Photographic display traces Limerick town’s proud history

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

RELATIVES and friends visiting residents in Bruff over the Christmas period will get an insight into life in the town over the last century thanks to a photographic display which opens next weekend.

RELATIVES and friends visiting residents in Bruff over the Christmas period will get an insight into life in the town over the last century thanks to a photographic display which opens next weekend.

The photographic display which includes photos dating from five to 105 years ago will cover every aspect of life in Bruff - its people, its places and it memorable events.

Bruff Heritage Group are organising the exhibition which takes place in their new premises - formerly the Old Courthouse, Bruff on Saturday, December 29 and Sunday, December 30.

This will be the group’s third such exhibition - the previous two proved to be an outstanding success and led to the publication of “Images of Bruff” which is now going for its third publication, next year.

“While the exhibition will be of huge interest to local people, we are also hoping that people who may have moved to the area in the last few years will also come along to the event and take the opportunity to see how Bruff has changed down through the years and also to see the people and events which have shaped our local history and our local heritage,” said Paul Dennehy, the chairman of Bruff Heritage Group.

Three years ago, the district court in Bruff was transferred to the new building in Kilmallock and in the same year the library which was housed in the same building was also closed.

The building was vacant and unused until Bruff Heritage Group stepped in.

After prolonged negotiations, this year they signed a long term lease with Limerick County Council which ensures that the building will now be maintained and used by Bruff Heritage Group.

One of the main objectives of the group is to promote Bruff through its rich heritage.

The group hopes to use the building as a heritage centre which will attract visitors to the area and they also hope to host a number of events throughout the year that will help promote Bruff.

The last exhibition held in 2010 attracted over 300 visitors and despite severe weather conditions, saw people travelling from as far away as Dublin.

Such was its success that the group had to open the exhibition on the following weekend to facilitate demand. However, the group is stressing that the exhibition this year will only be opened for viewing on the dates specified.

A number of the photographs on display will not have been seen in public before and makes this year’s exhibition more unique.

Members of Bruff Heritage Group have gone to great lengths to source some of these photographs and have also decided to change the layout in which the photographs will be displayed.

The group has also secured a recording of the late Tommy Hannon in conversation with the late Professor Daithi O hOgain in which Tommy speaks about folklore and traditions in the Bruff area.

This recording was made over 30 years ago and will be played for the first time at intervals during the exhibition.

The exhibition will open on Saturday, December 29 at 7pm until 9pm and again on Sunday, December 30 from 2pm to 5pm.

Admission is free, with the entire costs of staging the event being absorbed by Bruff Heritage Group. As a result, visitors are welcome to attend the exhibition on both days.

Paul Dennehy also pointed out that there was also “a social side to the photographic exhibition”. “Conscious that some people would be returning home for Christmas, this is a great opportunity to get together to share and enjoy the memories that photographs can bring,” he noted.