Saturday 24 February 2018

Festival to mark 1014 anniversary

Brian Boru carried by Monks
Brian Boru carried by Monks

John Manning

SWORDS will be quite literally lit up this weekend as the town celebrates its links with the legend of Brian Boru and plays its part in the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf.

After that infamous battle, the slain bodies of Brian Boru and his son were brought to Swords to the monastic settlement of St Colmcille's (now known St. Columba's) to be waked.

Those historic events will be marked in considerable style with a three-day festival of events that will see the Vikings take over the town, but with a little more friendly intent this time.

The festival gets off to a spectacular and fiery start this Friday, with a 'Fire Parade and Pyro Display' down Swords Main Street and ending with a pyrotechnics display at Swords Town Park.

The parade comes complete with Viking re-enactors, a Viking long boat, street entertainers and lots and lots of drummers, including a group of drummers from local school, Colaiste Choilm.

On Saturday morning at 11 a.m., a 'Viking Village' opens up in and around Swords Castle and Swords Town Park with re-enactments of Viking life, an archery demonstration and even an exhibition of falconry.

There will be a battle re-enactment at noon to the sounds of horns and drums and soon after a community archeological dig will begin to give locals, particularly children, a first-hand experience of archeological investigation.

The Viking Village will open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and, if conditions allow, it will end with a traditional Viking wedding.

On Sunday there is another packed programme at from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Viking Village with more battle re-enactments and a resumption of the 'Big Dig' community archeological dig.

If you like the pig roast on the first day, then you can come back for more on the Sunday as well as a re-enactment of Viking dining traditions.

It promises to be a hugely enjoyable and memorable weekend for Swords and appropriate that the county capital reclaim its place in the story of Brian Boru, which has often been ignored or forgotten in the past.

Fingal Independent

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