Kells village series of lectures starts tonight with ‘Kilkenny in Times of Revolution’

Local patriot from  Dunnamaggin Captain Pat Walsh to be highlighted

Kells village series of lectures starts tonight with ‘Kilkenny in Times of Revolution’

Kells village bridge by Liam O'Sullivan

Tonight (Friday), author Eoin Swithin Walsh, who recently published a top selling book ‘Kilkenny in Times of Revolution’ will give a talk in the the village heritage centre.

He will outline how Kilkenny was a hotbed of activity during the War of Independence and Civil War. He will focus in particular on a local patriot from Dunnamaggin Captain Pat Walsh who died from his wounds which were inflicted during an encounter with crown forces at Knocknagress in 1921.

A week later on Friday, October 19, Ireland's leading bridge historian Rob Goodbody will give an insight into the stone bridges of Kilkenny. There are two fascinating bridges in the vicinity; one in Kells itself and one in Ennisnag which is potentially the oldest bridge in Ireland. Rob’s recent publication Bridges of Ireland includes both bridges and Rob will outline why he thinks Kells bridge is actually far older than previously thought.

The final lecture for 2018 promises to be something quite special. Historian and author Dr Breda Lynch who works for the OPW gives a lecture entitled Kells Priory - A Monastic Experience. Breda will tell attendees what it was like to live in Kells Priory itself and what attracted people to a spiritual monastic life within a Priory. Kells Priory was founded by the Canons Regular of St. Augustine in 1193 at the request of Norman Lord Geoffrey Fitz Roberts. Four monks left a Priory in Cornwall and travelled to Kells to found what was later to became Irelands largest monastic enclosure.

Committee member Liam O’Sullivan said the community have ambitious plans for the village.

“Kells was a center of learning, knowledge and spirituality in the past and we as a community are very proud of this tradition and we feel it’s important that we share this both within the community and with visitors who come here. We have a great community spirit here in Kells and lots of work has been done to capture our local history and ensure it’s preserved for the future generations who will live in Kells and beyond. By opening the Heritage Centre to the Historic Kells lecture series we hope to be able to help share the many different facets of our history," he said.

Liam and the committee are working on getting funding to develop the heritage center further. "We need some investment to be able to cater for bigger numbers of visitors here in Kells and we’re working with the various agencies to see how we make that happen," he said.

So far the feedback for the ambitious plans have been very positive “We already have some international speakers lined up for 2019 one from Canada who’s great great grandfather actually helped to build many of the buildings in lower Kells that are still in existence today and another leading historical author from the USA. We’re very excited about our 2019 line up so far and we’re only getting started," Liam said.

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