NLI PUTS PARISH REGISTERS ONLINE

Pictured at the launch of the National Library of Ireland's new web-repository of parish records are Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., talking to Ciara Kerrigan, project manager of the digitisation of parish registers NLI. Photo Mark Stedman, Photocall Ireland

Pictured at the launch of the National Library of Ireland’s new web-repository of parish records are Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., talking to Ciara Kerrigan, project manager of the digitisation of parish registers NLI. Photo Mark Stedman, Photocall Ireland

National Library of Ireland Launches Parish Records Website

Michael Fisher  Northern Standard   Thursday 9th July

A new digital archive of Catholic parish records which is being made available free online by the National Library of Ireland should transform and greatly enhance the task of anyone tracing family history, according to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D. She was speaking at the launch by the Library of a web-repository of parish records, dating from the 1740s to the 1880s.

The Library’s holding of parish records is considered to be the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census. Up to now, they have only been accessible on microfilm, which meant that those interested in accessing the records had to visit the National Library. This new web resource provides unlimited access to all members of the public to records covering 1,086 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, including all parishes in the Catholic diocese of Clogher (although I could find no record for Eskra, near Newtownsaville, which was once part of Clogher parish in County Tyrone.

Minister Humphreys said: “This new digital resource will help people at home and abroad who are interested in tracing their ancestry. The website provides access to church records dating back up to 270 years and includes details like the dates of baptisms and marriages, and the names of the key people involved. The records feature the baptisms of some very well-known historical figures, such as the 1916 Leaders Padraig Pearse and Thomas MacDonagh.”

“Making this kind of material available online should help to boost genealogy tourism, and will complement the work of local historical centres in communities around the country. As we approach the centenary of the 1916 Rising next year, I am keen to make as much historical material as possible available online, so we can encourage people around the world to reconnect with their Irish roots”, she said.

Acting Director of the National Library, Catherine Fahy, said:

“This access to the parish records will be transformative for genealogy services, in particular as they will allow those based overseas to consult the records without any barriers.  Effectively, the digitisation of the records is an investment in community, heritage and in our diaspora-engagement.”

Pictured at the launch of the National Library of Ireland's new web-repository of parish records are Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., talking to former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. Photo: Mark Stedman, Photocall Ireland

Pictured at the launch of the National Library of Ireland’s new web-repository of parish records are Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., talking to former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. Photo: Mark Stedman, Photocall Ireland

The parish registers website contains more than 370,000 high-quality, digital images of microfilm reels.  The National Library microfilmed the parish records in the 1950s and 1960s.  Some additional filming of registers from a small number of Dublin parishes took place during the late 1990s.

As a result of this work, the NLI holds microfilm copies of more than 3,550 registers from the vast majority of Catholic parishes throughout Ireland. The start date of the registers varies from the 1740/50s in some city parishes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, to the 1780/90s in counties such as Kildare, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. Registers for parishes along the western seaboard generally do not begin until the 1850/1860s.

Catherine Fahy said: “In using the website for family or community searches, we would recommend that members of the public consult with their local family history resource to help them refine their search.  The website does not contain any transcripts or indexes, so for a search to be successful, some known facts about a person’s life will be necessary.  Effectively, those who access the new online resource will be able to cross-reference the information they uncover, and identify wider links and connections to their ancestral community by also liaising with local genealogical services or family history resources.”

Speaking at the launch An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., said: “I would like to congratulate the National Library on their project to make the Catholic parish registers available online.  Given the devastating fire in the Four Courts in 1922, in which so many records were lost, these registers are considered the single most important record of Irish life prior to the 1901 census.

“They will be of great value to experts in the areas of history and genealogy, but also of tremendous interest to people here in Ireland and the Irish diaspora around the world.  No doubt the registers will contribute to the number of genealogical tourists to Ireland, as people of Irish descent access these records online and decide to visit their ancestral home place.”

Online access to the new website is free of charge. For more information, visit http://registers.nli.ie/.

In 1949, Dr Edward MacLysaght, Chief Herald of Ireland and Keeper of Manuscripts at the National Library of Ireland, approached the Bishop of Limerick offering the NLI’s services to help in the permanent preservation of the genealogical information contained within the Catholic Church’s collection of parish registers. The NLI’s offer to microfilm parochial registers was taken up by every member of the Hierarchy. Although civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1864, records were not accurately kept for a number of years, so a cut-off date of 1880 was applied for the microfilming of registers.

The usual procedure followed in relation to the microfilming was to send a senior member of NLI staff to a diocese to collect the registers, bring them to the NLI in Kildare Street for filming, and then return the registers to the diocese. The filming of registers diocese by diocese began in the 1950s and was completed over a period of twenty years. Additional filming of registers from a small number of Dublin parishes took place during the late 1990s. As a result of this work, the NLI held microfilm copies of over 3500 registers from 1086 parishes on the island of Ireland. The start dates of the registers vary from the 1740/50s in some city parishes in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick, to the 1780/90s in counties such as Kildare, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny. Registers for parishes along the western seaboard do not generally begin until the 1850/60s.

Church registers of marriage and baptism are considered to be the single most important source for family history researchers prior to the 1901 census. In many cases, the registers contain the only surviving record of particular individuals and families. With growing numbers of people engaged in family history research and limited on-site facilities at the NLI in Dublin, the decision was taken in 2010 to digitise the parish register microfilms. Following a tender process, the contract for digitisation was awarded to AEL Data who converted 550 microfilm reels, containing over 3500 registers into approximately 373,000 digital images. These images correspond to a page or two-page opening within a register volume.

In October 2014 the NLI Board formally approved the making available of the microfilm images online on a dedicated free-to-access website. The individual registers have been reassembled virtually and made available to users via a topographical database. The development of the parish register website has been carried out by a small team in the NLI’s Digital Library section. The digitisation of the Catholic parish register microfilms is the NLI’s most ambitious digitisation project to date. It demonstrates the NLI’s commitment to enhancing accessibility through making its collections available online.

Information can be obtained relating to the following parishes in the diocese of Clogher:

Aghavea   (Brookeborough)    

Aughalurcher (Lisnaskea)

Aughintaine     (Fivemiletown)

Aughnamullen East

Aughnamullen West (Latton)

Carn (Devenish West, Belleek & Pettigo)

Cleenish  (Arney, Belcoo)

Clogher   

Clones

Clontibret

Devenish (Botha, Derrygonnelly)

Garrison

Donacavey (Fintona)       

Donagh (Emyvale, Glaslough)

Donaghmoyne

Dromore (Co. Tyrone)    

Drumsnat and Kilmore (Corcaghan)       

Drumully (Currin, Scotshouse)

Ematris (Rockcorry)       

Enniskillen (Inis Caoin Locha Eirne)

Errigal Truagh        

Galloon (Drumully, Newtownbutler)       

Garrison 

Inniskeen (Killanny)

Innismacsaint (Maghene, Bundoran)       

Irvinestown      (Devenish)

Killany (Inniskeen)

Killeevan (Currin, Aghabog)

Kilskeery (Kilskerry, Trillick)

Maghaire Rois (Carrickmacross)

Magheracloone        

Magheraculmany (Cúl Máine, Ederney)

Monaghan (Rackwallace)

Muckno (Castleblayney)

Roslea

Tempo (Pobal)

Tullycorbet (Ballybay)    

Tydavnet

Tyholland

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COMBILIFT MONAGHAN EXPANSION

combilogolargeCOMBILIFT SEEKS PLANNING PERMISSION FOR NEW FACTORY 

Michael Fisher  Northern Standard  Thursday 4th June p.2

The forklift company Comiblift which is one of County Monaghan’s most successful businesses has applied for planning permission to build a new premises on a 100-acre site on the outskirts of Monaghan town. It’s part of a €40 million expansion announced by the company in February. The firm has promised to create 200 jobs over the next five years.

The proposed development which is close to Monaghan fire station on the by-pass at Tullyhirm and Annahagh mainly consists of a 41 thousand square metre industrial unit and production facility, and a three-storey office block with a car park. There would also be a pedestrian footbridge, access and steps from the site leading onto the N2 roadway, adjacent to the Coolshannagh roundabout.

A decision on the proposed development is due to be made by the planning department of Monaghan County Council by July 12th. Any observations on the plans must be submitted by June 21st.

The majority of the 200 new jobs to be created will be for skilled technicians and design engineers and a further 200 jobs will also be created during the two-year construction period of the new facility. The new complex will include a dedicated Research and Development building, adjoining the administration offices and will be more than double the size of the company’s present manufacturing facilities.

Combilift is best known for its wide range of multi-directional forklifts, Aisle-Master articulated forklifts and other innovative material handling solutions such as the Combilift Straddle Carrier designed to handle large containers and over-sized loads. The company was set up by CEO Martin McVicar and Technical Director Robert Moffett in 1998 and has produced more than 24,500 units since then. It currently employs over 300 people at its two facilities and products are exported to over 75 countries.

When the expansion was announced, Martin McVicar said that with this greenfield investment and sufficient land available on the new site for future expansion, Combilift was committed to continuing its organic growth in Monaghan for many years to come. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “It is growing and dynamic Irish companies like Combilift which are driving a recovery across Ireland’s regions. Combilift’s new €40 million facility in Monaghan will make a profound difference to the local economy and the national export economy.”

TAOISEACH OPENS MONAGHAN CAMPUS

Taoiseach's car passes anti-water tax protestors outside Campus gates  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Taoiseach’s car passes anti-water tax protestors outside Campus gates Photo: © Michael Fisher

There was a small protest by a group of around two dozen demonstraors from the Monaghan Anti-Water Tax group as the Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD arrived to open officially the Monaghan Educational Campus. It was constructed on the site of the former army barracks at Knockaconny, which was decommissioned in 2009. Owing to the protest, the newly installed plaque at the entrance gates was not unveiled by Mr Kenny, as originally planned.

Plaque at entrance gates to Monaghan Educational Campus  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Plaque at entrance gates to Monaghan Educational Campus Photo: © Michael Fisher

The new campus opened its doors in 2013 and was the brainchild of the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board under the leadership of Martin O’Brien. It includes two Irish language schools, Gaelscoil Ultain for primary level and Coláiste Oiriall for secondary level. It also houses a gym, named in honour of Barry McGuigan, sports facilities, the purpose-built Garage Theatre, replacing the small and cramped premises at the old St Davnet’s Hospital, and a building for the Monaghan Institute.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD talking to Brendan Ó Dufaigh Principal Coláiste Oiriall and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys TD  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD talking to Brendan Ó Dufaigh Principal Coláiste Oiriall and Arts Minister Heather Humphreys TD Photo: © Michael Fisher

Mr Kenny was shown an audiovisual presentation about how the campus had been developed since his previous visit in October 2011, when construction was starting. On that occasion the Taoiseach described it as a brilliant concept and a great decision for the people of County Monaghan.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD unveils plaque at Monaghan Educational campus with CEO of CMETB Martin O'Brien and local politicians  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD unveils plaque at Monaghan Educational campus with CEO of CMETB Martin O’Brien and local politicians Photo: © Michael Fisher

The campus was officially blessed in an ecumenical service that included the two Bishops of Clogher, Dr Liam MacDaid and Most Reverent John McDowell, along with Monaghan Presbytery Moderator Reverend Ronnie Agnew and Methodist District Superintendent Reverend Ken Robinson from Portadown (pictured saying a prayer).

Ecumenical Blessing of Monaghan Educational Campus Photo:  © Michael Fisher

Ecumenical Blessing of Monaghan Educational Campus Photo: © Michael Fisher

Today was an even bigger day for County Monaghan as it coincided with an announcement by local company Combilift that it was moving to new premises beside the Monaghan by-pass and in a €40 million investment creating 200 new jobs over the next five years at what will be its global headquarters. Mr Kenny visited the plant and said the investment would make a profound difference to the local economy and the national export economy. combilogolarge

FLANDERS FIELDS

Enda Kenny & David Cameron at grave of Willie Redmond MP  Photo: Paschal Donohoe via twitter

Enda Kenny & David Cameron at grave of Willie Redmond MP Photo: Paschal Donohoe via twitter

The improved relationship between the British and Irish governments was again shown today by the joint visit to some of the World War I battlefield sites in Flanders by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British Prime Minister David Cameron. They paid their respects at the grave of nationalist MP from the Irish Parliamentary Party, Major Willie Redmond.  He was commissioned as a captain in the Royal Irish Regiment and fought on the Western Front with the 16th (Irish) Division, in the winter of 1915 to 1916, and died during the Messines Ridge attack in June 1917.  Lise Hand reported on the visit for the Irish Independent.

Enda Kenny & David Cameron at grave of Willie Redmond MP  Photo: Irish Embassy Belgium via twitter

Enda Kenny & David Cameron sign book at grave of Willie Redmond MP Photo: via twitter

They also visited the Irish peace park at Messines, the first time the heads of the two governments have done so. Each laid a wreath close to the round tower that dominates the site. Mr Kenny and Mr Cameron also saw Wijtschate military cemetery, south of Ieper, where there is a memorial to the 16th (Irish) Division.

Wreaths laid at Irish Peace Park, Messines  Photo: Defence Forces via twitter

Wreaths laid at Irish Peace Park, Messines Photo: Defence Forces via twitter

A bronze plaque near to the entrance of the Island of Ireland Peace Park is inscribed with a Peace Pledge:

From the crest of this ridge, which was the scene of terrific carnage in the First World War on which we have built a peace park and Round Tower to commemorate the thousands of young men from all parts of Ireland who fought a common enemy, defended democracy and the rights of all nations, whose graves are in shockingly uncountable numbers and those who have no graves, we condemn war and the futility of war. We repudiate and denounce violence, aggression, intimidation, threats and unfriendly behaviour.

As Protestants and Catholics, we apologise for the terrible deeds we have done to each other and ask forgiveness. From this sacred shrine of remembrance, where soldiers of all nationalities, creeds and political allegiances were united in death, we appeal to all people in Ireland to help build a peaceful and tolerant society. Let us remember the solidarity and trust that developed between Protestant and Catholic Soldiers when they served together in these trenches.

As we jointly thank the armistice of 11 November 1918 – when the guns fell silent along this western front – we affirm that a fitting tribute to the principles for which men and women from the Island of Ireland died in both World Wars would be permanent peace.”  (from www.greatwar.co.uk website)

MONAGHAN WELCOMES GEEL

Civic reception by Monaghan County Council for Geel group

Civic reception by Monaghan County Council for Geel group

Geel group led by Mayor Vera Celis visits Leinster House

Geel group led by Mayor Vera Celis visits Leinster House

WELKOM! Tydavnet in County Monaghan has welcomed a group of fifteen visitors from Geel in Belgium, led by the new Mayor Vera Celis. Tydavnet is twinned with Geel in the province of Antwerp through the common link of St Dympna (Davnet). The group, some of whom have been here before, are staying with host families in the parish. They flew in to Dublin airport from Brussels and were then taken on a tour of Leinster House organised by Cllr Paudge Connolly, followed by lunch in the members’ restaurant. During the visit the Taoiseach Enda Kenny met them briefly, which was appreciated as it was a busy day for him in the Daíl.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Burgemeester van Geel Vera Celis, New Flemish Alliance party, Flemish Parliament

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Burgemeester van Geel Vera Celis, New Flemish Alliance party, Flemish Parliament

I met the group as they departed for Tydavnet, where they were entertained last night in the community centre, having stopped to visit the restored workhouse building in Carrickmacross en route . Last August I joined a group from Tydavnet and Monaghan that went to Geel for the “Eurofeesten” involving twelve European countries. On Thursday the visitors were taken on a walking tour of the St Davnet’s complex in Monaghan. They were then given a civic reception at the Westenra Hotel, hosted by the Mayor of County Monaghan Hugh McElvaney and the Monaghan town Mayor, Seamus Treanor, both of whom participated in the visit to Geel last year. Councillor McElvaney presented Vera Celis with a framed piece of Clones lace and the Burgemeester made presentations to Tydavnet group organiser Sheila McKenna and to the county Mayor. This afternoon the group was taken to visit the new educational campus and the Garage theatre on the Armagh road and they were then due to be taken on a walk around Monaghan town. They will visit Derry on Saturday and will attend Sunday Mass in Tydavnet.

Group from Geel at Leinster House

Group from Geel at Leinster House

Monaghan Mayor Hugh McElvaney presents a gift of Clones Lace to Geel Mayor Vera Celis

Monaghan Mayor Hugh McElvaney presents a gift of Clones Lace to Geel Mayor Vera Celis

Tydavnet Group organiser Sheila McKenna is presented with a gift by Mayor of Geel Vera Celis

Tydavnet Group organiser Sheila McKenna is presented with a gift by Mayor of Geel Vera Celis

Flag of Geel

Flag of Geel

CHURCH & STATE

Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Knock (Picture RTÉ News)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Knock (Picture RTÉ News)

Listening to an interview given by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to RTÉ News (This Week) at Knock airport in his Mayo constituency, he answered one question with the comment: “I have my own way of speaking to my God”. He had been asked about the Catholic hierarchy’s response to the proposed legislation for limited abortion, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. Cardinal Brady who was visiting the Marian shrine at Knock held out the threat of refusing communion to politicians who supported the bill, saying “that (excommunication) is down the line at the moment as far as we are concerned”. During a national prayer vigil for the right to life of mothers and babies the Catholic Primate of all-Ireland pointed out that the exact legislation that would be introduced was not yet known. “We know what the law is about excommunication, about abortion, that’s a fact. But…the most important issue at this moment is to win the hearts and minds of the people of Ireland to decide with the pro-life“, he said.

Cardinal Sean Brady (Picture RTÉ News)

Cardinal Sean Brady (Picture RTÉ News)

On Friday, after a meeting of the hierarchy, Cardinal Brady said the scandal involving clerical child sex abuse did not exempt the bishops from the duty of proclaiming the good news of the gift of life. He also said that while the job of TDs and senators was to legislate, they did not have the “power over life”. In response to the Cardinal’s intervention in the debate, Mr Kenny said “My book is the Constitution, the Constitution is determined by the people, it’s the people’s book.”

As Fr Tony Flannery points out in The Journal, many people in this country no longer follow the teaching of the Catholic Church and it is the task of our politicians to legislate for all citizens. He says Cardinal Brady comes across as “stiff and authoritarian” and the choice of him as a spokesperson for the bishops’ campaign is a big mistake. Another good point he makes is that by coming out so strongly, in such an aggressive and black-and-white way against the proposals, the Catholic hierarchy have effectively ruled themselves out of any real engagement in the process from now on. “They will condemn, and they will lobby individual legislators, but their public position is now fixed and unbending. This is not the way to go about influencing a democratic process“, he says.

Fr Tony Flannery (RTÉ News)

Fr Tony Flannery (RTÉ News)

So there we have it. The battle lines are being drawn up for what will be a major turning point in church and state relations in Ireland, a debate that is no doubt occupying the minds of many Fine Gael backbenchers are the moment. I think this has been a particularly important weekend which will show the waning influence of the Catholic hierarchy in Irish politics. Added to the previous debates about contraception and divorce and the ongoing discussions about the level of Catholic religious involvement in education, I think we are witnessing a very significant step in the increasing secularisation of the Republic.