De Cuellar's Story
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   The Armada
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   De Cuellar's Suite
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   Celtic Fringe Festival
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   Grange and Armada
   Development Association
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Celtic Fringe Festival 2014

 

The Festival kicked off on Thurs 18th September with two guided walks at Streedagh with Seatrails’ Auriel Robinson. Auriel shared her research and knowledge of the geography, geology, flora and fauna, history and heritage with an enthusiastic group of walkers who were blessed with glorious sunshine.

Later that evening Dr Prannie Rhatigan entertained a crowd that filled to capacity Eithna’s By the Sea Cookery Space in Mullaghmore. Prannie introduced us to seaweeds: we met them, we ate them, we loved them. As always the Seaweed Doctor gave a relaxed and hugely informative talk on the benefits of this resource that is prized by other nations but is often undervalued in Ireland. Eithne provided the space and culinary skills and we all sampled generous portions of nutritious and, most importantly, delicious food-starter, main and dessert - all enhanced by the addition of seaweed ingredients.

Later still at the Firesider’s Sessions at Barry’s Public House local and visiting musicians provided an eclectic mix of acoustic music and song in a relaxed atmosphere to an appreciative audience.

On Friday, Drama visited Grange. Five local Primary Schools told the thrilling story of Armada Captain Francisco De Cuellar: Hero. Grange Hall was packed to capacity as pupils from the senior classes of Grange, Rathcormack, Carns, Magherow, and Cliffoney Schools regaled the audience with stunning performances of the highest quality. Remarkably these five individual dramatic pieces were produced in less than three weeks. The Teachers involved, enthusiastic and inspiring, gave their pupils a fantastic induction and immersion in the dramatic arts. Without a doubt, this experience will be a springboard for a new generation of acting talent.

Spanish Food night at Barry’s Public House was sold out. Flamenco Kitchen provided the best of Iberian cuisine at this pop up location and feedback (sic) from satisfied gourmands was overwhelmingly positive.

The Festival Club followed and local group LOKI performed a stunning set of new arrangements of traditional Irish music. Keep an eye out for these talented young award winning musicians because they are very special and will go on to much bigger stages and fame.

The Lecture Series “The Armada Wrecks in Ireland” attracted an international audience to Grange Hall on Saturday morning. Little wonder, as the line up of eminent Armada experts included Dr Doug McElvogue and Dr Nessa O’Connor, both of whom were involved with the wreck site at Streedagh when it was discovered back in the mid 1980s. Dr Mark Gardiner of Queens University Belfast completed the roster and he gave a fascinating insight into the economics and politics of the North West in 16th Century Ireland. Dr McElvogue presented new research on La Juliana and La Lavia and exhorted the local community to get behind the promotion of the world heritage site we have here at Streedagh.
Dr O’Connor pledged the support of the National Museum for the ongoing work of the Grange and Armada Development Association in developing a Spanish Armada Interpretive Centre at the Old Courthouse in Grange.
The lectures were linked by classical music pieces of the period performed by virtuoso flautist Robert Tobin on his golden flute, baroque flute and tin whistle. “Sunday Miscellany on a Saturday” at the Celtic Fringe Festival.

In an afternoon of brilliant sunshine a bus load of Armada enthusiasts were guided around the various sites associated with Capt. De Cuellar - Streedagh, Staad, Glencar, Castletown, Glenade, and Rossclogher. Eddie O’Gorman explained the background and landscape. Theatrical encounters with De Cuellar (Luke Devaney) and various Irish char- actors (sic!) (Anthony Brennan) brought the travails of the famed adventurer to vivid life.

The Festival Club was hosted in Moran’s Bar and Marquee from 9.00pm till late. Oddsocks, Sligo’s finest four piece rhythm and groove band, gave it socks to the huge crowd of punters rocking the night away.

Sunday morning festival goers had the choice of Sean McDonald’s Cycle Event, Dr Prannie Rhatigan’s Seaweed Walk, or The Gleniff Horseshoe 8 mile run and 4 mile Walk. All three events on the anniversary date of the Wreckings at Streedagh were well attended and enthusiastically enjoyed. The sun shone, no sign of storm.

All returned to the village for Fiesta Sunday from 2pm to 6pm, the Family Fun Day in Grange Playground, Park and Monster Marquee. Marshalled by Tom Hayes and assisted by hardworking committee members and an army of volunteers, a cornucopia of events unfolded throughout the afternoon. Gourmet Food Stalls, Children’s Sporting Events, Bouncy Castles, Drumming Workshops, Puppet Show, Face painting, Kids Disco. All free except for the food offerings!

Festival club moved to Lang’s iconic Front Bar in the evening and packed to the rafters revelers enjoyed the best of Irish traditional music and song from a talented group of local musicians which brought down the curtain on a magical Celtic Fringe Festival 2014.
 

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