Old skills brought back to life at dis­play

Septem­ber 2009

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - ADVERTISIN­G FEATURE / NEWS -

CARRAIG DULRA Or­ganic Farm in Gle­nealy hosted a cel­e­bra­tion of old tra­di­tional skills from both the Traveller and set­tled com­mu­ni­ties last week­end.

Many tra­di­tional crafts such as tin­smithing are in dan­ger of be­ing lost to new gen­er­a­tions. Over 100 peo­ple en­joyed the event which dis­played great crafts­man­ship from tin­smiths such as Johnny Donoghue and An­drew Con­nors.

Johnny wasn’t al­ways a tin­smith and re­calls the time when he worked as a cook in the 1940s. He had to cy­cle 22 miles to work, put in a full day and then cy­cle the 22 miles home again.

Suzie Cahn of Carraig Dulra gave ex­cel­lent ad­vice on how to grow and use herbs. Herbs are not only use­ful in cook­ing but have been used for medic­i­nal pur­poses by our fore­fa­thers.

Suzie demon­strated how to mix tinc­tures and lo­tions for com­mon skin com­plaints and other ail­ments.

Weav­ing, a craft that has been around for ap­prox­i­mately 500 years was demon­strated by Carath Carty who brought his loom.

Visi­tors could also get in­volved in build­ing an out­door oven un­der the ex­pert tute­lage of Bob Wil­son of CELT.

Bob teaches dry stonewalli­ng, a build­ing method by which struc­tures are con­structed from stone with­out any mor­tar to bind them to­gether.

Dry stone walling is one of the old­est skills, in­deed in County Mayo an en­tire field sys­tem made from dry stone walls and since cov­ered in peat, has been car­bon dated to 3,800BC.

Mag­gie Do­ran, from County Dublin, de­scribed to peo­ple how she used to live in a bar­rel top wagon and trav­elled all the roads around Ire­land. In fact she was ready to walk from Gle­nealy to Rath­drum de­scrib­ing the dis­tance as only ‘peg of a stone’.

The week­end was sup­ported by the En­ter­prise Sup­port Work­ers Orla Costello and Peter Geoghe­gan in Wick­low Trav­ellers Group and was funded by Wick­low County Part­ner­ship,

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