Welcome to the Glenamaddy Boyounagh Heritage Project website. We hope you enjoy browsing through the photographs, information and memories generously shared by members of the community.
The parish of Glenamaddy Boyounagh is situated in north-east county Galway, midway between Tuam to the south-west and Roscommon to the east. Castlerea lies twenty-two kilometers to the north and Mountbellew a similar distance to the south. It is bounded by the parishes of Dunmore to the west, Williamstown to the north, Creggs to the east and Kilkerrin to the south.
Glenamaddy has suffered more than most areas from the ravages of emigration. Whereas the decline in the national population between 1841 and 2011 was 50%, in the case of Glenamaddy parish the figure is significantly higher at 73%. Many of the descendants of those who emigrated since famine times and beyond show a keen interest in tracing their roots. The number of people seeking assistance in identifying the birth places of their ancestors, the cemeteries in which they are interred, the schools they attended, the churches in which they worshipped, the townlands they hailed from etc. is increasing. The resultant increase in visitor footfall generates economic activity which benefits the community.
The exploration of local places of interest such as a protected raised bog, a rare peat-bottomed lake and interconnected turlough which supports a unique ecosystem varying with the seasons, a green way and a visit to historic sites including a Gothic style church with Harry Clarke stained glass windows can be a rewarding experience for visitors. There are numerous places of interest within easy reach of Glenamaddy e.g. Clonalis House, Castlerea, the ancestral home of the O’Connor family, direct descendants of Ireland’s last High King and the last vestige of the ancient Kingdom of Connacht, the River Suck Valley Way beloved by anglers and walkers, the Beara-Breifne Way skirting Glinsk Castle, Castlestrange Stone near Athleague, dating between 300 BC and 100 AD, the Douglas Hide Interpretative Centre in Frenchpark, and Ballintober Castle, seat of the Kings of Connaught, to mention but a few
A decision was taken by the people of the parish in September 2012 to record the history of families in the parish. It was felt that there were many aspects of our valued heritage which would be lost to future generations unless action was taken to capture them.
Glenamaddy Boyounagh Heritage Project was tasked with the threefold objectives of producing a parish book which will act as a permanent snap-shot of the people of the parish during the 20th century, creating a database of information on the families in the parish and developing a heritage website which aims, through the various postings to showcase our rich and varied inheritance.
The parish heritage book, entitled “Glenamaddy Boyounagh : Our People – Our Heritage“ which was officially launched on 21st September 2018 in Glenamaddy Community Centre, contains stories of the people and their traditions, in addition to approved information on each family and interesting facts on the parish and its townlands.
Old parish materials will be accumulated for preservation. The database of information on the families of the parish will allow people, especially descendants visiting from abroad, to view their own family histories. It will be an important source of local information for genealogical research.
The Project Committee greatly appreciates the unstinting work of the volunteers who collected information and photographs for the database, parish book and website and the unqualified support and co-operation of the community in claiming ownership of the process by providing valuable information on families, traditions, cultural heritage, folklore, place names etc. which are unique to our parish.
We invite additional contributions for our website from parishioners and the wider diaspora. We would be delighted to hear from you if you have old photos, articles or memories which you may like to share online and which you think others would enjoy. We very much look forward to hearing from you.
The Glenamaddy Boyounagh Heritage Project committee maintains editorial control over the content on this site.