Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Launch of Irish Historic Town Atlas No 25

“To put a city in a book, to put the world on one sheet of paper -- maps are the most condensed humanized spaces of all...They make the landscape fit indoors, make us masters of sights we can't see and spaces we can't cover.” 
― Robert HarbisonEccentric Spaces

There was a  sense of 'centre meeting edge' at Ennis Buttermarket last Friday evening as historians, cartographers and academics  from the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin joined local councillors, business men, history buffs and local residents to celebrate the  launch of Irish Historic Town Atlas no 25 which condensed not only the dimensions of spaces but also the that of time in Ennis town onto an collection  of handsome A3 sized documents. County Librarian Helen Walsh  looking elegant  in emerald green opened the proceedings with words of welcome to the visitors and some background to the international dimension of the project . Secretary of the RIA , Tom Brazil spoke  about the institution dedicated unusually to the Renaissance ideal of excellence in scholarship of both arts and sciences . Howard Clarke, editor paid tribute to Brian O Dalaigh author of number 25, praising his enthusiasm, attention to detail and his pro-active engagement in the project before inviting the assembly to add a comparative dimenson in viewing some of the other atlas' in the the series on display that evening.

Author Brian O Dálaigh signs a copy for Fr. Tom Hogan .

O Dalaigh, son of the last cooper in Ennis spoke of his idyllic childhood growing up in Drumbiggle nd vividly recalled the characters and tradesmen he encountered in the market and streets of the Clare county town. Indeed as Walsh remarked , Brian has maybe a childhood memoir in him for  a future project
 The assembly was graced by not one but two mayors as mayor of Clare, Pat Daly added a few childhood reminiscences  of his own and made the point that the document would be much valued by the Clare diaspora. The atlas was officially launced by Mayor of Ennis , Peter Considine . The event went on for some time after as refreshments were served and the author continued to sign copies of the  opus for well over an hour.

Map 1787 by Henry Pelham

I met editors Colm Lennon and Jacinta Prunty  of the RIA team who were looking forward to returning to the West for no 26 which will feature  Galway. I spoke with Cartographic Editor, Sarah Gearty about the task of sourcing and selecting  the maps and photographs  All  the maps are included in digital form on a CD but the pleasure is in holding in your hand the tangible  printed form . Sarah and historian colleagues,  Angela Murphy and Jennifer Moore were busy manning the stand as demand was brisk for this splendid publication, a terrific addition to our local history resources.

RIA Editorial Team members
 Angela Murphy , Sarah Gearty and Jennifer Moore

Related article . More on the Irish Historic Town Atlas on Clare Library Blog here

More photos of the event here from Ennis Cathedral website

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