index Development History Clubs Comments Archives Links
silver hill

Drum Village

Drum is a village situated between Newbliss and Cootehill and has been referred to as the Only Protestant Village in Ireland. However like many small villages throughout Ireland it is dying as the younger generation moves away to get employment and to be closer to facilities and services. All the business premises in Drum are closed and the number of inhabitants is dwindling. It is a village with a unique, interesting and wonderful history and that too was about to sink into oblivion were it not for some recent projects which have now recorded its history and etched a place in the annals of the country.
One such project was Portrait of a Village, which was a community based engagement programme developed by Gallery of Photography Ireland in partnership with the people of Drum, Drum Development Association and Monaghan County Creative Ireland programme. Throughout 2017 the people of Drum have engaged with artists, curators and heritage specialists to record, create and share authentic representations of Drum past and present. Photographer Kevin Fox worked with the people of the village of Drum to create a unique contemporary portrait of the village. A series of dialogues and workshop highlighted the community’s concerns around stereotypical representations of Drum as Ireland’s 'Protestant village'. The commission sought to go beyond surface representations to reveal a more nuanced portrayal of the village and it’s people. A sustained process of engagement and dialogue with local people and community leaders informed the development of the work. A series of filmed interviews with local people give voice to the strong sense of history and community pride in Drum. Many of the interviewees also give voice to concerns about the challenges facing communities across rural Ireland today. This new contemporary record of the village includes filmed sequences (including aerial photography and filming), landscape and portrait photography in and around Drum focusing on the village and wider hinterland. The people of Drum were invited to contribute to the Photo Album of Ireland project and create a new archive on the village of Drum. This element will look at the history of Drum from the perspective of local people. This will involve scanning of family photographs and research into family histories. Scanning sessions and workshops took place in Stewart’s former shop during Heritage week and individually in people homes. On Thursday, March 8th the exhibition of Kevin Fox's work went on display in the Markethouse, Monaghan, and was officially opened by former Drum resident, Minister Heather Humphreys.
This has been a terrific project and well worth having a look sometime during the next couple of weeks while it remains in the Markethouse. It is also a project that many areas might consider in order to leave the history of the area for future generations to take a pride in their place and remember how the battle for survival was won or lost.
The Exhibition ends Fri. 13th April and Market House opening hours are 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm Mon. - Fri.