Monday, July 11, 2011

Ballinacree Banner Launch

As a result of a post about the Keash, Co Sligo, UIL banner I was contacted by some people in Ballinacree, Oldcastle, Co Meath who have a similar banner by the same artist, Samuel Watson. Their banner is in better condition and has been in the possession of the community at Ballinacree since it was bought in 1911 and often used in parish events.

They have just published a booklet to celebrate the centenary of the banner and launched it in Ballinacree last Friday evening. I attended the launch, a great celebration of a vibrant local community proud of its past. The banner was on display and experts talked about its iconography and its significance. Noel French of Meath Heritage Centre put the banner in its historical context.

It's interesting to compare the banners. The Keash one (below) is said to have been bought for the 1798 centenary while the Ballinacree one was bought in 1911. It appears that the lady representing Ireland had become tired of standing around waiting and has dumped the flag, changed into something more suitable for outdoors, sat down and is giving us a tune on her harp. The Irish wolfhound likewise has settled by 1911.

Little did they know what history was about to throw at them - World War 1, 1916 rising, War of Independence, Civil War.

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