The second revived celebration of the ancient Ard Eireann Festival occurred on the traditional weekend of the 28th and 29th of July 2012. The walk to the top took place on both days, with the addition of post walk refreshments and a little singing around a bonfire afterwards on the Sunday. It was most heartening to see so many turn out over the 2 days, especially the number of teenagers and youngsters, who were not put off by the hailstones that pelted down on Saturday!
The youngest on the walk was 5 years of age and the oldest 75 – two generations apart! More than 40 took part, at least 30 of whom were young people – hopefully ensuring the continuation of what is a custom that spans the years from Celtic times, though it had lapsed for a number of years. Maintaining ancients’ customs and traditions is one of the aims of the Association.
This was followed by the official opening of the Old Well at Glenkitt by the Association President, author and esteemed Folklorist Paddy Lowry (R.I.P.). Mick Dowling, whose father would have used the well in his youth, then demonstrated how the basin in front of the well was used to wash potatoes – an innovative design in its day. We headed back to the bonfire for chat and song to complete what was an enjoyable day.