"Daoine agus Áit: Connecting Our Communities" Postcard Project

“Daoine agus Áit” Postcard Project For Heritage Week 2021

Over the summer of 2021, the Scattery Island Heritage Group was delighted to partake in an  initiative run by the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN) in the lead up to this year’s Heritage Week 2021. The Daoine agus Áit: Connecting our Communities project involved producing a Heritage postcard collection,using the theme of “people & place”. Four community groups in Co. Clare: Clarecastle, Shannon, Kilkee and The Scattery Island Heritage Group Kilrush participated in a series of creative workshops to equip and inspire them to document their local Heritage through creative writing and photography. Participants were encouraged to explore their locality with fresh eyes and experiment with different creative techniques.Each group then chose some of their imagery and text to feature on the front of their postcard. On the reverse,each group’s community archive website, social media and email are detailed, serving as an open invitation to both senders and recipients of the postcard to connect with our iCAN communities in Co. Clare: see ClareHeritage.org

Each postcard in the collection is unique and instilled with a pride of place and tradition. It is intended that these postcards will “open the door” to our local Heritage for the communities and their diaspora. The postcards will be distributed for free in each locality during Heritage Week 2021 so that they can be used to connect with family and friends at home and abroad.

The Scattery Island Heritage Group’s postcard includes an image and words, which capture a traditional aspect of the Island’s heritage.

Inspired by our workshop training, we went to Scattery Island, armed with cameras and pencils, and engaged in taking pictures and writing words which might work well for this project for Heritage Week 2021. We have uploaded many of the photographs that were taken as part of this project here on our digital archive of Scattery Island.

The image we chose is a photograph of four young local people in a currach (canoe), rowing close to Scattery Island. We felt that the maritime heritage of rowing, coming to and from the island in a canoe, is beautifully reflected in their interest and joy in being on the water, rowing  and links our past and present histories.

Key themes for Heritage Week 2021 include:Bringing Heritage to all ages, Bringing Heritage to newcomers, Passing on traditions, Celebrating our links with the water as an Island Nation (Water Heritage Day 22 August 2021), Encouraging children to explore Heritage and to be active (Wild Child Day 18 August 2021). We felt that this Daoine agus Áit postcard for Scattery Island captures all of these themes. We are delighted to be at the stage of launching the postcard with the ongoing support of iCAN.

The name on the currach “Scattery Pilot” recalls and honours the piloting tradition associated with the island families, past and present. The image was taken by Caroline Wilson. 

The words chosen relate to the image, and to the maritime heritage.

Gauging the tide, trusting our instincts,

The briny breeze whispers to us.

And like all good writing, the words allow you to bring your own situation and interpretation to the lines. Indeed, these words, written by Eve Brennan, might inspire you to listen closely to what the “briny breeze” is whispering to you today.

We would like to thank iCAN for providing the workshops, publishing the postcards and supporting our group to launch them for Heritage Week 2021. Daoine agus Áit: Connecting our Communities is co-funded by the National Museum of Ireland and Clare, Galway and Wicklow Co. Councils via the Healthy Ireland and Creative Ireland Programmes. We would like to acknowledge the support and guidance our group received from the Heritage professionals represented by these organisations, as well as that provided by the two creative professionals who were engaged to facilitate the workshop series.

We hope you enjoy the postcards and would love to hear from you with any other photographs or indeed stories you may have from Scattery Island.

Our postcards will be available during Heritage week (14-22 August), and beyond, for free in various locations. Check out our Facebook page: Scattery Island Heritage and Development for details and updates on where our postcards are available during Heritage Week. Also contact us here if you are interested in getting a postcard or have family, friends with Scattery Island connections who might like one.

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