Historic Day for iCAN at Summer Network Meeting 2023
The last day of May 2023 will live in the memory for a very long time.
A trip to Glendalough, Co Wicklow for the Irish Community Archive Network (iCAN) summer meeting, with a much anticipated launch of a new chapter for iCAN.
What started out with one community, Oughterard Heritage, in 2009 as a pilot project has grown into iCAN, a network of thirty individual archives across five counties.
Funding the initiative will enable local communities to document their own history, heritage and culture on digital platforms and continue to grow the network of websites.
A special video commissioned for the launch event was played, featuring some members of our network speaking about their experience of iCAN and it was a beautiful moving reflection of what the Irish Community Archive Network is all about.
We also welcomed four more new community groups from Cork Heritage, into iCAN with the launch of their own archives, developed with Cork Heritage Officer Conor Nelligan at the helm.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Tomás Mac Conmara in person and in his keynote speech he spoke of the importance of recognising the connection of oral history of people in a place and time. We were lucky to have had Thomás previously deliver an excellent oral history course to members of iCAN on zoom.
Director of the National Museum Lynn Scarff, and Virginia Teehan, CEO, Heritage Council both talked about the work that iCAN is doing in archiving local heritage and acknowledging our key partners the Local Authority Heritage Officers.
It was lovely to meet up with Martina Moloney, Chairperson Heritage Council Board, and see the continued commitment to iCAN.
The best news of the day came with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between The National Museum of Ireland, iCAN and the Heritage Council, which confirms a commitment from all organisations to iCAN for the next six years!
Lorna Elms, iCAN project development officer, thanked all the communities who have undertaken the training and are committed to archiving their own heritage and stories. Without whom there would not be any archives.
She also acknowledged the support Hassan Dabbagh, iCAN Network Administrator provides to all of the volunteers.
We had the most amazing lunch in The Wicklow Heather and could really catch up with old friends.
In Glendalough Visitor centre, Graeme Warren, UCD School of Archaeology, officially unveiled the Glendalough Lego Model, which really needs to be seen to be believed!
A work of art, a replica of Glendalough made entirely from pieces of Lego, the details and quirky added characters make it a wonder for young and old. Congratulations to Glendalough Heritage Forum on this beautiful project.
We then had a very special guided tour of Glendalough site with Joan, Pat and Joan. With the sunshining down on us it truly was a spectacular backdrop for one of the most memorable historic days for Irish Community Archive Network.
Thanks to Aalia Kamal for the goodie bags from the Heritage Council, a lovely surprise parting gift.
We wish to thank the Heritage Council of Ireland, the National Museum of Ireland, Lorna Elms, Hassan Dabbagh, all in Wicklow Heritage, Q4PR Communications Company , Collateral Film Production The Wicklow Heather Restaurant Glendalough Visitors centre and all who contributed to a fantastic network event.
It was the first time iCAN were able to meet in Co Wicklow and we really appreciate all that worked behind the scenes to make our Summer Network meeting such a success.
You can visit all the other community archives in our network Here
The future of iCAN is looking bright!