Fingal Fieldnames Project: Capturing the Stories of the Land

July 16, 2019 0

Collier the Robber is a well-known figure in the folklore of Fingal. The story of this infamous highwayman was still embedded in the folk memory long after his death in 1849. When the Schools Folklore Collection was undertaken in the 1930s, Jane Larkin, a pupil at Balscaddan N.S. wrote about a field near Balgaddy called Collier’s Horn. This was one of Michael Collier’s hiding places and he summoned his army of robbers by blowing his horn in this field.

Fingal fieldnamesField names like this can tell us much about our past, but they are not officially recognised or recorded. Modern development and changes in farming practices mean that field names and all the associated place lore risk being lost forever.

Fingal County Council’s Heritage Office aims to address this by recording field names across the county. The Fingal Fieldnames Project is now in its second year. During 2018, volunteers across the county were given the training and skills to record the field names of their localities. They have been consulting old maps and documents, speaking to farmers and gathering as much knowledge as they can. Fingal County Council and Abarta Heritage have supported and steered these volunteers, and their work is starting to build new insights into the heritage of the area.

New volunteers are very welcome to get involved in the next phase of this exciting project. It is open to anyone who wants to learn more about Fingal’s heritage and the opportunity to get hands on and contribute to recording a vital piece of intangible heritage before it is lost.

The next training sessions will be held on:

  • Tuesday 16th July at 7pm. in Holywell Community Centre, Swords, Dublin.
  • Tuesday 23rd July at 7pm. in The Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, Naul, Dublin.
  • Monday 29th July at 7.30pm. in St. David’s Church, Kilsallaghan, Dublin.

All are welcome to attend these free training sessions, but places are limited so please do book ahead. To book your place, or to find out more about the project, please contact Dr Conor Ryan, Abarta Heritage (