THERE was a fantastic buzz of excitement in Ferns recently for the official launch of Creative Camino which among other things featured a fantastic concert performance in St Edan’s Cathedral.
The Turlough O’Carolan concert was a highlight of the weekend long series of events which was presented by Ferns Heritage Project.
The concert featured a world premiere of a specially commissioned traditional music piece composed by Melanie O’Reilly and performed by the Allabair Trio, alongside the local Ferns community choir, the Chord On Blues.
The cross-border Celtic composition was inspired by the idea of pilgrimage and the life of St Aidan of Ferns.
The concert was one of a number of highlights throughout the weekend and after the performance concert-goers were treated to an entertaining spectacle of drumming as part of a send off for Creative Camino pilgrims who will follow the 130km trans-national pilgrimage route from Ferns to St David’s, in Wales.
The send off also include an impressive sea monster and fantastic lighting as the ‘pilgrims’ were sent on their first ever pilgrimage from Ferns to St. David’s.
The experimental and creative pilgrimage is funded under the Ancient Connections / Ceangal Ársa / Cysylltiadau Hynafol programme.
The giant sea monster was inspired by a miracle associated with St. Aidan who, upon hearing that St David was in danger set about going to his aid.
However, not having enough time to make the journey by boat, St Aidan was told by an angel to send a trusted companion, a monk, to the beach.
He did so and when the monk arrived, patiently waiting there was a sea monster who took the monk to St David so he could warn him of the impending danger.
St. David was saved and everything turned out good in the end.
Other events that took place over the weekend included Ui Cinnsealaigh History of Ferns guided tours and talks.
These took in sites such as the Fr Murphy Centre, in Boolavogue; the House of Stories, Camolin, and the Jameson’s historic residence at Rockspring, Ferns.
A talk by Brewen Favreau took place at St Mogue’s Cottage, Ferns, under the title ‘Connection Over the Sea’ which took a look at the connection points of cultural history of Wales and Brittany, and Ireland.
A talk at Scoil Naomh Maodhag’s National School by Welsh artist, Bedwyr Williams, placed attention was on the artist’s forthcoming public art commission, ‘Do the Little Things’, which is a series of fully functioning bee skeps which will be located near St Edan’s Cathedral, Ferns, and St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. All the events were held under the banner of Ancient Connections which is a cross-border partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council, Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford.