Leaving Glenfarne: Older neighbours stood in their doorways or beside the road, waving at the small convoy as smoke from peat fires wafted out of their chimneys. They all knew Mary Anne was off to America, and their emotions were mixed: happiness at the thought of a better life that awaited her overseas, and sadness at the thought of all those who had preceded her on the journey from East Barrs to America - never to return. Her father manoeuvred the donkey cart alongside the “Big Bog” railway stop at Michael Hugh Clancy’s, before helping her down. Although she tried to smile and choke back her tears as she hugged her father and each of her nine siblings, she broke into sobs as she clung to her mother until the train whistle signalled imminent departure. This is the story of Glenfarne native Mary Anne McManus(Molly), as written in ‘Leitrim Treasure’ by her grandson, James Owens. This book will be launched in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, on Wednesday, Aug. 7th at 8.30 pm following a talk by Mickey Harte on “The Value of Community”. Admission free. Refreshments served. Everyone welcome.
Glenfarne Gathering: Come and join the celebrations! Glenfarne is welcoming home “The Gathering” next week at the 44th Annual Glenfarne Gala Festival! A fun-packed schedule of events is in this week’s Leitrim Observer.
Festival Dancing Nights: Dance, sing along or simply enjoy the music at the 44th Annual Glenfarne Gala Festival! All roads will lead to the famous dancehall at the crossroads for wonderful entertainment at the ”Rainbow Ballroom of Romance”. Nathan Carter and his band dance will start at 11pm on Thursday, 1st August; a GAA Junior Disco will take place on Saturday, 3rd August at 9.30pm and on Sunday, 4th August Philomena Begley and her band “The New Ramblin’ Men”, featuring new country star Aidan Quinn will take to the stage at 11pm. Fabulous festival nights that you won’t want to miss!
Gala Festival Meeting: There will be a Gala Festival meeting tonight, Wednesday, 24th July at 9pm at Cullentragh Centre. New members are always welcome.
Blessing of The Graves: Mass and the Blessing of the Graves will take place in St Michael’s at 7pm on Saturday, 3rd August. The Blessing of The Graves in St Mary’s will take place on Sunday, 4th August after the 11am Mass. The Blessing of The Graves in Kilmakerrill Cemetery will also take place on Sunday, 4th August at 2.30pm.
Glenfarne Gala 10k: You will never walk or run on a more scenic multi-terrain 10k course that the Glenfarne 10k! The A.A.I. approved race will take place on Saturday, 3rd August at 1pm and will start at St Mary’s Park, Glenfarne. Entry fee is E10. See the Run Ireland website www.runireland.com for more information.
Children’s Fancy Dress: Children’s Fancy Dress will take place on Sports Day, Sunday, 4th August.
Colours of The Rainbow: The “Rainbow Ballroom of Romance” is the most photographed building on the road between Enniskillen and Sligo. The landmark venue is now getting a colourful revamp and the windows are back! Visitors will have fun photographing the vintage dancehall. Pictures taken on either a black and white or sepia setting will bear a striking resemblance to the original 1950s images of the world-famous, iconic ballroom.
A slice of history: New visitors to Glenfarne might be interested to hear that there is an early history of annual, summer festivities in the area. In ancient times “The Bilberry Festival” was a joyful celebration of Celtic spirituality and was associated with summer fruits, water and mountains. Singing and dancing took place on Thur Mountain (“dancing at Lūnasa”) and sporting competitions were held by the lake, near to where Glenfarne Demesne now stands.