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40th Kerog Rector
(Departed this life 17 December 1987)

It is sad that Brett Ingram did not live to see this his major historical work published. In "The Ulsterheart" we have the cul­mination of a lifelong interest in Local History and in the Ballygawley district in particular where he spent more than half his adult life as Rector of its group of three parishes. The author, who was born in Dublin of Sligo parents was al­ways a countryman. He was at home here in the centre or heart of Ulster where he ministered for 27 years in the ancient parish of Errigle Kerog (Argel Kerog) since his appointment in 1960. Pre­viously he had been Rector of Drumbanagher near Newry and had served as a curate in Bangor, Co. Down as well as at Maynooth, Dunboyne, Kilcock and Moyglare. He was ordained in Maynooth in 1945. He was a distinguished graduate of Trinity College, Dublin in 1944 and took his B.D. there by examination and thesis ten years later. His scholarship knew a great breadth and his interests were wide. He was a past President of the Irish Bronte Society and left behind him the draft of a book entitled 'Brontė Roots'. He had a good knowledge of the history of his Church and was the author of the 'Armavigil' a pageant produced in 1970 and 1971 in Armagh to mark the centenary of Disestablishment. Brett Ingram was fascinated by the Ulster-American connection and in 1976 produced a most useful booklet 'The Ulstertide' on the role of Ulstermen in the United States. He was one of the first to draw attention to the Ulster links with the White House, and in 1965 brought the American Vice-Consul to Dergina for the unveiling of a plaque on the Ulysses Simpson Grant homestead. He had a good knowledge of Greek and Hebrew and in 1966 produced a short catalogue entitled 'The Bibles' which examined the various editions published.

He also wrote about his own locality, and in 1978 compiled a handy little tourist guide 'Valleytop' for the use of visitors. For more than ten years he was a regular fortnightly contributor to the Tyrone Courier under the pen-name of 'Cuhulin'. These articles brought him recognition from the BBC who twice voted him provincial columnist of the year.

Brett Ingram's death in the year of his retirement meant that much of his research was unpublished. In addition to the Bronte manuscript he had gathered a large body of notes on the history of Killeshil Parish. There were, I am sure, plans to bring these two subjects into print. His papers contained notes and memoranda on many subjects, and he had a full genealogical archive on numerous families in his own district and often far beyond it. He had helped many people with their 'roots' and was a diligent letter writer to his correspondents. He was always keen to record and conserve and in his lifetime had rescued many aspects of local history from oblivion and some from complete destruction. His death leaves a great void in this community as he was a man of so many parts. As a local historian he had amazing energy. The size of this book alone is indicative of the interest and the detail he was concerned with. It is sad that he was not spared to enjoy the praise and tribute that it will undoubtedly receive.

Jack Johnston.