Heritage students host public exhibition on 16th century Leitrim Plantation

Friday, March 14, 2014 Press Office
Press Release

Exhibition runs during March in GMIT Mayo campus

Students on the Heritage Studies programme in GMIT Mayo are hosting a history exhibition ‘The Plantation of Leitrim, 1585-1670’ in partnership with Carrick-on-Shannon Heritage Group, in GMIT’s campus in Castlebar. 


The Plantation of Leitrim is one of the lesser known aspects of Irish history and this exhibition provides visitors with an insight into the historical background of attempts to settle new planters in the county in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. 


The exhibition, which runs throughout March, consists of a series of panels featuring text, images and maps revealing the story of Gaelic settlement and plantation of the new communities into the county.


Dr Gerard MacAtasney’s guide to the exhibition notes that Lord Deputy Mountjoy reported in a letter to Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury in 1603 ‘…it is good for no man else, for none but devils would dwell in such a hell’.  The exhibition considers the reality of life in Leitrim during this period.


This project is part of the GMIT students’ studies on the popular BA in Heritage Studies delivered in GMIT Mayo. The programme has a range of modules from history, archaeology, local history and genealogy. 


Programme Chair, lecturer Fiona White, says:  “The exhibition highlights the value of historical research skills in understanding our past.  Events like this showcase many of the methods and techniques of the historian which we teach our own students. We’re delighted to open up this exhibition to the public.”


Carrick-on-Shannon Heritage Group commissioned historian Dr Gerald MacAtasney to research and compile a documentary history of the plantation of Co Leitrim.  GMIT is hosting this exhibition on behalf of the Carrick-on-Shannon Heritage Group.  GMIT students assisted in mounting this display which has proved a valuable experience relevant to their Museum Studies module.


This exhibition is one of the products of Dr MacAtasney’s research, funded by the PEACE III Programme through the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund managed under the County Leitrim Peace III Partnership.