Tipperary's proud basket making tradition is remembered

Basket making

Kathleen Mullins and Joan Butler, neighbours in Lissadell Park in Carrick-on-Suir with basketmaker Cathy Hayden at the basket work exhibition and workshops at Ormond Castle.

There was a nostalgic look back at Carrick-on-Suir's proud tradition of basket making at Ormond Castle last week.

Members of the Irish Basket Makers Association gave basket making workshops and exhibited their baskets in the Castle court yard on Sunday, August 27 as part of National Heritage Week.

Among the basket work on display was a replica of former Irish President Erskine Childer's childhood chair made by Barry Torpey, who was an apprentice of the renowned Carrick-on-Suir basket craftsman, Joe Shanahan in the 1980s.

Barry made the chair when he was 14 years-old under the guidance and direction of Mr Shanahan, whose skills were featured in one of RTE's acclaimed "Hands" documentaries.

Erskine Childers widow requested the Shanahans to repair the original chair but it was too damaged and they crafted a replica for her. Barry's chair is a replica of that replacement seat.

Also on show at the Castle was the work of Tramore basket maker Cathy Hayden, who also trained under the late Joe Shanahan.

Carrick's basketmakers used willow cuts from cultivated sallies grown on the islands of the River Suir for their baskets.