I met Cian O Se, when the late film maker Helen Prout, asked me for advice for the Cork Film Archive. She had set up this group with Cian, and photographer/film maker Con McParland. Having assisted the CFA over the next few months, I realised that a film on the poor condition of the Royal Gunpowder Mills, Ballincollig would be useful for demonstrating its decay and for fundraising etc for the Mills. Cian, Con and Jerry Aherne expertly produced the film ‘An Explosive Tale’ which was a great success. In 2009 the film was launched with much fanfare in Ballincollig by the Minister Batt O’Keeffe, whose department (of the Environment, Heritage and the Local Government) subsequently sponsored a signifciant amount of work on the conservation, signage, drainage and management of the GunPowder Mills.
Later, Cian freely gave much of his free time on translations from English into Irish on signage for community groups, including the Gunpowder Mills and the ringfort at Kilmoney, Carrigaline. He was a regular participant for the CFA in Cork Celebrates History Week, which Richard Cooke and Councillor Brian Bermingham organised for the first time in 2009, with my involvement on behalf of Cork County Councl. Cian regularly attended historic reenactment events, where the PARDS performed, and which Cian filmed, such as at Charlesfort, Innishannon, Ballincollig Powder Mills etc.
Cian was always ready and eager to give advice and knowledge on a wealth of topics. He frequently wrote letters and emails with photos, maps etc to me with his discourses and thoughts on his research into the prehistroy, history, the Irish language and mythology of Ireland etc, as well as his knowledge on caving. Favourite topics of his were pre Viking Cork and St. Ciarán ( of Cluain Mhic Neóise ). His letters to me always began with ‘Catryn Uasal, Beatha 7 sláinte !’ and ended with ‘Beir bua, Cian’.
It was a pleasure to have known you, Cian and so Beir Bua.
CIAN, FIRST ON THE LEFT, LOOKING ON AS MEMBERS OF BALLINCOLLIG HERITAGE ASSOCIATION RECEIVE AN AWARD FROM THE MAYOR OF CORK COUNTY, DEREK CANTY, AT THE ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS, BALLINCOLLIG..
CIAN WITH MEMBERS OF BHA, JENNY WEBB AND ROD MACONNAIL, AT THE ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS, BALLINCOLLIG.
CIAN PRODUCED THE FINAL DRAUGHT OF THE IRISH VERSION ON ONE SIDE OF THIS SIGN AT THE ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS, BALLINCOLLIG.
AT THE BLACK GUNPOWDER EVENT IN 2009 at the ROYAL GUNPOWDER MILLS, BALLINCOLLIG: JERRY AHERNE, Member of the PARDS, American Civil War Reenactor, and also of The Beyond Endurance Irish Expeditio to Antarctica 2006. https://ballincollig.wordpress.com/