Old skills brought back to life at display
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,