CIMS  Annual Outing to Mid-Ulster on Sat 3 June 2017

St James' Church Moy Coffee break in Moy
St James' Parish Church, Moy  Coffee and scones in Moy 

Branch Members from Ballyholme, Carnmoney, Cregagh, Holywood and Malone left Belfast by coach for Mid-Ulster, picking up Eglantine, Tandragee and Armagh Group members at Sprucefield and Seagoe, Portadown.

The weather was mild with a few showers.

Our first stop for the twenty-eight members and some wives was in Armagh diocese in St James' Parish Church hall in the village of Moy for coffee or tea and freshly baked scones and tray-bakes.

We were welcomed by the Revd Aonghus Mayes who is well known to many of our members as he had served as a Curate-assistant in St Finnian's, Cregagh.

   Kilcronaghan Parish Church   Revd Carmen Hayes

Revd Carmen Hayes  

We then proceeded to Kilcronaghan Parish Church, Tobermore, Derry Diocese, where the Rector, Revd Carmen Hayes, presided at a service of Holy Communion.

The present church celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2008. 

This was followed by lunch in the parish hall prepared by Mothers' Union members.  

  St Crunathan's,Kilcronaghan Tobermore        
Holy Communion in Kilcronaghan
   Holy Communion in Kilcronaghan       
  Lunch in Kilcronaghan Parish Hall   Lunch in Kilcronaghan Parish Hall  

From Tobermore we then moved on to the village of Bellaghy. Early human habitation by hunter-gatherers would have been along the banks of the River Bann. A Monastic settlement developed at Church Island and in the C12th the large monastic church became a parish church.

Bellaghy village was designed and built by the Vintners' Company of London and consisted of timber framed houses. In 1641 the Irish destroyed the village but the modern buildings sit on the same sites.

The Bishop of Derry and Earl of Bristol, Frederick Augustus Hervey around 1787 started building a grandiose palace at Ballyscullion, but it was never completed. The bishop travelled to Italy to obtain marble and paintings but died on the journey back and never lived in the palace. The portico now adorns St George's Church in Belfast. 

On arrival in Bellaghy we went first to Bellaghy Bawn, what remains of a four tower house built by the Vintners. The Bawn was purchased in 1880 and used as a doctor's surgery.  We were welcomed to the Bawn by Patrick Brennan (Vice-chair of Bellaghy Historical Society) and Fergal Kearney (InSite Tours) who acted as our guide.

Bellaghy Bawn
  Bellaghy Bawn 
Fergal Kearney welcomes members  Outside Bellaghy Bawn
  Welcome from Patrick Brennan (Vice Chair of Bellaghy Historical Society)
and Fergal Kearney (Insite Tours). 
  Members dodge a heavy shower to look outside   
  In round tower of Bellaghy Bawn   Viewing film in Bellaghy Bawn  
  Fergal Kearney talks to members in the room in the remaining  round tower    Members watch Seamus Heaney speaking in the film produced by David Hammond's "Flying Fox" productions.  
  Welcome to Seamus Heaney HomePlace   The Seamus Heaney HomePlace exhibition  
  Welcome to the Seamus HeaneyHomePlace exhibition   Looking around the exhibition   

Leaving Bellaghy Bawn we travelled through the village to the new Seamus Heaney exhibition in the "HomePlace" which had been visited a few weeks earlier by HRH Prince Charles and Camilla.

As well as the exhibition the building houses a library, a small theatre / performance space and several meeting rooms and cafe.

Our guide gave us an introduction to the exhibition and explained the layout so members could wander around at leisure.

On our return journey to Belfast we enjoyed an excellent evening meal in the Glenavon House hotel in Cookstown. 

  Evening meal in the Glenavon House Hotel Cookstown   
      Enjoying our evening meal in the Glenavon House hotel