Celebrating the collaborative effort of a small village ensuring that hidden history is not lost.

Castleconnell is steeped in history and heritage. For hundreds of years it was a playground to the English gentry, and for hundreds more the tourists flocked to visit it from all around the county and country. Each of them drawn to the natural beauty of the quaint village, they came in their droves to enjoy its stunning nature walks, its unrivalled fishing, to soak in the medicinal waters of the Spa and to enjoy the majestic River Shannon. This tiny townland boasts countless protected structures, stately homes and important historical monuments, with many a tale to accompany them.

Eamonn McQuade, from ACM Community Centre, Nicky McNamara and Tara Hartigan from LOVE Castleconnell knew there were masses of untold stories all about life in this small village – not only from the locals but from farther afield, so they took the collaborative approach to try and document these in the one space to ensure they would not get lost and they might be enjoyed for many, many years to come.

“So many people have a tale to tell about Castleconnell, whether it be travelling out on the train to swim down the Worralls End or to sit at one of their famous porter houses enjoying banter and music, or a long lost fable that has been passed down within families, we didn’t want these stories to be lost, so this platform offers a place to share these important memories!” Tara Hartigan, LOVE Castleconnell

With the assistance of The Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and Audience Engagement Funding Scheme this dream became a reality, and the Castleconnell Infopedia was born.

Infopedia.ie is a Living Encyclopedia designed to capture and preserve information about the community and the surrounds. It will gather together personal stories, local history and heritage, cultural events, the natural habitat and community achievements all relating to the village. Contributors will be encouraged to share their stories, be they historical or modern day, by simply uploading them to the website.

“Infopedia is a great resource especially for creative people during the lockdown and into the future. We are very excited to launch it and we feel it is just at the right time.” Eamonn McQuade, ACM Community Centre

To celebrate the launch of Infopedia, the team have announced a Story Competition with hundreds of euros worth of prizes, including Family Membership to Castle Oaks House Hotel River Leisure Club, Monetary Vouchers, Cunningham’s SuperValu Christmas Hampers, and Irish Rail Family Train Tickets to name but a few!

The competition will be judged by local resident and one of the most highly respected writers and poets in Ireland, Stephen Murphy. Described as the “…new Bard of the country” by none other than President Michael D. Higgins, Stephen will review all the stories and announce the winner on December 14th.

The competition categories include Stories of Days Gone By, Riverside Stories, Folklore & Mystery, and My Castleconnell. Entries should be no more than 600 words. Closing date is 4th December. More information available at www.infopedia.ie or email your entries to stories@infopedia.ie