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Sunday, July 3, 2022

New project aims to unearth and explore royal connections in the Causeway Coast and Glens

Are you interested in finding out more about the kings, queens, castles and kingdoms connected to the Causeway Coast and Glens?

As part of its programme to mark HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is seeking groups and volunteers to take part in a new project to unearth and express the area’s rich royal connections.

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Supported by Museum Services, participants will research a site (or sites) with a royal story to tell in their local area to form a new heritage trail and digital map.

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Explaining more, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Richard Holmes said: “In this special jubilee year we want to explore everything from historic royal visits, to archaeology, mythology and folklore.

“There’s a lot waiting to be discovered and each case study will add to the colourful tapestry of our shared heritage and landscape.

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“To look at just a couple of examples, Royal Portrush Golf Club hosted a royal visit in 2016 and some claim that it’s the site of the defeat of the Norwegian king, Magnus Barefoot, by local Irish warriors in 1103 while just down the road is Ballywillan cemetery, burial place of Dorothea Ross, the alleged daughter of James II.

“Dungiven’s Finvola, the Gem of the Roe, was a local princess who married into the ruling family on Islay, and there’s a local understanding that the stone sarcophagus in Dungiven Priory belonged to the 14th century O’Cahan ruler, Cooey na Gall.

“We’re now seeking the support of the wider community who will receive specialist training to bring these stories to a new audience as part of our Platinum Jubilee programme.”

The programme is being delivered by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Museum Services, with financial support from the District Council Good Relations Programme.

For more information, or to get involved, please visit www.niarchive.org/royalconnections or email cms@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, pictured in Ballywillan cemetery outside Portrush at the burial place of Dorothea Ross, alleged daughter of James II, with members of the Portrush Heritage Group. Back row (left to right): John White, Jim Cavalleros, Canon John McKegney; and front row (left to right): Billy McNaul, Nic Wright (Council’s Museum’s Service Engagement Officer), and John McNally.

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