Kilbarron Castle & Church Conservation Group held their Heritage Week Event on Sunday 21st August at the Abbey Mill meeting room beside their tearooms. We had originally planned to have it at Kilbarron Church but with the conservation work about to start on the east gable wall it was decided to switch to the Abbey Mill for access reasons due to scaffolding being erected at the church site. The weather was fine and sunny and we had a large attendence.
The event began with an introduction by Ruth Cleary who told us about the efforts of the group to improve the biodiversity of the evirons inside the ruins of the church by removing invasive species such as bramble and allow the return of wild flowers She ten spoke about the special bio-diversity of the Abbey River system which has been largely undisturbed since the 19th Century and has an abundance of plant species only found in the Donegal Bay area.
We then had a short walk to the nearby Catsby cave where in the secluded glade masses were said, clandestinely during Penal times in Ireland.
The group then walked to the other side of the Abbey Mill to the Abbey Well which is dedicated to St Patrick and where Ruth Cleary told the group of the plant species found on the Erne estuary.
Afterwards the group returned to the meeting room where they heard three presentations firstly on the history of Kilbarron old Church by Fergus Cleary and later a talk on the role of Inland Fisheries Ireland by Gerry McCafferty and a talk on the efforts to save the migrating fish species of Atlantic Salmon, Sea trout and Eels by Dr Milton Matthews. Aterwards we were all treated to some light refreshments in the Abbey Mill Cafe which is entirely run by a dedicated band of Volunteers.
Many thanks to all who attended and to the volunteers who all helped to make the day such a success.