Tuesday 20 February 2018

Magical history tour for visitors

The Mullarkey family plot in the old Ballyara cemetery, where the famous 'Famine' racehorse, 'The Pride of Ballyara' is also buried.
The Mullarkey family plot in the old Ballyara cemetery, where the famous 'Famine' racehorse, 'The Pride of Ballyara' is also buried.

A RACEHORSE buried in a family plot ?

That's just the case in Tubbercurry.

A famous South Sligo animal lies with the Mullarkey family.

'The Price of Ballyara' won many races in his time and was owned by Dr Joe Mullarkey.

He came out of retirement to play a crucial role in hauling food during the Famine.

In 'Black 47'- the worst year of the Famine- Dr Mullarkey purchased two cargoes of oatmeal and potatoes.

They were shipped from England to Ballina and the legendary horse helped cart them back to Drumartin, Aclare and Tubbercurry.

His deeds are marked in the Mullarkey plot in Ballyara Cemetery.

It is one of the sites to be visited by a group of 26 tourists from Tubbercurry's Twin Town of Viarmes, near Paris.

They arrive on Thursday and will spend four days in South Sligo.

The group is led by the Vice President of the Viarmes Town Twinning Committee, Dominique Nocture.

Town Twinning's Derek Sherlock said:

"'The Pride of Ballyara' is certainly a legendary horse in this area.

"We felt it would be interesting for our French guests to visit the plot where he is buried.

"I'm sure there may be a few raised eyebrows."

Local Auctioneer Roger McCarrick will outline the story to them.

Friday features a guided walk in Aclare/ Kilmactigue.

Annie Killoran will provide lunch.

She will then take the visitors to Gallagher House and Mulholland House, before moving on to the Famine Graveyard and Workhouse site at the back of Connolly Park.

On Saturday there will be a walk to the Frenchman's Grave at Lough Talt.

The soldier was killed in 1798 as the French marched from Killala to Tubbercurry.

The visit to Ballyara Cemtery is on Saturday afternoon, followed by a walk in the new Forest Walk, Rathscanlon.

A dinner takes place later in The Moylough Heritage Centre for the French, host families and special guests on Saturday night.

Some of the group will visit Knock Shrine on Sunday, before moving on to Donegal on Monday.

This is a very important year for the Town Twinning link.

Derek said: "In October, between 50 and 60 people from Tubbercurry will go to France to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the start of the twinning."

Sligo Champion

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