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Heritage Award just what the doctor deserved

Dr Patricia O’Hare, Research and Education Officer, Muckross House (second from left) receives the 2019 Kerry Heritage Award from Marie O’Sullivan, President, Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, with Dr Bill Murphy, former Bishop of Kerry (left) and Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne

THE highly regarded Research and Education Officer at Muckross House in Killarney has been honoured for her great work.

Dr Patricia O’Hare was presented with the 2019 Kerry Heritage Award by Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society President, Marie O’Sullivan, at a reception in the Rose Hotel, Tralee on Sunday.

The award was initiated in 1985 to honour individuals or organisations who had made a major contribution in the areas of research, development or promotion of the county’s culture and heritage and Patricia is the 34th recipient.

Busy lady: Dr Patricia O’Hare giving a talk to pupils during Féile Chultúir Chiarraí.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

The presentation was to honour her outstanding commitment and dedication to Kerry’s rich and varied culture and heritage as exemplified by her role in the development of Muckross Research Library – where she has worked since 1995 – and for her research into Kerry’s folk life and social history.Patricia is interested in all aspects of the archaeology, folk life and social history of Kerry. She holds post graduate degrees in Archaeology (MA, University College Dublin) and Museum Studies (MA, Leicester University) and she has recently been awarded a PhD from UCD. The subject of her doctoral thesis was the calendar custom of the wren boys of County Kerry

Another working day: Dr Patricia O’Hare with Dr John Knightly, PhD, who delivered a lecture at Muckross House on the Godfrey Family of Kilcolman Abbey, Milltown.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

Over the years Patricia has worked tirelessly to further the aims of the Muckross House research library which is to document the traditions, way of life and history of the people of Kerry. Since its establishment, almost 50 years ago, the library has played an important role as a centre for the collection, storage and preservation of documentary material which has been collected, donated, purchased or produced in-house.

Under Patricia’s guidance, Muckross House and the research library became one of the first to be awarded full accreditation in the Museums’ Standards Programme for Ireland in 2007, a certification, which they continue to maintain.

Patricia has also been instrumental in the setting up of Féile Chultúir Chiarraí – a week-long series of hands-on workshops for primary school children – hosted by Muckross Traditional Farms.

Since 1996, she has compiled and edited the annual Muckross newsletter and is the author of Kerry People and Places 1860-1960, which was published by the Trustees of Muckross House in 2013.

Patricia has also been a council member of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society since 1995 and a member of the editorial sub-committee of The Kerry Magazine.

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