Fethard school project on maintaining willow beds

As part of the Connex 12 Youth Outreach Project, TY pupils at Fethard Patrician Presentation school will make a video and document through photographs on the local willow beds, a site maintained and harvested by the Cummins family for generations at the Cashel Road in Fethard.

As part of the Connex 12 Youth Outreach Project, TY pupils at Fethard Patrician Presentation school will make a video and document through photographs on the local willow beds, a site maintained and harvested by the Cummins family for generations at the Cashel Road in Fethard.

This project will be co-ordinated by Ms Patricia Looby, Art Teacher. Ms Looby will develop the project focusing on the keeping and harvesting of Osiery or Willow beds along the river Clashawley, a tributary of the river Suir.

In the past families would maintain Osiery or Willow beds which would be used for making baskets and the willow was harvested to make thatch for local homes. Today these skills and traditions, although part of our heritage, are lost to many of the younger inhabitants of the area.

By using modern technology and contemporary art interpretations and methodologies, Pat hopes to rekindle a fascination and knowledge about our past allowing a younger generation of the locality to get to know their own place and landscape.

The project will develop through video, photography and stories. Students will record their findings through both film and photography and these will be presented at the conclusion of the project. Pupils will also learn the art of basket making from Mr Patsy Cahill of Slievenamon Willowcraft who has been making baskets there for many years. The school is excited about the project and look forward to the outcome in early December.