Meath Field Names Project Steering Group has pleasure in inviting all interested people to the launch of the book
‘The Field Names of County Meath’
at the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan
on Thursday 27th June at 7.30 p.m.
The book will be launched by
Mr. Matt Dempsey, Irish Farmers Journal
Book Launch – ‘The Field Names of County Meath’ – Pre launch press piece
The Steering Group of Meath Field Names Project that has been working away for the last few years on gathering the field names of County Meath, their history and their lore has announced that the launch of the much anticipated book ‘The Field Names of County Meath’ will take place on Thursday 27th June at 7.30 p.m. in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan. The book will be launched by Matt Dempsey from the Irish Farmers Journal.
Information on the origins of the project, the project findings, volunteer experiences of doing survey work, a variety of townland maps, articles by contributors with specialist expertise and a vast range of photographs of Meath are all presented in this publication. The book has over 400 pages in full colour. Great time and effort has gone into preparing this book to ensure a top quality publication. ‘The Field Names of County Meath’ will be a valuable addition to Meath’s local history publications. The group hopes that the book strikes a good blend and balance; and indeed that it will lead to readers appreciating Meath fields and their names in a whole new light. The hundreds of photos in the book have been contributed by many photographers, both amateur and professional. They greatly enrich the book and draw attention to many unusual features that are unfortunately in decline.
Hundreds of volunteers around the County have helped with this project and many of them will be at the book launch to see the fruits of their labour. Voluntary work was the foundation of this project. It could not have happened without the hundreds of helpers who gathered the field names and contributed in so many ways to the success of the project. Volunteers found the work in gathering Field Names to be sociable and enjoyable. The interest in local history around the County is amazing and we are fortunate to have such a rich heritage. Landowners and farmers love to talk about their fields, they appreciate very much that the ‘old’ field names have been recorded. This book launch marks the culmination of over three years of voluntary work.
Meath Field Names Project was developed and managed by a committed voluntary steering group chaired by John McCullen. Project secretary Oliver Ward has given the project a huge commitment from the early days. The book has been compiled by Joan Mullen, Project Co-ordinator and edited by Frances Tallon of Meath County Council Library Service. The principal project funder has been Meath Partnership through the Leader Rural Development Programme. The FBD Trust was the main benefactor of the project and gave generous matching funding in the early stages of the project making it possible to proceed with Leader applications. The project has also received financial support from the Heritage Council and a range of Meath contributors. The three partner organisations in the project are Meath County Council Library Service, Meath IFA and Meath Archaeological and Historical Society.
The Meath Field Names Project is the first of its kind for an entire County in Ireland. As such it is breaking new ground. County Meath has a little over 1,600 townlands. It is a vast area. As some townlands are totally urban and are within towns and villages they were outside the remit of this project. The Meath Field Names Project estimated that 1,400 townlands was its target area. Approximately 850 townlands in Meath have been surveyed by the Meath Field Names Project (making a return of 60% of the 1,400 estimated rural townlands in Meath). There are records for just over 24,700 fields on the database – no mean feat!
Most of these 850 townlands have been fully surveyed. However, there is a percentage of these 850 townlands not fully complete. Of course, this does mean that 40% of the rural townlands in Meath have not been surveyed. If more resources become available in the future it may be possible to complete the work.
The first part of the project website is now live at www.meathfieldnames.com. The project is working on a ‘plug in’ section that will be added to this website. This will enable a person to browse a map of Meath, zoom in on a chosen area, then on a chosen townland. The plan is that when the browser zooms in close the field names will appear on the fields. A browser will then be able to click on the field name and all the other information gathered about the field and stored in the database will come up. Mallon Technology, a company based in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone is assisting the project in completing this work and it will be finalised in the next month or two.
Interested people are most welcome to attend the book launch on Thursday 27th. Copies of the book will be on sale on the night and afterwards at local branches of Meath Library and through steering group members. There will be a special launch price of €15 per book on the launch night, thereafter the book will be sold for €20. For people outside County Meath interested in obtaining a copy of the book, it will be made available through an online supplier, details will be posted on the project website shortly.
For further information contact Joan Mullen, Project Co-ordinator on 087-2077622