Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Museum and Heritage Service Calls for a Century of Sporting Stories 1912 – 1923

27th June 2022

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Century of Sport Project (4)

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Museum and Heritage Service is delighted to be a partner in an exciting new project being led by Co-operation Ireland to bring people together to learn about their local heritage. The ‘People, Places, Events – Exploring Our Heritage’ project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and involves a series of four regional themed programmes. The Fermanagh and Omagh theme is ‘Your Sport, Your Family, Your Community: Decade of Centenaries’.

The local theme offers opportunities for interactive workshops and activities for people interested in exploring the varied stories and rich sporting heritage within their communities. Focusing on the years of great change between 1912 to 1923, the emphasis is on cross community and cross border audience engagement. The programme will run from June and lead into a final Showcase Event, scheduled to take place in September 2022.

In launching the overall ‘People, Places, Events – Exploring Our Heritage’ project, Co-operation Ireland’s Matt Gamble highlighted that, “Co-operation Ireland strive to bring people together where they can engage and build positive relationships. We are very excited at the opportunity to undertake the People, Places, Events project with our participants across these four regional locations. The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant will bring new groups of people together as they explore the value of the rich heritage across our communities.”

Speaking about the project, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said, “The Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area has a very rich natural, built and cultural heritage.  Projects such as this help to further enrich our Museum and Heritage Service by strengthening connections made with local communities.

The Museum is already a custodian of many outstanding sporting stories and it will be wonderful to have the opportunity to extend its archives.

Sport is so inextricably linked to community and our sense of place in both Fermanagh and Tyrone, and irrespective of our preferred sporting code, it never fails to excite and engage.

I am confident that this project will bring new audiences to the Museum and provide an opportunity for local people and visitors to learn about and share their sporting heritage and history.

As someone who is personally passionate about sport, I commend the Museum and Heritage Service for participating in this initiative.”

Dr Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said, “We are proud to support the Exploring Our Heritage project in collecting stories of the sporting history of the area with money raised by National Lottery players. This project will enable Co-operation Ireland and the Council to safeguard this important local heritage and provide opportunities for people to explore the past and create stories for the future.”

Sarah McHugh, Museum and Heritage Manager for Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, added about the local programme, “We are excited to bring new audiences to the Museum and learn and share their local history and heritage of sport, particularly stories from the border villages and towns as well as across the district.”

Ms McHugh continues, “We expect there to be lots of conversations not only about sporting activity such as Gaelic games, football and rowing but we also want to hear about other sports for example billiards and boxing, and street games such as road bowls. We want to hear about clubs and teams from the years 1912-23 that now no longer exist.”

In the first instance, ‘Your Sport, Your Family, Your Community’ will be launched online with developing resources at https://collectionsonline.fermanaghomagh.com/your-sporting-heritage and through the Museum and Heritage Service’s social media channels including facebook.com/EnniskillenCastle and twitter.com/ECMFCM . In particular, the project is keen to hear from anyone with a sporting story to tell with connections to Roslea, Cornagague, Newtownbutler, Donagh, Derrylin, Kinawley, Teemore, Belcoo, Boho, Derrygonnelly, Garrison, Belleek, Kesh, Trillick, Dromore, Irvinestown, Fintona and Drumquin.


For anyone with an interest in sport heritage locally, please get in touch by emailing sarah.mchugh@fermanaghomagh.com