Leitrim County Council has recently appointed Dr. Jack Kavanagh as ‘Historian in Residence’ for the period May to November 2021. This is Leitrim’s first ever Historian- in- Residence programme. The aim of the residency is to reflect national policy on commemorations at a local level, accurately and creatively, bringing 1921 to life for people in Leitrim through a variety of media. The residency is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Leitrim County Council under the Community Strand of the 2021 Decade of Centenaries Programme.
The Commemorative Programme will take note of national policy and national commemorative projects, but it will ultimately focus on County Leitrim and in particular the north of the county.
Dr. Kavanagh holds an M.Phil in Public History and Cultural Heritage from Trinity College Dublin, where he specialised in commemorative best practice for the Irish civil war and revolutionary period. The research for his doctorate was largely focused upon the development of the National Army during the Irish civil war and its impact upon the new state.
Jack is eager for people living in the county and those with a Leitrim connection to come forward with whatever photographs, documents and memorabilia they may have of ancestors who were active locally during the War of Independence, the Civil War or the broader Irish revolution.
Local Studies Librarian, Mary Conefrey says “This residency is an invitation to those living in the county to work collaboratively with us to uncover stories of their own local history, create their own storytelling of that history, discover new passions and see their ideas and interests reflected in possible programmes created. We are looking forward to seeing what this residency has in store and are excited to see where this journey will take us.”
Leitrim County Librarian, Pauline Brennan, supports this and is very much “looking forward to discovering new stories from residents of the county which will add to the county’s cultural heritage and historical vibrancy. Finding and understanding the untold stories behind our surroundings is informative and interesting but also gives us a sense of meaning and identity”
Jack will work with individuals and groups both online and offline and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org