolaíochta. Bhí sraith léachtaí sa dá áit thuasluaite i mbliana. Fuarthas cainteoirí den scoth agus tuigeadh don lucht éisteachta go bhfuil dhá insint ar gach scéal. An tseachtain seo caite chuaigh mé chuig léacht a thug Denise Henry, léachtóir óg díógraiseach, in Iarsmalann an Túir faoi bhean dhearsncaitheach ón cheantar seo. Rugadh Mabel Colhoun i nDoire Trasna sa bhliain 1902. As Málainn a muintir agus thug sí cuairt go minic ar an bhaile sin. Máistreás scoile a bhí inti. Bhí suim mhór aici sa tseandálaíocht agus chaith sí caoga bliain ag taisteal ar fud Inis Eoghain, ag caint le daoine, ag scríobh nótaí, ag glacadh grianghraf, ag tarraingt agus ag péinteáil. Is léir go raibh sí thar a bheith fuinniúil. Nuair a thosaigh sí ag obair, ní raibh carr aici agus chuaigh sí thart timpeall Inis Eoghain ar a rothar – seasca míle go Cionn Mhálanna agus ar ais uaireanta! Éirím tuirseach nuair a dhéanaim an turas sin ar an bhus. Chuir Mabel go mór lenár n-eolas ar sheandálaíocht, stair agus seanchas an cheantair seo. Tá a cartlann lonnaithe in Iarsmalann an Túir: bhí cuid di curtha ar taispeáint ag léacht Denise. Táimid faoi chomaoin ag an Iarsmalann agus ag an Leabharlann mar gheall ar a ndéanann siad chun oideachas pobail a chur chun cinn.

Translation

The Year of Commemorations

I must admit I was worried at the beginning of the year. Would the traditional divisions emerge again because of the two main commemorations? But I think that there was a decline in prejudice during the year because of the events that various groups organised. Here in Derry the Central Library and the Tower Museum deserve special mention.

Libraries and museums have undergone change everywhere. There is much more than books in libraries now: you find a wide range of newspapers and magazines, CD’s and DVD’s. You get the use of computers. You can get help with research. Often conversation groups and clubs meet there. Museums try to attract people with eye-catching exhibitions and through use of the new technology. This year there was a series of lectures in the two places mentioned above. The speakers who were got were first rate and the audience was made aware that there are two sides to every story.

Last week I went to a lecture in the Tower Museum given by an enthusiastic young lecturer, Denise Henry. The talk was about an exceptional woman from this area. Mabel Colhoun was born in Derry’s Waterside in 1902. Her people were from Malin and she was a frequent visitor to the town. She was a school teacher. She was greatly interested in archaeology and she spent fifty year travelling throughout Inishowen, talking to people, writing notes, taking photographs, doing drawings and painting. She was obviously very energetic. When she started her work, she didn’t have a car and she went round Inishowen on her bicycle- cycling sixty miles to Malin Head and back sometimes! I get tired when I make the trip on the bus. Mabel added greatly to our knowledge of the archaeology, history and folklore of this area. Her archive is kept in the Tower Museum: some of it was put on display at Denise’s lecture. We are most grateful to the Museum and the Library for all they do to promote community education.