On Sunday April 14, despite blustery conditions, a great crowd showed up for the launch of the interpretative panels at Lorrha monastic village.
A prequel to the launch was a ecumenical service in the Community Hall commemorating St Ruadhan's Day. The panels are an illustrated impression of each site using archaeological, historical and topographical evidence.
The panel at Lorrha Community Hall depicts the early Christian monastery enclosure at Lorrha c.800 AD. The panel at St Ruadhan's Church of Ireland depicts 'The Great Stone (Damliac) of Lorrha pre-1000 AD. The panel at the Augustian and ball-alley depicts St Mary' s Augustian Priory c1500 AD. And the last panel at the ruins of the Dominican Priory and Catholic Church depicts the Priory of St Peter Martyr at Lorrha c. 1269 AD.
Local historian and Scéal chairman James Heenan opened the launch by welcoming everyone, relaying the importance of these panels to both locals and visitors alike. He thanked Scéal, Tipperary County Council and North Tipperary Development Company for funding the project with gratitude to Brendan Heenan for making the frame-work and Adrian Bouchier, who helped to erect panel boards.
He also thanked illustrator and artist Paul Francis and archaeologist Caimín O'Brien for the work involved in producing these panels. Paul is a renowned artist and has worked on various projects nationally including Newgrange and Brú na Bóinne. Caimín's archaeological knowledge was paramount in helping recreate each site depiction.
Caimín was present on day to give a guided tour of each site. His knowledge and enthusiasm made for an excellent experience in understanding the monastic past of Lorrha.
The event finished in The Friar's Tavern with finger food and refreshments being served with thanks to the Maher family.