independent

Tuesday 19 February 2019

100 May Bushes are seeking good homes ahead of festival

Nellie, Nan and Eppie Fortune, daughters of Aileen and Michael, getting May Bushes ready
Nellie, Nan and Eppie Fortune, daughters of Aileen and Michael, getting May Bushes ready

Pádraig Byrne

While it may just be February now, thoughts have already turned to the Wexford May Bush Festival. Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert have been driving the revival of the ancient May Bush tradition and now they are seeking to get the ball rolling and get the county planted up with May Bushes in time for the festival on May 1.

Initially, the practice of decorating a May Bush with ribbons, seasonal flowers and coloured egg shells, was said to bring good luck and welcome the summer season. In effect it was the corresponding event to 'Samhain' at Halloween.

Traditionally the May Bush, usually a whitethorn or gorse, is cut down and decorated. However, thinking more sustainable Michael and Aileen are delighted to announce that they have just received 100 young whitethorns/skeaghs from Wexford County Council for The Wexford May Bush Festival and are seeking good homes for them.

Individuals, community groups and schools are invited to collect their own whitethorn/skeagh so that they can watch it grown into their very own May Bush to decorate in years to come.

May Bushes are available to collect from The National Heritage Park this Saturday, February 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. They will be distributed on a first come, first served basis or alternatively, you can collect from Michael and Aileen at their home.

All they ask is that you take a photo of the tree planting and send it on, informing them of its location so that they can create a map of May Bushes across Wexford.

If you'd like to get your hands on one, please contact 087 6470247 and pictures can be sent to micfortune@gmail.com.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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