Events Past Events

Volunteer Recognition Event

Our recent Volunteer Recognition evening in Friel’s Bar Swatragh.

The  Heritage Centre wished to show all it’s volunteers their appreciation for all the many hours contributed by its members and directors.

Teresa Murphy who has recently joined the staff at the Heritage Centre was our compere for the evening and during her introductory speech thanked all the members of the organisation and said that she was delighted to be part of such an organisation that felt the Heritage & History of the area was so important in being preserved for future generations to inherit. Teresa also thanked the key players in the organisation for their innovative ideas, forward thinking, dedication, enthusiasm and commitment ensuring that the MHS Heritage & Cultural Centre remains in place for many years to come.

As a token of appreciation each of the following received a certificate and an inscribed plaque recognising the individuals contribution.
John Marquess for his expertise in the IT world, Joseph McCoy for his invaluable local historical knowledge, Pat Rafferty for his ongoing support and contribution to the organisation, Annette Rafferty for her continued support to the organisation, Jean Dunne for her continued support at front of house, Raymond McNamee for his general overall ability in organising events, Bruce Clark for his continued support since the organisations formation. Maeve O’Neill for her continued work as Editor of the Maghera Times. James Armour for his vision, hard work and enthusiasm ensuring the organisation’s sustainability since being formed in 2015.

The organisation paid special thanks to the Hutchinson Brothers who have been part of the musical scene at all our events’.

Past Events

Sponsored Walk: Swatragh and Back

IMG_0468Swatragh And Back! That was the Sponsored- Walk-Challenge to raise funds for the  Maghera Historical Society. The event was a great success with just under £1,000 raised on the day. Special thanks to Jean Dunne for organising it all so well and we are very grateful to all our sponsors and everybody who supported us. This was an amazing result and far surpassed all our expectations – so congratulations all round!



Past Events

MHS Perpetual Trophy Quiz

IMG_0457The Maghera Historical Society Perpetual Trophy Quiz took place last Thursday 27th April, in Walsh’s Hotel. Joint winners on the night were tables 6 and 7. Sinead Kelly, Eugene Kelly, Brian Kielt, Peter Convery on table 6 and Emma Stewart, George Stewart, Noel Stewart and Matthew Stewart on table 7. Congratulations to the winners!!! James Armour stood in on the night for regular Quizmaster Peter Etherson and presented the trophy to Sinead Kelly and Emma Stewart representing their team.


Past Events

The Price of a Loaf: Denver Boyd

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On Wednesday 12th of April 2017, Denver Boyd gave a talk on ‘The Price of a Loaf’ which was a brief explanation of the origin in circulation from 1780 to 1837. The opportunity was afforded for the audience to handle the types of coinage in circulation to give them an idea of what they might have encountered if they had been in the South Derry area 200 years ago and, of coredurse, the purchasing power of that coinage was discussed. At the end of the talk various members of the audience expressed how interesting they found the talk and many questions were asked and answered. of coinage, a precis of Irish coinage up to the 1780s and a more in depth discussion of the official coinage and the token coins in circulation from 1780 to 1837. The opportunity was afforded for the audience to handle the types of coinage in circulation to give them an idea of what they might have encountered if they had been in the South Derry area 200 years ago and, of coredurse, the purchasing power of that coinage was discussed. At the end of the talk various members of the audience expressed how interesting they found the talk and many questions were asked and answered.

Past Events

Tale of an Ancient Town

Joseph McCoy brought the history, stories and legends of Maghera alive in his fascinating talk: Tale of an Ancient Town.


Past Events

MHS Quiz on 30th March

Quiz 1Another enjoyable and challenging Quiz in our monthly series was held in Walsh’s Hotel on the 30th March by the Maghera Historical Society. Once again Peter Etherson set the questions to tax our knowledge. Next month’s Quiz will be the competition for the MHS annual trophy so we look forward to welcoming a large and competitive audience.

Congratulations to our winners:

1st: Anne Brennan, Eugene Brennan, Claire McKendry, Frank McKendry, Veronica McKendry.

2nd: Mary Heaney, Dan Heaney, Geraldine O’Kane, Gerry O’Kane, Matthew O’Kane

3rd: Colm Bradley, Brian Kielt, Brian Devlin, Brendan O’Connor

Past Events

Farming Down the Years

RAYMOND POSTERA wonderful evening of memories and information was enjoyed by a large audience in the Heritage & Cultural Centre with the showing, by Brendan Convery, of the film ‘Farming Down the Years’. this film was made by John Thompson and followed the cycle of the corn crop from sowing to harvesting as it was done in the era before combines. Local farmer Raymond McNamee allowed the work to be carried on over a year. His brother, Michael McNamee, together with Tommie Doherty worked on the film. Both men have sadly passed away since and the evening was held in their memory.

Past Events

Cave Hill: Lecture by Cormac Hamill

Cave HillOn Thursday 16th March MHS members and guests were privileged to be treated to an unique insight into the geology, archaeology, botany and history of the Cave Hill This was delivered by Cormac Hamill, broadcaster and environmental campaigner. Cormac provided a comprehensive and entertaining exploration of the Cave Hill as he led us from the Basalt origins of the area to the present day hill with its five natural caves. In recent years, Cormac has been to the forefront in campaigning for the preservation of this natural treasure.

On our journey, we learned that man first appeared on the hill some 9000 years ago as the glaciers retreated. We heard how these early settlers made good use of the natural resources of the area, such as flint, to make instruments that aided their survival. The Celtic period, with its forts and souterrains, was also explored as were the 18th century politics of the Volunteers who trained on the hillside in preparation for anticipated French/American invasions.

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Cormac went on to talk about the Donegall family who were the original owners of Belfast Castle, which is situated high on the slopes of Cave Hill. The family’s influence on the city of Belfast and further afield was explored as were their fluctuating fortunes. A Maghera connection was also revealed.

Cormac’s talk was richly illustrated and he had brought with him rock samples and a flint artefact.He concluded with some excellent photography showing the spectacular views obtainable from the top of this historic and natural landmark which dominates Belfast.

Cormac has kindly offered to lead a walking tour of the Cave Hill.  Anyone who attended
the talk and wishes to take part should contact Peter Etherson at the Culture and Heritage Centre.

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Past Events

Poetry Evening in the Heritage and Cultural Centre

Organised by Raymond McNamee and compered by James Armour, the first poetry evening run by the Mghera Historical Society in the Heritage and Cultural Centre was a resounding success. Local poets read their work, old favourites were aired and the mood ranged from nostalgic and serious to humorous and witty. As it worked so well and everybody enjoyed it so much it has been decided to run a similar event in May so keep an eye out for the dIMG_2559ate.

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Poem Title                               Author                          Reciter


The Grassed Market;             Miller Kane           Raymond McNamee



The Lake Isle of Innishfree;  WB Yeats               Caroline O’Doherty

Digging                                  Seamus Heaney                  “

Mid- Term Break                   Seamus Heaney                   “



Mayogall Asses                      Miller Kane            Patricia Brodrick

Tamlaght O’Crilly                  Harry Armstrong                 “



The Moneysharvin Ball           Mick McAtamney    Peter Etherson

Donnellys Mill                         Mick McAtamney              “


Young Toms Creamery Can     Roy & Eliz Shiels     George Shiels

The Night The Auld Doll Died George Shiels                    “

Well Done My Son                    George Shiels                   “


Tom Gray’s Dream                  Retta Brown              Raymond McNamee

The Volunteer Organist           Gray & Lamb                           “


The Village where I was Born  Barney O’Kane         Joe McCoy

The Rowan Tree                                   “                              “


Drumnacannon bridge               Harry Armstrong      James Armour

The Arab Orange Lodge            Crawford Howard              “


The Cremation of Sam Magee   R W Service            Raymond McNamee

Fair Maiden                                PJ McMenamin                      “


Marquess of Queensbury Rules  Francie Kielt           Barney Kielt

Caskey’s Downfall                               “                               “


Green Eye of little Yellow God   Milton Hayes          Raymond McNamee

Me an Me Da                               WF Marshall           Raymond McNamee


The Master                                  Anne Brennan          Anne Brennan

Station Breakfast                                   “                                “


The Diagonal Steam Trap           Crawford Howard    Raymond McNamee

St Patrick & the Snakes                             “                               “


The Council & the Peacock        Francie Kielt             Barney Kielt

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Past Events

February Quiz Night

Once again Peter Etherson stepped up to the mark to deliver a quiz to test the limits of our general knowledge! In a close fought contest the winners were Ann Brennan, Carol and Matt Collier and Clare McKendry. As Jeremy Vine might say ………..Can nobody beat these Eggheads???? Try your skill at our next quiz coming up in March.Quiz 2