Clare People Weekender, April 4th, 2008
By Shane Murphy
HERITAGE Education week kicks off in Ennis on Tuesday with events aimed at encouraging appreciation of local heritage. On Tuesday, April 8, Simon and Maria O’Dwyer will give a presentation and demonstration of prehistoric musical instruments of Ireland at the Clare Museum. One of the highlights of this event will be Simon’s playing of replicas of Bronze Age and Iron Age horns.
On Thursday, April 10, students from around County Clare will witness a demonstration of the traditional Traveller craft of copper smiting. Members of St Joseph’s Traveller Training Centre in Ennis will perform these demonstrations. The demonstrations will take place at 10.30am and 11.30 over both days.
A coppercraft programme was developed in St Joseph’s Education and Training Centre in 2002 with an aim of reviving the traditional tinsmitting Craft within the traveller community. The programme has gone from Strength to strength. Over the last number of years the Centre has demonstrated the craft at a number of venues, Cork City Museum, De Valera Library (Ennis), Ennis Community College.
St Joseph Education and Training Centre, Ennis, were recently invited to Barefield National School where 330 pupils and teachers observed a demonstration on tin-smiting and copper-craft. Teacher Dennis Liddy said, “They were the highlight of the school assembly that morning. It was a great insight to see the men turn an old copper water tank into useful trinkets such as garden ware and coal buckets".