A new book by Fr Kieran Waldron, Collecting the Fragments: Ballyhaunis Historian, Michael F Waldron, LLD 1876-1954, will be launched on next Monday, January 28.
Fr Waldron will also give an illustrated talk on the occasion on the life and legacy of Dr Waldron, who was a fellow townsman though not related to the author.
The new book pays tribute to Dr Michael F Waldron, one of the foremost scholars in the history of Ballyhaunis and Mayo and who as an author, poet, playwright and antiquarian had a national reputation. Twice in his lifetime he was nominated for the Nobel Prize.
His personal archive, scrapbooks, notebooks and papers have been preserved. Much of his archive will shortly be made available, electronically, through the good offices of Mayo County Library.
Hundreds of his articles, published in many journals over a period of fifty years, form a prodigious record of Ballyhaunis history and archaeology with revealing insights into the social life of an Irish town in the first fifty years of the twentieth century.
Some of his work is truly extraordinary in its depth and outreach. In some respects, Dr Waldron’s research into various strands of Irish social life and documentation of it over the decades is somewhat similar to what people like Seamus Ennis did in relation to collecting old music and songs and stories.
It is clear that Michael F Waldron commanded enormous respect and regard in literary circles and was regarded as a leading historian of his era. Fr Kieran Waldron has rendered a great service by researching and publishing this book.
The biography, entitled Collecting the Fragments: Ballyhaunis Historian, Michael F Waldron, LLD (1876- 1954) was compiled to accompany the release of the archive as an act of dúchas, or dutifulness, in memory of a former resident of Ballyhaunis and an almost forgotten local historian.
The launch and lecture will take place in the Conference Room of the Ballyhaunis Credit Union at 8pm on Monday, January 28 and admission is free. The book, for limited circulation, will be on sale at the launch and afterwards in Ballyhaunis bookshops and certain other outlets.