Published Tuesday, 07 August 2012
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Robert is one of those people to whom everyone else turns when they're not sure about this or that detail of local history.
He loves Rostrevor and has spent a good portion of his life collecting information and stories about its people and its traditions, and writing about it.
Like a lot of local historians he is extremely generous with his time and knowledge but also extremely modest. He is the sort who would rather stay out of the limelight if he had a choice but we didn't give him a choice.
We wanted him to appear in front of camera and he eventually agreed. Unfortunately, he was taken seriously ill just before we were to begin filming and we had to manage without him.
Nonetheless he was very helpful to us and more than deserved a credit on the finished programme.
Thankfully he has since recovered and is doing well.
It's very often the case that our research team get a great deal of support and assistance from certain local people who, themselves, have no interest in appearing in the programme and who would modestly prefer to stand aside and let someone else do it.
Such people are often the unsung heroes of a community and they are invaluable in our line of work. Their only motivation is to ensure that their place - their parish or village or townland - comes across to best advantage on the screen and to that end they will ensure that you have met the best people to talk about this subject or that.
So this is just a belated "thank you" to all those, and there are many of them, who have played such a role over the years.
Of course if it wasn't for those who are willing to step into the spotlight then there wouldn't be a programme at all so, to Siubhan, John and Mark, thank you for Rostrevor last night. I hope we did some justice to your place.