Bertie Ahern was visiting this side of Tipperary as part of a day Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
At the Old School, the group were informed about the history and social importance of coal mining in Tipperary. They heard about culm balls- the domestic fuel made with coal dust and yellow clay.
They had a guided tour of The Commons Ghost Village, a model of the village as it was in the 1960s, home to many miners. It was a very busy place then, with a large rural community, its own creamery, forge, cinema, public houses, stores and petrol pump. The area prospered while farming was manual and the mines provided employment. It is depopulated now, with a small community that is proud of our heritage but concerned for the future of the village and rural Ireland.
Both the hosts and visitors agree on the importance of continuing to record and save our heritage in order to pass it on to future generations. Our voluntary group was thanked for hosting the visit, and the work that is being done to keep our Heritage alive; the unique and personal way it is presented in the museum was praised.
Bertie Ahern and the group had earlier visited Coolmore Stud and The Widow McCormack’s 1848 Warhouse.
On the way to this end of the Slieveardagh Hills the group stopped off to view Copper Steeple and the Miners Monument. We continue to highlight the need for repair and conservation of the 160-year-old Steeple so it may continue to be the important landmark for our Coal Mining Heritage and marker for the route from Kilkenny to Cashel and also to Fethard, home of Coolmore Stud.