Saturday, October 23, 2021


The Award Certificate
The Slieveardagh Mining Interest Group received the Award Certificate in the post following the online award ceremony. 

Margaret O'Brien, Michael 'King' Cleere & Katy Goodhue

We are delighted to be the National Heritage Week Tipperary County Award Winner. 
Margaret O'Brien steers the efforts we make to have our mining heritage remembered and saved for future generations, she has been instrumental in organising all the projects we have undertaken to date at the Old School and in the community. We thank Margaret for always being ready to  encourage and support all the Mining Interest Group's ventures.
We send special thanks to Michael who featured in all the videos and has so much knowledge of and interest in sharing the mining history and heritage of Slieveardagh. 
Katy Goodhue put together the blog and video pieces for the Old School Mining Museum and we thank her for her continued interest and her ability to find ways of interpreting our mining history. 
Daniel Quin & Kelvin O'Brien

We also thank Daniel Quin who provided additional voice for some of the video pieces and said that even he found the different ways the mines were accessed was clever and interesting. 
We thank Kelvin O'Brien for all the history he has shared with us about Ballingarry Collieries and his uncle Tommy O'Brien and family. He also has made links on behalf of the Slieveardagh Coalfield area with mining areas in Britain.
We also remember Kelvin's cousin Billy O'Brien RIP, who was always there for the Mining Interest Group and ex-miners, he would have worked tirelessly to on this project and encouraged Kelvin and the group to keep gathering and sharing this history.

We thank the Mining Interest Group who helped behind the scenes, preparing the sites and  checking facts, and all the people who responded to the posts especially those of you who shared memories, photographs and facts that we can save for the future.

This was a busy summer for the Old School Mining Museum, even if everything was virtual. We want this very small coalfield to be recorded as part of international coal mining history. We want the men who worked underground to be remembered with respect for doing their dangerous life limiting work of extracting coal from under the hills. There are more blogs to come and plans for both new virtual and in-person events. We are determined to raise the profile of our mining heritage, locally, nationally and internationally and this project for Heritage Week 2021 has moved us forward, the award gives us added official recognition for our local history.

If you are interested in contributing to this heritage by sharing your memories of mining times, old photographs or equipment or objects used in the mines please get in touch with us either through the blog or at   

Finally, we thank the Heritage Council for the Award, send congratulations to all the groups who took the time to put together projects and participated in Heritage Week. We also send our huge congratulations to another Tipperary Project who was the overall winner of the Heritage Sharing Award, the Cahir Women's History Group with the excellent Daughter's of DĂșn Iascaigh Walking Tour. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Celebrating Engaging Projects


Virtual Field Trip of Slieveardagh Coalfield shortlisted for the Tipperary County Award
We are delighted to let everyone who followed our Heritage Week 2021 virtual tour of the local mine sites know that we have just got word that we are shortlisted for the Tipperary Local Authority Area award.

The National Heritage Council's National Heritage Week Awards celebrate the most engaging projects organised by National Heritage Week participants. There were over 1500 projects submitted this year. And our project is shortlisted!

The Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Journalist and TV Presenter Anne Cassin on Wednesday 20th October at 12.30. The Ceremony will be broadcast live at  www.heritageweek/awards 

Recording and sharing the history of Tipperary's Coal Mining Heritage continues to be very important. 
The Virtual Tour engaged with interested people all over the world, and we thank all the people who followed the tour and especially those of you who shared stories and photographs, and the people we have interviewed who have yet to see their stories online. 

Over 30 years after the last mine closed is is more important than ever that we ensure that  Tipperary's Coal Mining Heritage is remembered and honoured.  The success of this project comes from the engagement of everyone who joined the Old School Mining Interest Group, ex-miner Michael 'King' Cleere and artist Katy Goodhue on the virtual tour. Thank you everyone. This award shortlist recognition is really appreciated.

And finally today: It is a matter of urgency that Copper Steeple is saved.

There is still lots to do for this important Heritage. Copper Steeple is the landmark feature of  the entire Slieveardagh area. It needs a conservation assessment to see what is required to consolidate the damage at both the top and bottom of the structure. Being 96' high this means using a lot of scaffolding as well as the experts to do the assessment and the subsequent work. 
The blog post on the steeple will explain more: 

Remembering Patrick Keating and Kealy Mines Ltd.

  Michael and Paul Keating At the beginning of February Michael and Paul Keating visited the Commons and spent the afternoon in the Old Scho...