Mapping Through Memory: The location and nature of Mass paths in Ireland.
Methodologies that capture the ways in which individuals and communities value places are becoming increasingly attractive to policymakers and authors highlight the need for additional tools and archival material concerning how people engage with
landscapes on an everyday basis. This paper addresses that need and argues that oral history and personal memory can be used as effective tools for geographical mapping and analysis, both physical and virtual. Religion involves the collective identity of
a people and has strong affinities with the traditions and knowledge handed down from generation to generation. Such traditions and knowledge are often handed down orally and offer potential for geographical enquiry. Oral history can provide unique
insights into the history of place, often providing narratives about the recollection of self, relationships with others and place, insights rarely provided in such depth by other methods. Place memory has become an important theme in recent geographical
research and landscape can be mapped through memories and stories to create a virtual cartography of place. Using a case study approach in Lackagh, County Galway, the authors use an innovative assemblage of methods to produce one of the most thorough
syntheses of information available in respect to the location, history and heritage of Mass paths in Ireland at a parish level.
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