Celebrating the vibrant history of Tallaght area with Tallafest
By Mary Dennehy
TALLAGHT’S vibrant history will be celebrated on June 24 when Tallafest takes to the streets of our historic village, which boasts some beautiful reminders of the area’s past and its people.
As part of the community-led festival, the history behind the Tallaght that we all know today will be showcased through a number of events – which will remind residents of the extraordinary stories behind the buildings, monuments and streets that are so familiar in all our lives.
The guided heritage walk with local historian Tomas Maher is back on the Tallafest programme and will take off from the Priory car park at 1.10pm sharp on June 24.
The walk will meander through the village area and the grounds of St Mary’s Priory and St Maelruain’s Church of Ireland, highlighting the history that has over the years paved the way to where we are now.
Tomas Maher told The Echo: “An awful lot of people are not aware that Tallaght has any significant history, but the area is alive with history and heritage – it’s all around us.
“During the walk, I’ll enlighten people on the history of the area and the stories behind it as we take in the village and some of its buildings including the Priory and St Maelruain’s.”
He added: “The oldest record that references Tallaght as a village dates to 1310 when the citizens of the area looked for a wall to be built around the village for protection.
“Where St Maelruain’s Church stands now was a monastery and that dates back to the 8th century.
“The monastery would have been like a village with a community of craftsmen, no doubt living around it, who would have provided various services to the monastery.”
When asked what his favourite piece of history in the village is, Tomas said: “That’s a tough one, if I had to give an answer I’d probably say the tower at St Maelruain’s – which is more than 500 years old.
“These stories will be shared during Tallafest and I believe that outside community days like this should put the history of the area a bit more on the map.”
A history lecture on the Battle of Tallaght will also take place during Tallafest and will be staged in St Maelruain’s at 2pm, delivered by Sean Bagnall.
Under the arts and heritage banner, a bake-off competition for adults and children is also on the menu, a wildlife photo exhibition by Tallaght’s award-winning photographer Michael Finn, and a Pop-up Gaeltacht.
For further details or to register for some events, all of which are free but may be limited by numbers, visit www.tallafest.ie