Updated: 17/04/17 : 07:29:48
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Sligo memorial to 'lost' village unveiled today

A MEMORIAL to a 'lost' village in north Sligo near Mullaghmore will be unveiled this afternoon, Easter Monday.

A time capsule -- not to be opened until 2066 at least -- will be placed inside the new sculpture.

Finishing touches have been put in place by the sculptor in the past week.

The new memorial will also serve as a poignant tribute to a villager, 'Freddy' McHugh, who is buried in an unmarked local grave.

'Freddy' froze to death fifty years ago after sitting down to rest on the way home from shopping.

Sculptor of today's new memorial is Brendan McGloin, who has already completed a 14 feet high replica of the Clonmacnoise Cross.

Once Lived

Local historian Joe McGowan sets the scene by pointing out that there are many stories to be told along the route of The Atlantic Way; ''every hill and headland has its own story.''

The sculpture is, McGowan explains, is to ''commemorate one of those stories, and those forgotten through time: people like ‘Freddy’ McHugh.

''His home looks out over the cliffs as well as the people that once lived in the nearby lost village of MullachGearr.

''In his little cottage, at the edge of the sea, lived Freddy Mc Hugh. 

''Gatehouse to Classiebawn Castle, it was - still is - a place of great beauty.
Frozen White

''But Freddy lived alone, was very poor and never saw the clouds, the sea, or the sky in the way we do today. Close by was the now-lost village of MullachGearr

''One bitter winter evening, on his way home from the local shop and tired from the effort, Freddy sat down to rest at a sod ditch on the side of the road. 

''The ground was frozen white when they found him there in the morning. 

''His cottage was later found to be almost devoid of wooden furniture, which he had burnt for warmth. Even the bed was partially dismantled to this end.'' 

This happened in the sixties, some 50 years ago and the few who knew Freddy grow fewer every year.

                The 'Time Capsule' being prepared. Photo: Mullaghmore Memorial Facebook

Today's event will include a reading of a poignant poem ''Like Dolmens Round My Childhood, The Old People'' written by sometimes Sligo visitor John Montague, the famed poet who died last December.

Says McGowan: ''Freddy's grave is not marked and there is no trace now of his existence save in the minds of the few who knew him. 

''Moved by these thoughts we decided to commission a small edifice in memory of both Freddy and of MullachGearr.

Assembly is at the coast road in Mullaghmore and the schedule of events for this afternoon is listed below.

Events Schedule

2.15  Local musicians play a selection of tunes. Sligo Pipe Band arrives following which:

1. Introduction at 2.30pm by Chairman, Seamus Mc Gloin;
2 . Joe Mc Gowan gives an account of the genesis and development of the Memorial; 
3. Reading of John Montague poem ‘Like Dolmens Round my Childhood;'

4. A reading by Michael O'Connor of his poems;
5 . Guest speaker Cllr Declan Bree;
6.  Unveiling;
7.  Laying of wreath by Mullachgearr descendant Séagh P Mac Siúrdáin.

A pipers lament will end the formal ceremony, followed by refreshments in the Mullaghmore Community Centre afterwards.

LInk: https://www.facebook.com/events/273521699761369/?ti=icl

              Noted author and historian Joe McGowan talks about the Memorial