Crosses made to support local ladies' GAA team
The art of making St Brigid's Crosses has been handed down from generation to generation and the people of Faughart were so anxious that this tradition would continue that they organised a series of classes last week in association with Roche Emmets Ladies Team.
For many years, these classes took place in the local primary school in the run up to St Brigid's Day. Although there are now no children attending the school due to a long running dispute, the parents decided that they would like to see the tradition continue and arranged with the school manager to hold classes in the school.
'St Brigid Cross making is a tradition that has been taught for many, many years and there was an overwhelming desire to keep it going,' explains Una Rice, who was one of those who organised last week's classes.
'In the past we would have used it as a fund-raiser for the school, but this year Roche Emmet Ladies were looking for a fund-raiser and we decided to combine forces with them.'
Making the crosses is a big community effort, she revealed, involving not just those who are handing down their skill at weaving the crosses, but also those who gather the rushes and prepare them.
'We are very fortunate that there are people who go out into the bogs and gather the rushes every year,' says Una. 'Then there are those who wash the rushes and prepare them for the cross making.'
'The classes were very informal - people just came for a cup of tea and made the crosses. We had everyone from nine to ninety.'
The crosses were then sold at St Brigid's Shrine last Thursday.