On the Irish festival trail, Mark Graham saddles up and puts his head in a bucket
Sitting outside a Co Wexford pub on a bright evening, enjoying the sea view, pulling on a pint of iced cider like a sucky calf with the drought, discussing how the year’s hurling championship might pan out with two men in Nazi uniforms, is what makes Ireland wonderful. It’s an experience right up there with discussing fishing quotas with a leather-skinned auld Aran Island fisherman whilst dressed as Spider Baby, or swinging away at a céilí to Grey’s Knob Polka in the arms of a transsexual who had better pins than Jean Butler. Where would ya get it?
The dressed-up Nazis will be invading Duncannon this weekend for the annual military re-enactment that takes place in the picturesque pueblo every Whit Weekend. There’ll be knights, allied troops, queen’s guards and infantry men from every major battle known to múinteorí, but, strangely, the Nazis are the best boys to sit down for a bottle with. They know their hurling; big fans of Ger Loughnane.
This shaft of surrealism isn’t shining solely on the sunny southeast. Cahersiveen Wild West Festival is back in the saddle, offering wonderful opportunities to dress like extras from Django Unchained and whoop it up like the last days of Dodge. It’s a good buzz,