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Because it was a battle we were commemorating it was fitting that some type of military presence or input would help in the overall effectiveness and impact of our event. Having paid a visit to the Boyne interpretive centre in the hope of picking up some pointers and advice on the structure,
make up, and equipment of the opposing armies, I was put in touch with Tomas O’Brogain whose help, and knowledge of the Williamite wars was invaluable. It was through this man’s contacts that we were able to set up the soldiers bivouac, which was manned by uniformed soldiers depicting regiments of both the Jacobite and Williamite armies. These uniforms were 100%
authentic as were the regimental flags which were on display.
“Aughrim Remembered” started on Friday evening with an excellent recital
of the O’Kelly poem of welcome, given by Gearoid. This poem dates back to
1351. On balance the following program covering Irish art and music, the excellent speakers on Friday and Saturday covering very interesting topics and the fabulous “Aughrim Remembered” exhibition and parade put on by the local school children, made it a very memorable event.
We were blessed with the weather on Saturday and the attendance of Cllr.
Mogie Maher, the Mayor of Galway County on both days and Cllr Mike Kelly,
Mayor of Ballinasloe on the Friday, signified the high level of local interest from the County of Galway. Along with many individual clan representatives there was also a strong turnout from the Clans of Ireland who were well represented
with senior committee members and members of the board of that organisation. We also
had in attendance members of the Orange order, having been invited by the Rev
Trevor Sullivan, who is the retired Church of Ireland parson of Aughrim. I did not have
time to meet these gentlemen but I was told they were very impressed with the
‘spirit’ of our gathering. Little noticed, but known to me was a
representative of the Lutteral family, and on Saturday a member of the Nugent family was in attendance. This was very encouraging because we hope over time to network with as
many descendants of people who had ancestors evolved in the Aughrim battle.
Overall things ran very smoothly with no major hitches, with one exception. I had been assured that the field for the soldiers bivouac had been organised. This was not the case,
and I was not advised till very shortly before the living history personnel (soldiers) from the
north of Ireland, with two trailer loads of equipment, were due to arrive. This could have
been disastrous, but the day was saved by Paddy Naughton of the Aughrim Development
company,. “We’ll put them up in the garden” said Paddy.