Kavanagh Country full of delights for cyclists
THE Inniskeen Road July Evening Gathering was a great success, with a fine day, a big crowd and a very convivial atmosphere. Walkers and cyclists gathered at Magee's in Inniskeen as Larry McDermott outlined a brief history of the railway junction from Dundalk to Bundoran and the line to Carrickmacross.
Kavanagh's poem 'The 6.40 from Amien's Street' was recited and then it was on to 'Toal's Meadow', where Inniskeen Grattan's played many fabled years ago. Brian Dooley re-enacted the poet's essay 'Gut Yer Man', describing Kavanagh's involvement in football as a player, an official and a spectator to the amusement of an audience mostly decked out in period costume.
Next stop was Lennon's in Mucker for a dramatic presentation of 'Death and Burial' based on Kavanagh's chapter in 'The Green Fool'. Last year Tom Lennon, Martha Kingham, and Brian Meegan acted out 'The Wedding' and this year's performance was at least its equal.
The crowd was then entertained at Mucker road turn by Owen Joe McGahon on the accordion. Kavanagh's poem 'In Memory of My Mother' was suitably rendered and then on to the main action in Pairc Grattan. Lisdoonan Vintage Club was set up with a quern to grind oats and facilities to cook porridge in a traditional pot.
A new and popular feature was Tommy Woods from Broomfield with his ass and cart. This proved very sought-after with the fashionably dressed who got pictures taken as 'The Beautiful Miss Bradys'.
Tommy McArdle told the story of the potato blight and the efforts to seek a remedy and the success achieved by lime and copper and bluestone. He was assisted by Paddy Dowdall who took charge of the spraying. Tommy ended with an recitation of 'Spraying the Potatoes'. Hugo McNally, Carrickmacross, set up a skittles area and this proved very attractive with the young people especially.
Then it was on to Billy Brennan's Barn. Thanks to the Rooney family for its pristine appearance with the sparkling whitewash contrasting with the red painted doors.
Brian Dooley brought people up the fields where they viewed Shancoduff and the triangular field that hung under the big forth. The young traditional group led by Turlough Whelan provided entertainment in the yard.
There was tea and brack for everyone, supplied and served by Inniskeen Active Retired Group, led by Brigid McKenna.
The committee made sure that the good wine was not exhausted and there was a free mike for a while and Tommy Rooney, Donaghmoyne recited 'Inniskeen Road July Evening'. Paul Redmond from Dublin sang 'Raglan Road'.
The piece de resistance followed when Peter Murphy performed his cameo piece of Canon Maguire's sermon from 'Tarry Flynn'. Suitably outfitted in full priestly robes he had some members of the audience genuinely puzzled as to his real status. It was a great finish.
Walkers walked, cyclists cycled and some took the bus, given freely by Matthew's Coaches, back to the Social Club for a lovely barbeque and other refreshments and music from Big Pat McEntee.
The date has already been pencilled in for next year - Sunday July 12.