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Connecting our old custom and

DUHALLOW has always been good for gatherings and next weekend there will be just such an event at the Millstreet Country Park.

The inaugural Millstreet Country Park Summer Gathering is designed to celebrate friendship, connections, rural heritage and customs.

The 500 acre park in Duhallow aims to celebrate Irish culture over the weekend of July 21 and 22 where history, genealogy, traditional games, exhibitions and outdoor pursuits will be held.

Over the weekend there will be genealogy experts, a working forge, traditional cottage and several heritage related activities including workshops. There will also be the traditional 'foraging in the park,' - which was the traditional act of wandering the land in search of food and provisions, and baking or preserving food that had been collected.

Tracing family roots will certainly prick the ears of most as a heritage expert will be able to chart migration records back to 1901.

Also over the weekend will be skilled craftspeople who will be making everything from sugan chairs, jewellery, garden furniture and a range of wooden crafts including decorative clocks, mirrors and mantelpieces.

Gardening expert Charlie Wilkins is in situ on Sunday to give tips and advice on making the most of your garden.

Meanwhile, musicians will be popping up at various locations to keep the atmosphere lively. And anyone with hunger pangs will be well satisfied as there will be a family barbecue which will include Millstreet Country Park's signature venison burgers, which will be given out in Nibbles restaurant, an artisan food shop which has a deluge of fine quality local produce.

To keep the little nippers content there will be eco tours on buggies where families can experience the flora and fauna as well as a ramble through the bog lands, forests and meadows.

When visitors get back from the tour there will be pianist on the grand piano in the foyer. Children can also enjoy a bouncy castle, puc fada, face painting and children's obstacle course.

Donie Howard, general manager, said there are many great reasons to bring the whole family to Millstreet Country Park for this unique and enjoyable event to celebrate Irish heritage and talent.