Mayo Day With Our Islanders
Inishturk meets “The Achill Lads”
To celebrate Mayo Day 2021 and send a message of warmth and belonging to our Mayo Diaspora, “The Achill Lads", comprising of Cian McNamara, Michael Lavelle & Tommy English set sail to Inishturk for a special Performance. Located nine miles off the western coast of County Mayo the Island is laden with rich archaeological sites. Inishturk has been inhabited on and off since 4000 B.C. As part of The Great Ireland Gathering of 2013, the Tale of the Tongs project commemorates those families who have resided on Inishturk for generations, those that inhabited the island for more than 6,000 years, as well as those who emigrated from Inishturk and Ireland to all corners of the globe.
The Tale of the Tongs represents centuries of cultural gatherings on Inishturk as a shrine, a respite, a viewing and resting point. It is a spiritual and cultural focus point representing the global Irish diaspora. It is a place which unites the Druidic and the Christian traditions in the shadow of Croagh Patrick — a mountain in County Mayo where St. Patrick fasted for 40 days during the 5th century. The Tale of the Tongs is a place to re-connect and to re-kindle Irish heritage: the fires, the hearth, and the “tongs of reunion.”
When one was leaving home in the days of the famine to board a coffin boat to the Americas or work in a British Coal mine, it was the custom to gather up a coal with the tongs from one’s fireplace and take that burning coal to the fire of a relative or friend’s home fire. One would place the hot coal in their loved one's fire and leave the tongs next to the fire. This was the promise, that upon the day one would-might return home, one would take back the tongs left behind and re-gather a coal from the family fire to take back to rekindle one’s own fire again.
Sit back and enjoy the rendition of Hard Times Come Again no More followed by The Wearing of the Green, especially for those that have left our Island and are longing to come home soon.
We will be here with the home flames burning awaiting your arrival.
Happy Mayo Day 2021