President Anne Tierney welcomed both, Members of the Society and new Members to the AGM. Secretary Denny Hannon gave a detailed report of the minutes of the previous AGM, held in January, 2012.
In her President's Address, Anne thanked the outgoing Officers and Members of the Society who had assisted her in her first term as President of the Society. She also thanked Journal Editor, Brendan Higgins and the Journal Committee, graphic designer John Gormley, Strategic Print & Design, John Dooley and the Tuam Herald, sponsors, lecturers and local shops who sell the Society's journal.
Anne also outlined many of the achievements successfully completed by the Society in 2012 the OTS including in July the hosting of the highly successful Irish-American Link Conference, which saw 270 persons attending the five day event. The organising committee were complimented including OTS committee members, Anne Rodda; representing Drew University, Nessa Cronin; NUI Centre for Irish Studies, Marie Mannion; County Heritage Officer, and the County Heritage Societies. The conference would not have been possible without the generous help from our sponsors; Christine Kinealy;, Drew University, Tuam Town Council, Galway County Heritage and NUI, Galway.
The highlight of the year was the 70th anniversary of the OTS, which was celebrated by exhibition of paintings by Jarlath A. O'Connell, and a lecture delivered by his daughter Alison Titley on the “Tuam Art Exhibitions 1942 – 1948”. A presentation of flowers and a certificate was made to Mrs Bríd Lynch, the only surviving founder member of the OTS.
Among the monthly lectures, Dr. Gabriel O’Conner gave a presentation to the Tuam Town Council, Chamber of Commerce and local Tuam groups, which outlined the role the local government played in Tuam, from its beginnings 400 years ago to emphasise the importance of the quadracentennial which falls this year. Gabriel will deliver part two of his lecture in October 2013.
Anne also thanked the past presidents of the Society, who sponsored two pull-up banners, which will be used at all future events.
Treasurer Michael O’ Neill gave a full breakdown of the Society's finances.
The meeting then elected the Committee for 2013; President: Anne Tierney, Vice President: Áine Carney, Secretary: Denny Hannon, Treasurer: Michael O’Neill, Committee: Tony Claffey, Margaret Connolly, Brendan Higgins, Kay Jennings, Bernie King, Maurice Laheen, Noel McCann, Willie Mannion, Gabriel O'Connor, Ruairí Ó hAodha, Pat O'Hora and Martin O’Donoghue.
Events for 2012, include a Children's Burial Grounds Survey. The OTS will undertake a survey of, and document Children’s Burial Grounds (lisheens) in the parish of Tuam. While many CBGs have been recorded by the Archaeological Survey of Ireland (ASI), it is apparent from fieldwork in other areas, and through local information provided by people in the Tuam area, that there are others that are unrecorded. It is envisaged that a suitable commemorative plaque or stone with a map bearing the location and name of each Children’s Burial Ground will be erected in a suitable place within the heart of the parish.
A one-day conference entitled “Tuam its Past Present and Future” will take place in September.
Gabriel O’Conner will deliver a series of lectures, to be held in Tuam Library. The first lecture will be given in March entitled “Tuam Hunger Strikers 1978.” Three Tuam men Harold Campbell, Joe Burke and Brian McNamara, staged a hunger strike in protest of the “downgrading of the town.”
Our monthly lecture series will feature the Connaught Rangers, Children’s Lisheens, history of Tuam's Local Government, and a Media Perspective on emigration from the area.
The 10th anniversary edition of JOTS will be published in November 2013 celebrating the history and heritage of the region. Anyone interested in submitting an article or photograph is encouraged to do so.
Membership dues are now due, payment can be made to Membership secretaries Noel McCann and Maurice Laheen, or at Quinn’s; Bishop Street, or by Paypal at oldtuamsociety.blogspot.ie