Arts & Heritage
Obairs Arts, Culture and Heritage section incorporates the Village Carnival, the Heritage Programme and the Mooghaun Project. This section’s mission is to engage, educate and advocate, and develop a wider understanding of the vital contribution that our Heritage and the Arts make to our community. We mainly achieve this through events and community projects throughout the Year, and over the past few of years a various number of projects and events have been spearheaded by the Obair Heritage and Arts Section.
- Activities under the Arts and Heritage Programme:
- Biodiversity Awareness
- Village Carnival: an annual festival run by Obair
- National Heritage Week
- Mooghaun Bronze Age Hillfort Study
- Sustainable Living
- Local History and Community Archive – Plans for a community archive are underway, the archive will be accessible to the public through Obair in Mid 2016
- Local History Publications: A number of Local History Publications are available for sale at Obair, such as The story of Newmarket-on-Fergus by Reuben Butler and Mary Grogan, also the Kilnasoolagh Churchyard Newmarket-on-Fergus
Millrace Restoration Project
A 4 year plan under AGENDA 21
Work started in 2014 on the Millrace Regeneration Project. The purpose of this project was to continue the work that was started in 2014 on the Millrace Obair Newmarket on Fergus requested IFI (Inland Fisheries Ireland) to advise them on enhancing the old Mill Race making it more attractive in terms of the biodiversity and also as an amenity value. The Finn Millrace is a water system that feeds into the Lough Gash turlough Newmarket on Fergus. In the past the water system which flows from one end of the Village to the other, was fast flowing and supported an abundance of waterlife such as ells, fmussels, stickleback and pike.
To prevent the weeds choking up the stream a flow is needed and this in turn will also encourage the water life back into the stream. To reintroduce the flow an uneven river bed needed to be created through the use of deflectors thus creating waterfalls and weirs. This work was undertaken by the Obair Heritage section, under the supervision of Inland Fisheries Ireland and with the support of Obairs Environmental Section. The main purpose of this project was to re-inject life into a stagnant stream that was once abundant with life and to repair a broken eco-system.
Work on this project will continue during Early Autumn 2016.
The Village Carnival started in 2011 and was a resounding success thanks to the support of the local community. In previous years we have featured top acts such as Republic of Loose, Aslan, John Kenny, Mary Coughlan, Paddy Casey, Jennifer Maguire, Hermitage Green and Liam O’ Maonlaí. The event is an all encompassing community affair with Community Barbecue, Childrens Parade, Disney Disco, Outdoor Cinema, Showband Night in the Hall as well as the main outdoor free music event in Live on The Green.
The first original performance of Liberty’s Ladder in March 2012, the play successfully participated in the 250th St. Patrick’s Day Festival in New York. A story of heritage and hope, it marked the significant contribution Ireland’s emigrants have made to the USA. The play features local actors, singers and musicians and was a great opportunity for Obair to showcase positive initiatives which showcase the often hidden talents of locals here in Newmarket on Fergus. This featured in a Nationwide RTE special at the time which can be viewed here.
In 2015 after two years of liaising with Government, Obair, along with the Mooghaun Local Interest Group and the OPW have had the viewing platform at Mooghaun reinstated and an all new interpretive sign installed at Mooghaun Hillfort. The new platform is made of stone and is higher and more robust than the previous one. Coillte have also cleared a lot of the trees and scrub to open up the view of the surrounding area. The OPW also erected the Biodiversity sign which was compiled with the help of the students from Scoil Na Maighdine Mhuire, and CELT, under direction of Obair Newmarket-on-Fergus Ltd and funded by Clare County Council. This is the first step towards the Newmarket-on-Fergus Biodiversity trail.