Graphic Novel

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Graphic Novel

Two schools were chosen from each town, Lisheenkyle NS from Athenry and St. Brendan's NS, Loughrea. Both schools met with graphic artist and designer Damien Goodfellow, where a story was developed which reflected their town's history. The students drew their designs which are included in the comic book and devised the storyline to make it student friendly.

The script and historical research was carried out by Dr. Christy Cunniffe, Michelle Mitchell and Damien Goodfellow and was edited by Alan Burgess, Marie Mannion and Dr Jim McKeon.

The final version of the comic book contained two stories told by Conor from Loughrea and Hugo from Athenry. The comic book also had medieval games, a page to design your family crest and maps of the medieval towns. The drawings by the students were also included along with a background history of the project.

A Short History of Athenry & Loughrea Walled Towns was officially launched during their respective Walled Towns Day in 2014. Over 2000 copies were produced and these were free to all children who attended both events. The project is now freely available as an ISSU display.


An excerpt from the introduction.

Welcome lords and ladies to a medieval world of discovery, 'A short history of Athenry and Loughrea walled towns'.

Creating a book in the middle ages was very difficult. Made usually from goose or swan feathers, quills were used by scribes, and monks, and completing a book took months, and sometimes year. The origin of the comic book in front of you goes back to March 2014. An idea first conceived by Marie Mannion, heritage officer with Galway county council to increase the awareness, understanding, knowledge and pride of the rich medieval heritage and Loughrea in county Galway, to our local school children, your teachers, and parents.

The heritage council and Galway county council provided the funding for this comic book. Then the Athenry walled towns day committee, Loughrea medieval festival committee and Galway county council swung into action to mke this comic a reality.

In order to catch a glimpse of the history associated with the two medieval neighbouring towns, Dr. Christy Cunniffee; archaeologist, and Damien Goodfellow; Illustrator, worked closely with 6th class pupils in st Brendan's boys national school, Loughrea, and the 5th class pupils in Lisheenkyle school, Athenry to develop the pupils stories. A fum and detailed history class was followed by a lively and entertaining questions and answers session. Using the teacher's whiteboard,, the pupils, through storyboarding, made the history their own. The pupils created and drew the characters they had learned about, bringing them to life. Often the very interesting and insightful results.

Within this comic you will follow the story of Conor, his father is chieftain of Loughrea in 1236AD; and Hugo, a Norman page boy in 1316AD Athenry. Design your own family crest, and we hope you like the royal game of the goose with your friends. View the pupils original artwork, and find out more about how the comic developed, allow yourself to be taken back in time, explore the places, and buildings, and hear the voices of the people, see what they looked like and maybe even get a hint of the sounds and smells of medieval Athenry and Loughrea.

Happy exploring our medieval heritage!

Cover page
Cover page
Royal Game
Royal Game
Inner Page
Inner Page


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Our Location

Athenry Heritage Centre.

St. Mary's,The Square,
Co. Galway,
Rep. of Ireland

Phone: 091 844661


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