Thursday 20 June 2019

Tain March arrives this weekend

Margaret Roddy

Queen Maeb and her warriors arrive back in Dundalk this weekend as the Tain March Festival rolls into town.

Now in its 9th year the Táin March Festival was established in 2011 as a community walking festival to celebrate and promote the epic tale of the Cattle Raid of Cooley.

This year's march got underway three weeks ago in Rathcroghan in Co Roscommon, where Queen Medb began her quest for the Brown Bull of Cooley.

Since then, the core group of marchers, accompanied by Dundalk archaeologist Paul Gosling of GMIT and members of M.A.D Youth Theatre, have been bringing the story to life as they passed through towns and villages of the midlands over two weekends. They have been welcomed in local the local communities where they have shared in feasts and welcomed schoolchildren to walk with them for part of the route.

The marchers cross from Rathkenny to Ardee for an re enactment on Thursday and onto Knockbridge on Friday for a reception at Stephenstown Pond.

Queen Medb's army descends into Dundalk on Saturday, and families are invited to join them at Oriel Park at 12.30 where families, for face-painting and costumes before meeting Queen Maeb and becoming part of her warrior army.

The march departs Oriel for Market Square where the great warrior Cuchulainn and his army will be waiting around 2pm. There MAD youth theatre will re-enact the famous battle scenes from the Taáin. The event is followed by the Land of Legends Festival with music and activities on Market Square.

The walkers will set off from the Lumpers on Sunday morning at 9am and will walk over the Mountain, through Maeve's Gap , finishing at Bush at 3pm. The Cooley Warriors will be out in force to protect the Brown Bull from Maeve and there will be music, dance and refreshments.

The Táin March Festival is sponsored by Dundalk Credit Union, Permanent TSB, Dundalk Bids and Louth County Council. For more information see or follow on Facebook.

The Argus