Greetings to all our friends, Gaels and Galls, in Ard Mhacha, in Éirinn agus ar fud an domhain.
So, after all the waiting, we have a date for reopening our Irish Language and Cultural Arts Centre to the community – fingers crossed we’ll see you all again on May 24!
While we are cautiously focussed on that date, just a few short weeks away, traditionally, one of the most significant dates in Ireland has been the Festival of Bealtaine on the 1st of May, the cross quarter day marking the midway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.
Bealtaine symbolises the start of summer – with renewed hope and optimism arising in people in tune with the reawakening and blossoming of mother earth.
This year, that reawakening is deeply symbolic as the Covid restrictions begin to ease and people dare to dream of enjoying the arts, culture, music, sport, social and recreational activities and meaningful interaction again!
The team at Aonach Mhacha are also rearing to go and we’re really excited to show you what we’ve been up to during the lockdown. It’s already been a busy year for us as we have been investing in high-spec studio lighting, professional audio equipment, interactive screens and a bespoke media suite.
We hope you witnessed the Cultúrlann in all its splendour during the new BBC Alba and TG4 series ‘Sruth’ in February and again during the Irish News Allstars Awards Ceremony in January.
Our sunny roof-top terrace became a makeshift outdoor TV studio and will soon be open to all as we have plans for an outdoor café with iconic views (that can even be hired for those most special of occasions!)
As part of our Bealtaine 2021 programme, Aonach Mhacha is also delighted to announce that we shall be hosting Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann’s premiére event in Co Ard Mhacha – ‘FleadhFest’ on the 9th and 10th of May.
Competitors from across the county will showcase their talents in an event that will be streamed to global audiences.
There’s more! Aonach Mhacha staff and volunteers are also building on some of the projects that were pioneered during the difficult year of 2020. A highlight of what was a challenging year for the newly opened Cultúrlann was the ‘Camino Mhacha’ pilgrimage from Tí Chulainn i Mhullach Bhán to Aonach Mhacha in the ancient capital of Ulster. This year’s Camino will be bigger and better and we look forward to launching this wonderful event in our Bealtaine programme.
Our team have also developed an exciting new range of programmes and activities from music concerts and festivals to guided heritage tours, and from walking and cycling clubs to art exhibitions and film clubs! We shall also be offering intensive online Irish language courses again in May and a feast of music from Scotland and Ireland.
Bígí linn agus fanaigí slán sábháilte!