Friday 23 March 2018

The Blessing of the Bees - Ancient Irish tradition resurfaces in Dublin

Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

An ancient Irish tradition may have had its renaissance moment in Dublin this weekend.

The Phibsoboro Tidy Towns committee believe they may be the first modern organisation to facilitate a Blessing of the Bees ceremony, which they was was a popular event in Ireland centuries ago.

The ceremony, which dates back to early Christian days, was presided over by local Priest Fr Aidan Galvin, who splashed holy water over the beehive at St Peter's Church this afternoon. He also recited a devotion that Benedictine monks used to pray.

Although it was a religious event, Tidy Towns committee member Gerard Meaney said it was more of a community and heritage event.

Mr Meaney said: "At one point, nearly every house in Ireland would have had access to a beehive, as it would have been the only source of a sweetener and wax would have been used for candles.

"It's the fist time I've heard it done in modern Ireland. There's a lot of folklore attached the bees, so it's nice to keep that going."

Although there is presently only one hive in the North Dublin church, the community is hoping to get more in 2018.

Mr  Meaney said:"I don't see why it shouldn't be an annual affair. The hives would be closed, up until the spring time."

The group hope that next year may see a substantial amount of honey from the church-based hive.

As well as the ceremony, locals in the north Dublin community had a cake sale and enjoyed dancing from a local ballet group.

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