SEPTEMBER 28th -29th 2019
Both Federations met in the Ancient City of Armagh for what turned out to be a great weekend. Blessed by the fine weather, Armagh presented its own unique history dating back to the time of St. Patrick. On Saturday morning we spent the time absorbing the history “on the hill” as it is referred to locally. We had guided tours of the Church of Ireland Cathedral, the Archbishop Robinson Library, wherein can be seen a first copy of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and finally a tour of the remarkable No 5 Vicker Street.
Lunch was served in the Cardinal O’Fiaich Library and we were privileged to hear a most interesting and absorbing talk given by the Librarian, Roddy Hegarty, on the history of St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral which is situated adjacent to the library. We were then off to see the Armagh County Museum on the Mall and given an introduction and tour by the Curator, Sean Barden. An excellent Museum, well laid out for the visitor, user friendly and packed with a lot information about the city and County. It was particularly pleasing for me personally to see an exhibition in the museum on A E Russell, who was born in my home town of Lurgan.
Before we settled down to dinner, the group was afforded a civic welcome and reception in the beautiful Bishop’s Palace by the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, Mealla Campbell. It was a memorable occasion with the Lord Mayor extending a very warm welcome to the Federations.
Dinner followed in the Armagh City Hotel with a very interesting and thought provoking after dinner talk by the President of the Ulster History Federation, Dr. Brian Turner.
Sunday morning’s visit to “Navan Fort” was something special when our excellent guides outlined the history of this ancient ceremonial monument and one of the great royal sites of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland. Lunch was provided at the centre after which we were treated to a coach tour tracing the footsteps of the battles of Yellow Ford and Benburb by local historians Art O’ Dalaigh and Seamus Casey.. Our day and our memorable trip concluded with a visit to the Servite Priory in Benburb.