Sunday, 10 August 2014

County Clare - Day 2: The Waterpark book launch...

Tuesday 6th May
First task for the day was to source a local SIM card for my phone, the pre-paid travel SIM from home proving too much trouble.  A quick trip to the Ennis shops took care of that, and feeling re-connected to the world, I set out to acquaint myself with the famous Local Studies Centre attached to Clare Library, conveniently located just a few doors down from the Rowan Tree.

The Clare Library has an extensive collection of family history resources available on-line, which has been of considerable help to me in my research.  I was able to pay back in some small way by donating to the library copies of our family collection of photographs relating to the Pilkington, Keane and Griffin families in Clare.  These photos were gathered from the different branches of our families prior to our Reunion in 2013.  They are now available to view on-line at the library's Foto page.  It is reassuring to know that they are saved in a central repository for future generations to access.

Family group photo taken at Kiltrellig in 1871

I spent the day looking at old editions of the Clare Journal on microfilm - brought back memories of all the hours/days I had spent doing the same at Monash Uni Library a couple of years ago.  Also going through the card index looking for any references to the families I am interested in.  I didn't make any outstanding discoveries, but did find a few useful items.

Tonight was the dinner to mark the finale of the Ennis Town Council, and the launch of the Waterpark book.  The Irish Government has disbanded all town councils as of June this year.  Ennis Town Council is to be replaced by a "Municipal Committee" which will be part of the Clare County Council. The dinner followed on from the last ever council meeting, and was held in the Civic Centre, formerly the old Buttermarket, adjacent to Waterpark House.

Larry and his wife Bernie picked me up, along with Dr. Brian Blood and his wife Marguerite, who had travelled from England for the event.  Brian's direct ancestor - 11x grandfather, if I remember correctly - Edmond Blood, was the 1st representative sent to the Irish Parliament by the town of Ennis, back in 1615.

It was a very enjoyable evening of good food and entertainment, at which I was granted a degree of  celebrity status, as a visitor from afar.  Also enjoyed chatting to Brian and discussing the link between the Pilkington & Blood families.

The Waterpark book was received very well - what a rewarding experience to be part of it!  A little disappointed to find an error in the Pilkington information which I did not pick up in all the multiple proof-reads I had done.  The book has brought to life Waterpark, its inhabitants, and those of the surrounding area.  Additionally, it provides a lasting record of the Ennis Town Council, and those who have served over the course of its history.

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