Observatory Logo

Armagh Heritage Day 2009

The latest 3D technology as well as glimpses into the past and the chance to don uniforms worn during World War 1 are just some of the features of this year's Armagh Heritage Day organised by the Armagh Visitor Education Committee (AVEC). It will be held on Wednesday, 20th May in the Rotunda Theatre at St Patrick's Trian. The theme of the Heritage Day is the city's contribution to education and learning down through the ages.

Armagh man, Professor Peter Finn, who received his early education at the Christian Brothers Primary and Grammar schools at Greenpark will give the keynote lecture. Professor Finn, now Principal of St Mary's University College, Belfast, will provide an historical overview of the role that education has played in the development of the city and its peoples. He will explore the nature of learning in human development and emphasise the distinctiveness that emerges from historical experience in a unique geographical place.

Something totally different but no doubt equally fascinating will be the main afternoon talk "The Universe: Yours to discover" to be given by Robert Hill, manager of the Northern Ireland Space Office, based at the Armagh Planetarium and a member of the International Astronomical Union Executive Committee Working Group for International year of Astronomy 2009. He will use the latest 3D technology and vivid imagery in his presentation which will act as a guide to some of the spectacular natural wonders of the universe.

Robert has spearheaded the campaign to bring astronomy and space science topics to pupils through the newly revised curriculum in the province. In his previous post as Business Manager and Science Communicator for Armagh Planetarium, he designed and created the 'From Earth to the Heavens' exhibition. He founded the Astrogazers Ireland Astronomy schools network, working with teachers to gain confidence in using astronomy resources for the classroom.

Those attending the Heritage Day, organised for the fourth year running by AVEC, an umbrella organisation covering libraries, museums, heritage centres and other institutions which offer an educational attraction for visitors to Armagh such as the two cathedrals and the court house, will also have the opportunity to participate in a choice of showcases.

One is 'World War I activities' which will give a flavour of life in the trenches and allows participants to wear uniforms and handle equipment and weapons used in the war. It will be presented by Amanda Moreno and William Dobbin of the Royal Irish Fusiliers Museum.

Another is 'A morning on the hill': a threefold visit to Armagh's ancient hill to encompass a short history of the Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh's choral tradition in Ireland and collections of the Armagh Public Library. The showcase will be given jointly by Carol Conlin, Theo Saunders and Leigh Vage.

A third option is 'Victorian life in Armagh' which focuses on the remarkable McCrum family of Milford House who became one of the leading linen dynasties in Ulster and created what is said to be the most technologically advanced house in nineteenth century Ireland. They are renowned for their inventions which impacted significantly in the worlds of business and sport. Stephen McManus will present this showcase.

The fourth choice is 'Navan (Emain Macha) - from Stone Age to an early Christian dwelling' given by Paul Derby and Alan Sneddon, Education Officers with Armagh City and District council. This will include a short demonstration by a Celt from the Living History Department on how people of the period cooked, hunted and fought in battle.

Another item on the Heritage Day agenda will be a short joint talk on Life-long learning in Armagh by Roddy Hegarty, Education and Outreach Officer with the Cardinal Ó Fiaich Library and Archive and Mary McVeigh from the Irish and Local Studies Library.

As space is limited admission to the Heritage Day is by ticket only which can be obtained from Armagh Observatory, telephone 028-3752-2928, email ambnat signarm.ac.uk . Cost is £5 and includes lunch and morning coffee. Further information can be had from the AVEC web-site.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: John McFarland at the Armagh Observatory, College Hill, Armagh, BT61 9DG. Tel.: 028-3752-2928; FAX: 028-3752-7174; jmfat signarm.ac.uk.


Last Revised: 2009 May 8th
Go to HOME PageHome Page