Story of Muckish in new film

A new film telling the story of Muckish Mountain and its role in local history as a major producer of silica sand for glass making is set to be launched this weekend.

A new film telling the story of Muckish Mountain and its role in local history as a major producer of silica sand for glass making is set to be launched this weekend.

“Glass Mountain: The Story of Muckish Sand” is set to be screened in public for the first time at this Saturdays Creeslough Fair day, which is part of the villages annual Festival.

The documentary has been produced by local community group, Muckish Development Committee, who received a wealth of historic 8mm film footage of the area shot between the 1930’s to the 1950’s from a family from Belfast who regularly visited the locality for summer holidays.

Among the gems they captured is some of the only known footage of workers quarry silica sand at the top of Muckish and bringing it away for export.

The sand made the mountain famous, as it was used to produce high quality glass that was prized all over the world.

The film makers have gathered a wealth of old film, photographs and documents detailing the mountain’s history and have also interviewed four of the men who worked on the site in the 1940’s and 50’s.

As well as the archive material, the film features Willie Kelly, Danny Ward, Brian Boyle and Tom Doherty speaking of the daily life of working on Muckish when they were exporting up to 600 tonnes of sand a week in its heyday.

Items of ornamental Muckish glass were exhibited in London and the USA back in 1902 but its role as a large scale producer of silica for bottle, light bulbs and plate glass made it a major supplier of raw material to Ireland and the UK in the 40’s and 50’s.

The film will be screened every hour from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday afternoon in a the mobile cinema that will be in the St. Michael’s church car park.

Muckish Development Committee member, Gerald Duffy, says the film will help visitors to the area understand the role the iconic landmark has played in local life for many years and will help inform hill walkers about what went on on the mountain in days gone by.

“It was great to get the old footage of the area and we were lucky to get it. It was also great to interview some of the people who worked up there to tell their story,” Gerald said.