Monday, May 23, 2005


It's amazing how small things can become huge things, without any expectation, and how those same things can bring pleasure.

When I started in West Tyrone Voice, my boss, Hazlett Lynch, asked me to design an Irish History class, lasting four weeks, that would explode some of the myths and help our people to understand their history a bit better. We couldn't think of a title for it, so used the general descriptive title of: 'Historical Awareness Course'. That week we were putting together a training survey, as I was new in post and trying to guage the level of interest among our members in a variety of courses and training.

So I set about designing and researching the Historical Awareness Course, which would look at four topics - The Ulster Plantation, The Williamite Wars, The 1798 Rebellion, and The Ulster Crisis. Who knew if anyone would come along...

Well, the first course finished, and even before it did, there were requests in for another course... which we complied with. But, because it was four weeks and there was such a lot of material to get through, the students asked could it be extended, with more time devoted to specific periods? So, that course was lengthened to about 7 weeks.

Now, in 2005, we seem to have grown the historical element of the training beyond all recognition. Tonight is session 5 in the Course being run in Newtownstewart, in which we are looking at the 'green grassy slopes of the Boyne', Aughrim, and the Penal Laws. We also have been awarded funding by the Community Relations Council to publish a book based on the material of the course and my hard research - this is being read by CRC at present, and will hopefully soon be available for publication and then purchase!

Also through CRC Funding, we are pleased to announce that we will be running a shortened course of 5 weeks in Mid-Ulster. This will begin on 2nd June, for 5 Thursday nights, so watch this space for more details, and wee reports on how it is going.

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