Updated: 27/02/17 : 06:51:03
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Sligo historic graveyard training project begins

Do you have a historic graveyard in your area? Is your community group interested in recording the graveyard memorials in your local historic graveyard? If yes, then you will be interested to hear that a new training programme has been developed with the aim of training local communities in Sligo to record and publish their own historic graveyards.

John Tierney and the Historic Graves Team will be holding a public information session on the Sligo Historic Graveyard Training Project in the Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo on Monday 6th of March 2017, 7.30 – 9.00pm.  All are welcome to attend.

Organised by the Heritage Office, Sligo County Council, the project will be delivered by John Tierney of the Historic Graves Project. John and his team have already been involved with many community groups nationwide in publishing over 700 Irish graveyards to the website www.historicgraves.com.  The Sligo Historic Graveyard Training Project is an initiative of Sligo Heritage Forum and is an action of the County Sligo Heritage Plan 2016-2020.  The project is funded by Sligo County Council and The Heritage Council.

All communities interested in graveyard surveying and learning a simple, effective system for high quality survey are invited to attend the evening where the survey system will be explained and where expressions of interest will be gathered from the different communities interested in having training provided in their home graveyard. It is anticipated that the current project will be piloted in four historic graveyards in Sligo and depending on interest and resources, it is hoped to expand the training programme in the future.

Following the information session, the Historic Graves Team will select four historic graveyards for survey and training.  The training surveys will begin in the selected graveyards on Monday 20th March 2017, with a total of 8 survey days in all (i.e. two days being spent in each graveyard).

Strong community engagement is essential for the project as each community will be required to provide a team for training – this team can vary from 5-15 people. Thick soled boots and waterproof layers are always a good idea and techniques for reading headstones such as high-powered torches and mirrors, as well as newsprint paper rubbings, will be demonstrated. The use of a gps camera for survey will also be taught. The techniques learned in the graveyard can then be applied to community surveys for other heritage sites.

As well as being a sacred space, historic graveyards are key heritage tourism resources for any county. It is hoped that this project will assist in developing a rural tourism genealogical resource but will also give guidance in historic graveyard care and conservation.

All are welcome to attend the information session on Monday 6th March 2017 where John Tierney will be joined by Sligo based graveyard expert, Mary B Timoney, to talk about the Sligo project. Thereafter any groups wishing to express an interest in having their graveyard surveyed as part of the training project should email jacinta@eachtra.ie