Cashel’s Town Walls will come into focus during the festival in their honour as part of National Heritage Week.
The Cashel Town Wall Festival begins today (Wednesday, August 15) with free workshops for seven to 12 year olds in the Heritage Centre. This will be followed by a double-header acoustic concert in St John’s Cathedral, John Street on Friday.
The event will peak with a free open air festival afternoon in the Cashel Palace Hotel gardens.
Olivia Quinlan of the Cashel Heritage Trust, talked through the extensive programme, which is this year supported by the Heritage Council and Cashel Credit Union.
“The Town Council are granted a certain amount of money each year to promote Cashel’s Town wall during National Heritage Weeks,” said Olivia, and continued “the Cashel Heritage Trust run the event for the Council and we have a great team of people working on the core events. Mick Droma from Wolfhound Archaeology will be running the Dig in a Box children’s workshop which will run form 10am to 4pm from Wednesday to Friday. This is a free event and children form the ages of seven upwards are encouraged to come along and have a go at some digging, who knows what they might find, maybe a bit of pottery, a medieval word or even a skull or two! You can book on the day at the heritage centre.”
On Friday night the Cathedral in John’s Street will play host to two acoustic bands, one of them, Nuada play authentic medieval instruments. Sean Laffey who has organised the Cathedral concert told us they would give a fun recital on the music that was in the hit parade when the walls were built in 1324. “To bring us right up to the minute the duo Opland /Freeman will bring us some fantastic world music on we are told a dazzling array of instruments, The duo come for Alaska and Manchester, so it truly is world music. Tickets are €5 for under 18s and Pensioners, €10 for adults and only €20 for a family of two adults and up to 4 children.”
The main event on the Saturday takes place in the grounds of the Cashel Palace Hotel. Who can forget what a superb venue it was for last year’s town wall day when it ran along side the EU Rural Charter meeting?
This year one of the highlights will be Cláimh, a group of re-enactors who will demonstrate the weapons and armour of the Gallowglass warriors who were Hiberno-Norse mercenaries in the middle ages.
Joanne Hughes will be looking for stories from a town wall, so if you have an anecdote about life in Cashel she would love to hear about it. It could be anything from a memory of people who lived near the wall, things you got up to on the wall as a teenager or incidents that happened around the area.
“The aim is to bring people’s stories together into a book and we are very grateful that the Cashel Credit Union has sponsored us to bring this archive of folklore and anecdotes to life.”
Geraldine Laffey told us that there will be plenty to get involved with art at the Wall Town Day on Saturday. “We will have a great mix of crafts and activities for young to try out. We’d love children to come along and have a go at some stone carving for example or try some hairdressing from the middle ages. We have Mircat longbows back again who will be setting up an archery range and will give lessons in shooting on of the most effective weapons of the fourteenth century. There will be music too and the clash of axes and swords from Cláimh. Remember this is on the Saturday so you can combine your weekend shopping with some free fun in the Palace grounds”.
Olivia concluded the preview of the festival by praising the work of the volunteers and the staff of the Heritage Centre, who have done so much to publicise the event and getting the town ready for another day of celebrating our mediaeval heritage.