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August 16th 2006
Monument to Unbaptised Children Unveiled
The monument unveiling mentioned last week took place as scheduled on Sunday. The unveiling by Oisin Mc Gloin (3)and Matilda Mc Gowan (2) was followed by the ballad 'A Íosa' by Breda Mc Dermott. Fr. Christie McHugh, parish priest of Ahamlish conducted a short ceremony of prayers and readings followed by a blessing of the stone. The priest and congregation then joined in singing the hymn: 'The Lord is my Shepherd". Following this George Egglestone of Elphin, Co. Roscommon played a lament on the Uillean pipes. A set of lively reels by George and his friends Marty Toher on accordeon, Declan Cornyn on fiddle and Billy Finn on concert flute concluded the celebration.
'The two hands of God around them'
In his preliminary address Joe Mc Gowan said: "It is difficult to put into words my feelings regarding this event. How do you find the words to express such deeply felt emotion? It is a sadness mixed with joy at drawing those little forgotten outcasts
from a barren field into our hearts and into the bosom of the community. Not just ‘Dhá láimh Dé a gcumdach’ (‘The two hands of God around them’) as it says on the monument, but our human arms around them too. By this memorial stone we cherish, not just the infants, but also their grieving parents who we may be sure shed many a silent tear into their pillows in lonely and silent anguish at the loss of their child. We empathise with the trauma they experienced knowing that their beloved infant had to be buried in an open field without the grace of God or a Christian burial! We cannot stand in judgement today as to why this happened… Thankfully we live in a more enlightened age now, where such things cannot happen anymore.
Classiebawn: A heartless old man
Our original intention was, naturally, to place the monument on the little graveyard itself but access was refused. In time to come people may ask why the stone is on the side of the road rather than on the graveyard itself. The stone will stand forever, not just in memory of the infants, but also in silent rebuke to the memory of Mr. Hugh Tunney, whom history will record lived in Classiebawn Castle in the year 2006. Our hurt is understandable but maybe Hugh Tunney is more to be pitied than blamed. He could be a part of the community here with us today but chose instead to obstruct our modest goal. Who standing here now would wish to swap places with such a heartless old man in his ivory tower?..."
The remarks concluded with a poetry reading relating to an infant death on Rathlin Island:
‘Beannacht Leat, goodbye me dawtie,
I’m wrappin’ a slip aboot ye this yenst.
They’ll be to be givin’ ye gran’eur in heaven,
But mine’ll be layin’ yer heart anenst.
Beannacht Leat; d’ye hear me, bairnie?
The good God needed ye there, me wean.
Yer dawn an’ yer sunset were a’ thegither,
An’ the ebb took the wee boat out again.’
Mary Campbell (Sea Wrack 1951)”
GENERAL MICHAEL CORCORAN AND MAYOR BLOOMBERG
A memorial to General Michael Corcoran is to be unveiled by Mayor Bloomberg of
"The great majority of people in Sligo and
“While we all hope and pray that the ceasefire will hold - the fact is that the Israeli regime, supported by the Bush administration, has committed massive war crimes against the defenceless civilian population of
“We are hopeful that local people from Ballymote will participate in the peace vigil. We are asking everyone, including our local elected representatives, not to attend the unveiling or any function where Mayor Bloomberg is the guest of honour. They have a choice. They can support
The Irish Army have reduced the height requirement for women applicants to 5 feet 2 inches. This has raised the question in some quarters as to whether the words of our national anthem: "Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland..." should be changed to, "Soldiers are wee..."!
August 9th 2006
Spare us the Toytown Mayors
"The annual farce of the election of mayors around the country is taking place at present. Tinsel offices for would be TDs. Opportunities for the puffing of egos and profiles. No power, no relevance." So says Vincent Browne in his column in the Irish Times. Ouch! Who can disagree with him though? Put a chain on a turkey and it's still a turkey. Smoke and mirrors, paddywhackery and Colgate smiles, cut a ribbon at the opening of the newest pub in town and 'thank you very much your Highness'.
Give them more powers Browne says. It'll make better people of them. Oh, God help us! In her outgoing speech Mayor O'Grady urged those involved in the City Block Masterplan, 'to move the situation forward as a matter of urgency'. How profound a statement is that! Nice one Ms Mayor but tell us exactly how to do it and we'll give you more power and a bit of praise as well. The new boy, Tom agrees with her and declares: ' I have big shoes to fill and it is very daunting but I am looking forward to the challenge.' Would ye listen to him! Give them more powers? Ah, c'mon now Vincent.
Coiste Oidhreachta Mhullacháin is made up of a number of natives of Mullaghmore. The group was formed in 2005 with the intention of erecting a memorial at the children’s graveyard, known locally as Cill na Muckaun. The cemetery is situated approximately one mile east of Classiebawn castle.
As the graveyard is ancient and infant mortality common in previous times, it is probable that most indigenous Mullaghmore people have relations buried there. The group's intention is to recognise the infant bones laid to rest there, the dignity of life, and the grief and trauma of bereaved parents who were denied the comfort of interment of their beloved in consecrated ground. It is fitting that, in this enlightened age, the short span on earth of these unnamed infants should be recognized and dignified.
Access to Cill na Muckaun has been denied by Hugh Tunney, the current landowner, so it was decided to place the stone as close as possible to the graveyard site. Barring a last minute Pauline conversion by Mr. Tunney the stone will now be installed by the roadside leading to Mullaghmore village. Details are on right and all are welcome to attend.
The Memorial: a description
The standing stone chosen as a marker has elements of Christian and Pagan significance. Galláns, or standing stones, known to mark burial sites, date from the Bronze Age to Early Christian times.
The early Christian cross inscribed at the top of the stone is taken from the original at St. Brigid’s Well in nearby Cliffoney. This cross is unique in having on its upper part a swastika over three concentric circles. Used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years it represents life, sun, power, strength, and good luck. The word, ‘swastika’ is derived from the Sanskrit "svastika" meaning "good to be".
On the left side of the stone is inscribed the name of the Cillín: Cill na mBoctán (Church of the Poor) which we believe is the original usage of Cill na Muckaun. Engraved in ogham on the right side of the stone is: ‘Dhá láimh Dé a gcumdach’ (‘The two hands of God around them’). Ogham is the earliest recorded form of the Irish alphabet dating to the 5 th century .
August 2 2006
Irish Mummers and Sardinian Mamuthone
We're back! The trip to Sardinia was a cultural exchange of folk drama groups. Our Irish group consisted of 6 participants from the Co. Sligo ‘Sidhe Gaoithe’ Mummers and Strawboys: Marie Murray, Martin Toher, Deirdre Cox, Vera Meehan and Leader, Joe Mc Gowan. Other Irish groups participating in the exchange were from Dublin, Co. Fermanagh, Co. Cavan and Co. Down. Other countries attending the Masquerade Festivals in Sardinia were Venezuela , Bulgaria , Macedonia , France , Poland , Germany and Greece.
The trip was to Central Sardinia . Our hosts were the Mamoiada Mamuthone (Mummers) of the town of Mamoiada . The event was their annual international masquerade street festival of folk traditions, similar to the Mardi Gras of New Orleans or the Carnivale of Venice, but on a grander scale. During the event the inhabitants of the town and surrounding countryside as well as the visiting countries gather to take part in the parade celebrating the Mamuthones and Issohaddores, ‘ Sardinia ’s most renowned masks representing good and evil’. After
the parade, locals and participants from the different countries demonstrated their national dances and folk plays in a stage performance. Sardinians demonstrated their folk dances: the ‘su passau torrau ’, ‘su sartiu’ and ‘su villau’ as well as their musical tradition.
The Irish contingent participated in two other similar carnivals in the towns of Ittiri and Bolotana.
July 12th 2006
In Co. Clare: The Willie Clancy Summer School
When July comes around music and the sounds of dancing feet fill the air as all roads lead to Milltown Malbay in Co. Clare for the Willie Clancy Festival Week. The Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy is Ireland's largest traditional music summer school, held annually since 1973 in memory of the piper Willie Clancy. (Left: a street session in Milltown Malbay)
During the week, nearly a thousand students from every part of the world attend daily classes taught by experts in Irish music and dance. In addition, a full program of lectures, recitals, dances (céilithe) and exhibitions are run by the summer school. Last week I told you I was going there. These pictures are a small sample but can't fully capture the extravaganza that is the 'Willie Week'. (Right: Set Ceili in the Armada Inn)
In Northern Ireland: Ian, King Billy and the Lost Tribe
July too brings the sound of marching feet. And what a contrast to Milltown Malbay! A black hole in civilisation exists in a remote part of Ireland that merits the attention of the scientific world who may wish to study primitive tribes lost in time and place.
Anthropologists pease take note. No need to go to the Amazon or the deepest jungles of South America! The clock stopped in Northern Ireland in 1690 with the Battle of the Boyne. Go there this year as Orangemen take to the streets of the province in celebration of an ancient victory by King William of Orange over King James and the Irish forces.
Loyalists still can't get over it. No fun in parading in their own areas so they like nothing so much as marching with bands and banners through Nationalist areas in triumphalist procession where they are sure to provoke. If you miss the 12th, don't worry they have 3,000 other marches during the 'marching season' (Irish Times 12/7/'06). Count 'em: 3,000! Yes, they do be marching!!
C'mon lads! That was a long time ago. Get a life, have a laugh. How about leaving the oul' sash at home and going to Milltown Malbay next year? It's a lot more fun and we don't ask what your religion or politics is down here!
Ambassador Jean Kennedy-Smith visits Sligo's Inishmurray Island
North Sligo and Mullaghmore was distinguished recently by a visit from Jean Kennedy-Smith, ex-American Ambassador to Ireland. Acompanied by Bill Whelehan of Riverdance and Pat Wallace, Director of the National Museum, she visited Inishmurray Island aboard 'Excalibur' during her stay. She is pictured HERE with her friends and skipper Keith Clarke who brought her there.
'Teach a cat against their will, they'll be of the same opinion still'!
There's something about cats. That enigmatic stare that tells you there's something going on behind those green eyes, but tells you nothing. Dogs can be trained; cats never. 'A dog looks up to man, cats look down on man', no les a person than Winston Churchill once said. He finished with a tribute to pigs by saying 'A pig looks man in the eye and sees his equal!'
'The pussycat miraculously resurfaced almost two weeks later at her old homestead physically shattered and barely able to rause a feeble miaow,' according to the Sligo Weekender. Having been brought to Sligo by car we may marvel at the instinct that brough the creature unerringly to its old home!
(There will be no Newsround for the next two weeks as your wandering web host is going to Sardinia with the Co. Sligo 'Sidhe Gaoithe' Mummers to take part in a cultural exchange. We will be teaming up with other groups in Northern Ireland before we go and comparing notes with similar folk drama organisations in Sardinia when we get there. A central part of the visit by all Irish Mummers will be a visit to the Museo Delle Maschere Mediterranee (Museum of Mediterranean Masks) in Mamoiada.)
June 28th 2006
Loch na Súil and the Battle of Moyturra
THIS week young Megan and TJ Davey observed for the first time in their short lives the disappearance of Loch na Suil.
For most of their older neighbours in Moytura, however, the strange event revived memories of 1985, the last time they woke up in the morning to find that the lake that had been there the night before had suddenly emptied.
Megan and TJ (pictured on left) may well have been bewildered by the different explanations offered by those supposedly wiser than them. Some believe IT Sligo's Dr Richard Thorn, who points to the complex hydrology and chemical reactions leading to blockages suddenly giving way and the water flowing into underground limestone caverns.
For more go to: A FOMORIAN STRONGHOLD: DERNISH ISLAND IN SLIGO OR TORY ISLAND IN DONEGAL? on this site.
'Lunatic Soup' in Sligo
A FEMALE student assaulted a woman because she was angry at losing her mobile phone.
Linda Cullen, aged 20, of St Joseph's Terrace, Sligo, admitted assaulting Nicola Meehan of Doocastle, Markievicz Road, Sligo on October 31 last.
Defending solicitor Gerry McGovern said that it was it was very difficult to explain why she did what she did.
First with the news: Read the Sligo Weekender
Gurteen Memorial Honours Michael Davitt
The Sligo Weekender reports that: 'A large crowd gathered in brilliant sunshine in the grounds of Gurteen Vocational School recently to pay tribute to Michael Davitt, founder of the Land League, on the occasion of the centenary of his death.
UFOs in Sligo?
Are you interested in UFOs? Have you ever seen a UFO? Would you like to share the experience with other people? If so, members of the UFO Society in Boyle would like to hear from you. If you would like to join and receive a copy of their Newsletter contact Betty on 071 9662844 or email email@example.com
First with the News: Read the Sligo Weekender
June 14th 2006
Respect and Crime in Sligo Court
From the Sligo Weekender: 'A man was removed from Sligo district court last Thursday after threatening the judge.
Kevin O'Brien, Fair Green Hostel, Galway shouted at Judge Oliver McGuinness: 'A belt of a brick is what you'll get. That's all you'll get off me'.
The court had earlier been told that O'Brien had been arrested that morning at Sligo garda station because of a bench warrant issued when he had failed to turn up at a previous court hearing.
But gardai said that he had come to the station that morning by appointment to be arrested.
Defending solicitor, Joe Carter said his client had made an effort to attend the court the previous week but had encountered problems in getting there.
Gardai told the court that the charge against O'Brien related to an incident on the night of January 3rd last.
June 7th 2006
Sinead O'Connor in concert in Sligo
The Sligo Weekender reports that, 'The organisers of 'SLIGO LIVE' have praised the talents of the 150 volunteers who gave their time willingly to make sure last weekend's event was a success. Delighted with how the festival went, organiser Shane Mitchell of Dervish added that he hopes it will be even bigger next year and will attract larger crowds.
'All along we wanted this festival to establish itself as a feature on the international circuit', he said, 'and to gain a reputation for quality. Another aim was to generate positive publicity for Sligo and that has certainly happened with all the coverage we¹ve got in recent times. We'll be meeting over the coming days to assess how everything went and start the preparations for next year. But this has been a very bright beginning for us.'
The headline act was Sinead O'Connor who performed on Sunday night last. 'Sinead O'Connor delivered a wonderful gig on Sunday night,' Shane continued, 'Solas were brilliant as usual. I was very impressed with Duke Special from Belfast and with Ron Sexsmith, Declan O'Rourke and so many more. Kate Rusby was one of the highlights with a special set on the Saturday night. We in Dervish had a fantastic time at our gig on Friday night.
Riverstown Vintage Festival and Sligo County Fleadh Ceoil
Good music was also to be had at the Riverstown Vintage Festival and the Sligo County Fleadh held in Strandhill.
May 31st 2006
Canon Ahearn cleared of charges
Canon Niall Ahearn, a Strandhill based parish priest, has welcomed the decision by the DPP not to proceed with complaints of child sexual abuse against him. He will soon resume his parochial duties. In a statement issued at the weekend he said he was relieved to be able to put the matter behind him: 'I am aware that I am neither the first nor the last priest to suffer from untrue allegations' He added that he was not bitter over having to face such charges in which a priest has to abandon his duties to prove his innocence. He has been parish priest in Strandhill since last September and Cathedral administrator for the past ten years.
Harley Davidsons at Strauss Ball
The Sligo Weekender reports that: 'Motorbike mayhem and masquerade surprisingly went hand-in-hand at this year's Strauss Ball. The second annual ball was successfully hosted by Sligo Academy of Music in association with SHOUT(Sligo Hospital Oncology Unit Trust) at the Clarion Hotel, Sligo. The night was a huge success as almost two hundred people arrived decked in both black tie and costume dress.
Unexpectedly, it was a group of Harley Davidson motor-bikers that added a new twist to the event, allowing guests to get up close and personal with the beautiful motors outside the hotel. They also joined the party later in the evening much to the delight of the black tie and masquerade guests. Strauss Ball committee organiser Robert Fitzpatrick said: "It was a coincidence that there was a Harley Davidson convention taking place in Sligo and that they happened to be staying at the Clarion. "They joined the party and added more colour to the event."
A fire and firework extravaganza was another popular highlight of the night. This year, proceeds from the sold-out ball benefited two worthy organisations: Sligo Academy of Music, to help provide scholarships and build a permanent facility for the 350 students currently benefiting from the charity, and SHOUT (Sligo Hospital Oncology Unit Trust), to improve cancer care for patients in the North West Region. The evening's entertainment also included champagne and music from the senior academy students in the Clarion's renovated chapel, Cannis major. A raffle and auction were held following a gourmet banquet, again with all money raised going to charity.
The Sligo Viennese Orchestra provided music as guests danced to old-time waltzes, arranged by dance cards. The Glen Miller Legacy Band played into the night at what was described as 'the social event of the year.' Mr Fitzpatrick said: "Every single person pleaded with us to carry on hosting the ball next year. "It was a most colourful and entertaining night."'
First with the news: Read the Sligo Weekender
May 24th 2006
Demise of the family butcher shop
An article in The Sligo Weekender reports that: "Over the past twenty years two-thirds of family owned butcher shops have closed in Sligo town. Around 14 butchers have shut up shop in the last two decades, leaving just seven fresh meat stores to keep the tradition alive. With the advent of supermarkets and convenience stores consumer shopping patterns have changed to wrapped and pre-packaged meats. The huge increase in chicken consumption, which can be bought in almost any shop, and the upsurge of fast food outlets has added to the decline in sales of all uncooked meats.
It is with great sadness that many Sligo family butcher shops have closed over the decades. Apart from the few remaining, gone are the days when people could ask about cooking times and tips for their joint of meat, with their local butcher able to tell them exactly. One long-established Sligo butcher believes that there is no skill attached to selling meat any more. He said: "You can purchase almost any food item at a petrol station forecourt now. From the professional butcher's point of view gone are the days when a housewife could go to her butcher and ask for a pound of rashers cut to her particular requirements."
A recent survey of Sligo town shows that there are now only two shops where one can ask for and get specific service.
In the late 1990s the BSE scare did untold damage to the butchering trade and during that time over 200 butcher shops closed throughout the whole of Ireland.
In bygone years wandering through the old avenues of Sligo was a different experience to what we see in the Sligo streets today. Fewer cars, no traffic jams, nobody competing for precious parking spaces, and a butchers shop or two on nearly every street.
Sligo town never had a central slaughter house so most of the animals were killed in-house.
The introduction of EU rules and health regulations demanded the upgrading of standards, which proved too expensive for some butchers.
This too inevitably contributed to the decline in these traditional meat shops.
Learning about spices, how they are mixed to compliment each other, and how to create new recipes from scratch was all in a day's work for old Sligo butchers.
Whale calf dies
Sligo residents were saddened to hear that the carcase of the whale calf, mentioned below, was washed in at Enniscrone in recent days. When the mother was in her death throes at Lislarry it was noticed she was leaking milk. This gave rise to the opinion that she was a feeding mother without whom the infant would not survive.
"It's a rare species and it's strange that we've had about four strandings around Ireland and Britain in the last few months," said Dr. Don Cotton. "It's a worry. Are they connected? We don't know but strandings are rare with this mammal so it's a concern when these things happen and we don't know why. This is a deep water species. It should be out further, around the edge of the Continental Shelf."
May 17th 2006
Beached Whale on Sligo Coast
Local lads, Darren and Gavin Rooney (left) view a bottlenose whale that became stranded on Lislarry beach, Co. Sligo on Friday last. This is an extremely rare occurence in these waters. It's calf too almost washed ashore but was pushed out to sea by local people and survived — for a time anyway as experts believe it won't last for long being too young to survive without its mother's milk.
The stranded eight metre female, weighing several ton, could not be refloated. Local people who tried to help were distressed to see their efforts end in failure when this magnificent creature died within two hours of being washed up on the shore. Dr. Don Cotton, an expert on such matters, believes the adult whale was injured following a collision with a boat. The species have a tendency to be curious about such objects in the water, to their detriment. Another peculiarity of the species is that they tend to congregate around an injured member. This too contributed to their decline as whalers, knowing this, would injure a bottlenose, secure it with a rope, and then kill the other members of the pod as they approached.
Crime, standards and sexual assault
In other news there has been a four fold increase in the number of sexual assaults in Sligo and Leitrim in the past year. Last year there were a total of 57 sexual assaults, an increase of 218 percent. This included 12 rapes, a 20 percent increase on 2004. It is the third highest recorded statistic for sexual crime in the country with only 37 detections.
Are these figures any surprise when an Irish TV programme called 'Rodge and Podge' degrades and insults women and human sexuality generally. Hilda Kennedy in an article, ‘Musing on Life’ this week in the Sligo Weekender looked with a very clear eye indeed at the ‘Rodge and Podge’ show, aired weekly on RTE. Biddy of Glenroe soap opera fame was a guest. Acording to Hilda the puppets 'masturbated while making lewd comments about her.' In another scene the dialogue went like this:
“(Q) What would you expect from a date?”
“(A) A hole and a heartbeat!”
Are my overseas readers shocked? Am I naive? Have standards sunk so low in other countries too?
Why should we be surprised then at an increase in sexual assaults in Sligo and Leitrim? Porn channels and videos for private viewing are one thing. Given the absence of any moral standards for a general audience, even on our State funded national TV station, isn’t an increase in such crime what we should expect? Toleration of such filth as the norm diminishes us all and filters into society in general. If we sit around the set and snigger at such depravity why should we complain about ‘date rape’, or any sexual assault or violence against women — even if it happens to members of our own family? We must expect it.
Nothing happens in a vacuum. We can’t have it both ways.
Don't forget the Famine Walk next Saturday:
May 10th 2006
Celebration of Sligo-Crozon twinning
Sligo is twinned with Kempten, Germany, Tallahassee, USA and Crozon, France. The 25th anniversary of the Crozon twinning was celebrated at a banquet (turkey and ham, Sir, or roast beef) at the Sligo Park Hotel last Wednesday.
"Co. Sligo Sidhe Gaoithe Strawboys" were invited — but since Strawboy visits are a wedding tradition the leader wanted to know who was getting married. 'No one,' said they, 'we just want a bit of craic, we hear ye have great dancers and musicians.' 'We do', says they, 'but no wedding, no Strawboys! That's the rule. What about the Mayor of Sligo and the Mayor of Crozon hooking up,' the Strawboys suggested, trying to be helpful, 'they look like they'd be game for a bit of excitement.' 'Oh, hold your tongue,' says the inviter, 'sure aren't they married already!' 'Well,' says they, 'Couldn't they get married again for the night. Strawboys can do that sort of thing y'know. We don't know about the O'Grady wan but sure isn't yer man from Crozon far away from home. Who'll know?
Well, yer man's face fell a mile. He couldn't believe what was being suggested in holy Catholic Ireland, but do you know what, they went for it! Everyone had a great night. There's the happy couple in the picture on the right and, I don't know about Rosie, but, if you look close, behind Mayor Jean Corneoc's Cheshire cat smile there's a twinkle in them thar eyes: Look out Rosie. You know what they say about them French uns! You can't be too careful, and while we all want to be good Europeans there's only so much we're prepared to give up for the cause of fraternité!
Children's graveyard memorial almost ready
Mullaghmore Heritage Group was formed by a number of people, natives of Mullaghmore, who came together in 2005 with the intention of erecting a memorial at the children’s graveyard known locally as Cill na Muckaun. The cemetery is situated approximately one mile east of Classiebawn castle.
As the graveyard is ancient, and infant mortality common in previous times, it is safe to say that most Mullaghmore residents have relations buried there. The committee's intention is to recognise the infant bones interred in this place, the dignity of life, and the grief and trauma of bereaved parents who were denied the comfort of interment of their beloved in consecrated ground.
The memorial is almost ready and will be installed some time next August. For more information go to bottom of page HERE.
Au revoir, now, back next week with more. Don't forget the famine walk:
May 3rd 2006
May Customs in Sligo and Ireland
This week we will deviate from just strictly news to talk about Mayday customs. I hope you don't mind. Anyway there's nothing so earth-shattering happening around Sligo that it can't wait for a week!
Even the little blue and white plaster statue had a pleasurable look about it and Mary smiled a never ending smile, all through the whole month — which is more than could be said for our parents who scowled and barked orders a lot more than they ever smiled. Do this, go there, feed the calves, put the hens up on the roost, put out the ashes; did ye do yer lessons? The sally rod was always close by so there was no point in putting up a fuss. Children had no rights then and parents thought it, not just their duty, but a virtue to use the 'shtick'. 'Spare the rod and spoil the child' was dogma. The miseries were never-ending, so no wonder then that Mary's altar was a haven of peace, tranquility and a promise of better things to come.
No one ever told us then that Mayday was the beginning of the old Celtic quarter festival of Bealtaine. Or that May was Baal or Bel's month and the word Bealtaine derived from 'Bels fire', the fire of Belenos, Celtic God of the Sun. Maybe they didn't know! It might have taken 1,500 years but by the 1900s any taint of paganism that existed when St. Patrick came here was well squeezed out of us. Or was it?
Of course there was the fairies to take into account as well. They were part of the old creed too and particularly busy about their mischief at this time of year. People bought milk from neighbours then. There was always someone with a cow in milk. No point in going to the shop. They didn't have any. There was no call for it! If a neighbour came in for milk on Mayday things were different to any other day — they'd be very lucky to get any. No offense meant, but one could be giving away their luck by allowing the milk out of the house. If they relented, a drop of salt was put in the milk to neutralise any harm. No ashes was put out on that day for fear of throwing away the luck.
A load of superstitious nonsense I hear you say? Well, I don't know, certainly it never did us any harm. And like an old man said one time, 'People don't do this sort of thing so much anymore but that doesn't say they're any the better for it!' He has a point, so I think of the old innocent people and the beliefs that sustained them when I, and many others in Co. Sligo, carry on the ancient tradition of welcoming natures rebirth by bedecking the house with Mayflowers and glorious whin on May Eve. I hope you will next year as well!
Beannachtaí na Bealtaine agaibh go léir.
April 26th 2006
Hazelwood House Sold
The Sligo Weekender reports that the former Snia factory on the banks of Lough Gill in Sligo has been bought by a local consortium for between E7 and E10 million. The consortium, fronted by Sligo businessmen Ken McMoreland and Jackie McMahon bought the factory site which included Hazelwood House, a Georgian mansion in need of restoration.
One local group are hoping that the new owners will restore the Georgian
house to its former glory, but the plans for the house, the factory and the land included in the sale are unknown.
What else is new around Sligo?
Collooney: Is to get a new 10 lane bowling alley. Sandra Loftus, Happy Days Creche, Lisnalurg Sligo will be the proprietor.
Ballinode: As noted in an earlier news item this is the lambing season. Dogs play havoc at this time of year. The worst of a number of recent incidents happened on Tuesday morning at Ballinode. Padraig Devaney, responding to a telephone call from a neighbour, found 23 of his lambs dead when he went out to the field at 5.30 am. There have been other similar incidents at Glencar and Mullaghmore
Sligo: Following the appointment of a palliative care specialist, Dr. Donal Martin, the eight bed unit of North West Hospice is now open after being closed for the past 16 months.
Union Rock: On Easter Sunday morning a large crowd gathered atop Union Rock to hear Fr. A.B. O’Shea of Sooey celebrate Mass and watch the sun rise. The Mass is inspired by the ancient custom of rising on Easter Sunday morning to greet the rising sun, pagan symbol of renewal and Christian symbol of the risen Christ
This adventurous swan was spotted recently wandering down Quay Street in Sligo town.
The cheeky bird caused a number of cars to come to a standstill as bemused drivers looked on.
First with the news: Read the Sligo Weekender
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