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Michael McShaneOur local historians seek to describe and explain our local history. They have long since recognised the importance of collecting, recording and publishing, of all information relating to the Parish of Creggan. With this in mind, the Creggan Local Ifistory Society, was founded in 1984.

The publication of the "Creggan Journal" has become an annual event, and is eagerly awaited, by the members of the society, and general public alike.

This year, there are nine articles published. Five are written by regular contributors to the "Creggan Journal".

Our first article takes us back to 1839, to the Night of the Big Wind, by Rory Kieran. Rory, a retired school teacher, draws his information mainly from newspaper reports, along with his own vivid imagination, and knowledge of storytelling, has produced a very fine article.

Until now, very little was known, or was written about the first Cardinal horn in the parish of "Lower Creggan". Liam O'Keefe who is presently teaching in St. Paul's School Bessbrook, brings us an in-depth account of the life and times of, John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Who would want to be a Millionaire? Herbie Conlon, is the author of our third article, with his knowledge of the area and it's people, Herbie has given us an insight to a rare old story.

Once again the chairperson of our society, has shown what a little bit of dedication and hard work can do. Mary Cumiskey, has taken a look at the way of life in Crossmaglen in the 1930's. Mary is one of the main contributors to the Creggan Journal.

The name Art McCooey, is synonymous with 'Creggan". Tony Kieran who is a regular contributor to the Journal, has compiled, a short but interesting article, from existing records and manuscripts, on the much loved poet.

Every year, members of our Society, are approached by the general public, and asked. Where their surnames have originated? And what the meaning of the townland they live in, is? Hugh Macauley, has answered one of these questions in his article, "Placenames of Cregean". Hugh, a retired school principal from Cullyhanna, and a fluent Irish speaker, presents the reader with an easy to read litany, of townland names, and their meanings. Hugh, is a regular contributor to the Creggan Journal.

The seventh article, is written by Kevin McMahon, my predecessor, and probably the most prolific researcher, and leading historian on local history in South Armagh. Kevin, meticulously researches all his articles, his present article, "Centenary (St. Patrick's Church, Cullyhanna)" proves my point. Kevin has provided articles for every Creggan Journal published to date.

The penultimate article titled, "The February 1918 By-Election In South Armagh". By Siobhan McGuinness. Siobhan hails from Whitecross, and this was here dissertation for the Degree of Bachelor of Education (honours), Queen's University of Belfast. Siobhan kindly give this dissertation to the Creggan Journal for publication.

The final Article, "The Restoration of Creggan Churchyard". By Jem Murphy, created a large slice of history in itself. The re-discovery of the O'Neill burial vault in the Creggan graveyard, could not have come at a better time for the McCooey celebrations. The history of Creggan may well have to be re-written in part. The existence of the carved out figure of St. Anne, on the rock above the river, gives a whole new dimension to the meaning of Creggan. The challenge is there. Is there somebody brave enough to take it on? Jem Murphy is, a leading contributor to the Creggan Journal.

As the current editor of "Creggan", I take this opportunity to thank most sincerely all the people, who has helped make this issue of "Creggan". To the contributors for their articles. To the sponsors for their generous financial help. To the past editor Mr. Kevin McMahon, for his undivided help and encouragement. To the very courteous Liam Flynn, (printing) and his staff. To my wife and family, who created the conditions for me to work at this issue.

And finally. to you the reader, I hope you enjoy reading this issue of the Creggan Journal, and that you will continue to support the 'Society' as you have done in the past.

Michael McShane