Latest News from Portaferry Townscape Heritage Initiative
The following PRL/THI exhibition will be on view upstairs in the Tourist Information Centre in Portaferry for the month of July. This was requested by the TIC. Preparation of the information for the display was carried out by Allison Murphy, THI Education Officer with assistance from Una and Sam Reilly of PAST. It is hoped that, as well as attracting visitors to Portaferry, this exhibition will highlight the incredible maritime history of the area and the beautiful buildings once occupied by these seafarers.
Education Officer Allison Murphy talks you young people from local schools following a talk at the World War 1 symposium organised by Portico
Students from Glastry and St Columba’s Colleges joined forces today to find out more about local people who served in the First World War. Alongside presentations from academics and historians, the students shared their own research findings.
Organised by Portaferry’s new Arts and Heritage Centre, PORTICO – which opens in September – the event was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs (ROI).
PORTICO’s Heritage Officer Dr Verity Peet said: “The idea is to tell each other about the stories we have discovered and to encourage a better understanding of our shared history. When the students have finished their research, PORTICO will use some of their findings in our exhibition on the local impact of the First World War.”
The symposium began with an archive film show by Joan Magee from Libraries NI who set the context for the Irish involvement in the First World War. Matt Gamble from the Somme Heritage Centre then enthused students with his accounts of those who served, revealing reasons for local men enlisting, to the conditions in the trenches.
Local historians Allison Murphy (Portaferry Regeneration Ltd) and Gerard Lennon (Upper Ards Historical Society) both presented fascinating personal stories of soldiers like Portaferry-born Thomas Guiney, who was a Nationalist Volunteer before joining the Royal Irish Regiment.
Drama students from Queen’s University performed extracts from Dr Brenda Winter-Palmer’s play The Medal In The Drawer and the actors, in character, answered students’ questions about life at war.
Each college then presented their own research findings, before the symposium concluded with informal discussions by all the participants.