Possible User Groups Identified for Meath Field Names Survey
Gathering the field name information was a major undertaking in terms of logistics. The work involved in collating, studying and extracting information from the raw data was also a major undertaking and has involved a great deal of time, study and work. This will continue with groups, students and all interested parties for many years to come. As all the strands of work progressed the Steering Group began to consider who the end users of the project would be, and how they might use the information that had been gathered and compiled so far. This is a list of some of the end user groups identified:
- The people who have contributed information about their fields
- The voluntary surveyors who completed the survey in local townlands
- Local Historical Societies in Meath and other areas
- Individual Local Historians
- Senior Citizens in Meath who remember how commonplace Field Names were in their childhood
- Students – primary, second level, and third level at both under graduate and post graduate levels
- Academic researchers in many disciplines
- Irish Place names specialists
- Genealogy researchers
- Local and National Agencies, for example Meath County Council, the Heritage Council, Archaeological Survey of Ireland
- Tourists and visitors to Meath – interesting field names and features could be detailed on the proposed new tourist trails in the county
- Other counties that plan a similar project and want to look at the research model that Meath developed for the project.
Outputs from the Project Results
As gathering of field names progressed the Steering Group had to look at how best to make all the information collected available and in what format.
The main presentation will be the project book and the project website. The website will use the digital mapping and project database in the background to enable the user to extract information.
Quite a number of the project volunteers were of the older generation who are not all big fans of the world wide web. This group was particularly interested in a book. Even people who like to use the internet say that you cannot beat having a book to dip in and out of and keep for posterity.
Local historical societies around Meath may decide to do more work on the field names gathered for their areas. The data will be fully available to any of these groups as required. Following on from all the work in gathering and inputting the data the Steering Group is keen that it is now used as widely as possible. This will mean that all the work was really worthwhile.
Grass, oilseed rape crop and furze in bloom in the distance at Roughgrange, Donore (photo by Joan Mullen)
M1 motorway in East Meath. Both the M1 and M3 motorway constructed in Meath in recent years have covered and split many fields resulting in field names and valuable history being lost.
Goodbye field, I have known you for a life
And now your days are ended with a knife
Of a bulldozer blade ripping apart
Structure, roots, insects and your very heart.
My foot walked every inch of your clay
In rain, sun, wind on a foggy day,
And knew the sunken shallow water spring
And when plough shares and rock would ring.
You were contrary, awkward shaped cuss
Yet we could work together, two of us
To grow a malt barley fit for brewers
All captured now for domestic sewers.
The straying sod and the gravelly rocks,
The flint remains, seashells and old red crocks
Would tell stories whenever we would meet,
No more! Alas! But buried in concrete.
Goodbye field, we have shared precious time
At least you are remembered in a rhyme.
I wonder will the new people feel your heart
As Stephen Coyle did with a horse and cart?
By John McCullen