County Mayo is one of the first counties in Ireland to have the manuscripts from the 1930s Schools’ Folklore Collection available on-line at www.duchas.ie To commemorate those involved, a launch of the project was held recently in Lahardane and was attended by nearly 20 people who had written essays for the collection in 1937 – ’38. Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr. Damien Ryan presided over the launch. Croistoir MacCartaigh from the National Folklore Collection also attended, and presented copies of their essays to the pupils from the 1930s.
The Irish Folklore Commission / Coimisiún Béaloideasa Éireann was established in 1935 to study and collect information on the folklore and traditions of Ireland. In 1937-1938, the Irish Folklore Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, initiated a revolutionary scheme in which schoolchildren were encouraged to collect and document folklore and local history. Over a period of eighteen months, over 50,000 children in 5,000 primary schools in twenty-six counties were encouraged to collect folklore material in their home districts on themes such as local history and monuments, folktales and legends, riddles and proverbs, songs, customs and beliefs, games and pastimes, traditional work practices and crafts.
Mayo County Council, in association with the North Mayo / West Sligo Heritage Group and the Nephin View Restoration Group organised the successful commemoration and encourage everyone with an interest in the essays to visit www.duchas.ie to view the work of the pupils from the late 1930s.
For further information please contact:
Declan Turnbull, Mayo County Council, Aras an Chontae, Castlebar, Co. Mayo
Tel: 094 – 904 7545, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or
PJ Lynn, North Mayo / West Sligo Heritage Group. Tel: 096 – 31521
Alison Laredo's website www.alisonlaredo.com