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Museum of Country Life Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Programme of Events July to September 2005
By Bernie Byron
29, Jun 2005 - 19:27

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All events are FREE and are suitable for aged 7+ unless otherwise stated.

All events start at 2.30pm, and last one hour unless otherwise stated




Sunday 3rd

Tour. Nature’s Store

Discover the domestic, commercial and medicinal uses of trees and plants on a woodland walk with Lorna Elms of the Education & Outreach Department.

Wednesday 6th

Talk. The Western Rail Corridor: the Re-Birth of a Railway

The 19th Century 185-kilometre, Ennis to Claremorris route has been closed since 1976. Join Colmán Ó Raghallaigh as he discusses the history and re-opening of the line.

Sunday 10th

Talk."Every Cloud has a Silver Lining"

Listen to Padraic McAvock, amateur MET station operator and local fisherman, who explains the methods of reading, measuring and recording weather signs.

Wednesday 13th

Talk. Rain on St Swithin’s Day Means Rain for 40 Days. True or False?

Join John O’Flanagan manager of the MET Office in Knock for a presentation on the evolution of modern weather forecasting techniques in MET Éireann.


Sunday 17th

Talk: "The Story of Grain; From the Field to the Bread on the Table"

Mills, Ancient & Modern by Norman Campion, Chairman, the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland. Afterwards view a model mill constructed by model maker Suse Reibisch.

Tuesday 19th - Friday 22nd 10.30am-12.30pm

SUMMER SCHOOL for Children. Starts Today (see below for further details),

Wednesday 20th

Talk. The Art of Smoking Fish

Join Kevin Clarke of Clarke’s Salmon Smokery as he discusses smoked foods, preservation of foods & afterwards try a sample of smoked produce.

Sunday 24th

Workshop. Young and Old Come Out to Play!

Fancy a game of Hopscotch? Have fun playing traditional games with Brendan McDonnell from the Education & Outreach Department. Afterwards enjoy a picnic in the garden.


Tuesday 26th - Friday 29th 10.30am-12.30pm

SUMMER SCHOOL for Children. Starts Today (see below for further details)

Wednesday 27th & Sunday 31st

Tour. Religion and Magic: Creideamh agus Draíocht. Exhibition 20th May –23rd October

When worried or in despair people often turn to powers outside themselves for support. Join curator Anne O Dowd to explore these miracles, amulets & talismans.


Wednesday 3rd

Talk: Cursing Stones and Holy Water: Faith or Extraordinary Popular Delusion?

Author Joe Mc Gowan, explores ancient beliefs, customs and superstitions. Do any traces remain, are they relevant today or have they been completely displaced by Christianity?

Sunday 7th

Talk and Demonstration. Food Traditions. Berry Day! Jam Tasting and Exchange of Recipes

In the summer people collected various berries to make jam and preserves. Bring your own jams and recipes and taste the different samples with Jean Beattie. All ages

Wednesday 10th

Talk. Irish Stone Walls & Buildings

Join Patrick McAfee, stonemason and author of 'Irish Stone Walls' as he looks at how stone structures were built and how they should be looked after today.

Sunday 14th

Talk. Fairs and Markets of Ireland: An Historical and Literary Survey

Author & lecturer Patrick O’Connor evokes the sense of fair and market day and explores this whole cultural world from origin to near end.

Wednesday 17th

Talk & Demonstration. Fly Tying

During the fishing season flies were tied to mimic real ones using an array of feathers. Watch local angling guide Michael Tiernan demonstrate this process.

Sunday 21st

Talk & Demonstration. Fresh Water Fishing

Join Graham Williams, local ghillie or angling guide as he tells us about the traditions of fresh water fishing and afterwards demonstrates casting methods.

Wednesday 24th

Demonstration. St Bartholemew’s Day Marked the Height of the Harvest

Join Cecil Jackson & Robert Bourke as they thresh the sheaves using flails, winnow and grind the grain to produce flour ready for baking.

Sunday 28th & Wednesday 31st

Craft Demonstration & Workshop. Harvest Knots

Watch Melanie Lorien demonstrate the custom of making Harvest Knots. These were given traditionally as a love token. Make your own for somebody special.


Sunday 4th

Heritage Week Music and Crafts (see below for further details)

Wednesday 7th

Heritage Week Water Divining (see below for further details)

Sunday 11th 2.30-4.30pm

Heritage Week Music and Dance (see below for further details)

Wednesday 14th

Demonstration. Turf Stacking

Turf was stacked against the house gable, where it provided a protective warmth even before the turf was burnt. Join Seamus O’Donnell as he demonstrates this. All ages

Sunday 18th

Talk. Watching the Sun go Down on Galway Bay

Join John Cunningham lecturer & author of "A town tormented by the sea, Galway 1790-1914" as he discusses Galway’s maritime economy in the 19th Century.

Wednesday 21st & Sunday 25th

Talk. Spalpeens and Tattie Hokers: Hiring Fairs in 19th Century Rural Ireland

Join curator Anne O Dowd as she discusses hiring arrangements and work organisation, how seasonal and temporary workers adopted several methods to find work.

Wednesday 28th

Talk. Booleying: The Practice of Livestock Migration

Booleying, the movement of cattle from a permanent lowland settlement to summer pasture. James Kilbane explains the characteristics and related developments of this practice in Achill. 

Summer Craft School for Children

Traditional Crafts

Spark your imagination, light up your mind, work with your hands to create a little piece of Irish culture with ceramics, rush, straw and wool.

Tuesday 19th – Friday 22nd July

Tuesday 26th – Friday 29th July

10.30am to 12.30pm

Age: 7+

Craft Courses for Adults: July to September

Work on these full day courses with a variety of local craftspeople. All courses take place between 10am & 5pm. There will be a one-hour break for lunch.

Woodturning: Learn the principles, techniques and skills to craft your own piece on these one-day woodturning courses with Ambrose O'Halloran.

Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd July

Needle Felting: Create a woollen picture using a felting needle & natural dyed fleece with Susie Sullivan on this two-day course.

Thursday 11th and Friday 12th August

Basketmaking: Make a miniature Irish creel from willow on these one-day courses with Joe Hogan.

Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September

Súgán Chair Making: Find out all the principles of súgán chair making from field to fireside, from seed to seat with Pat Broderick.

Thursday 22nd September

Traditional Cloth Dyeing: Join June Bourke to use heather and other countryside plants and flowers to create colours for dyeing cloth.

Friday 23rd September


Places are limited so book now….

For further information or to make a booking for any of our events contact the Education and Outreach Department.


What’s On. Ongoing activities.

Our regular programme of guided tours of the exhibitions and the House Building Project continues. A general guided tour of the museum is available Tuesday to Saturday at 12.00pm and on Saturday and Sundays at 3.30pm. More frequent tours are available at peak times.

Art and craft workshops and demonstrations including basketmaking, weaving, spinning can be arranged.

A range of traditional games are available for you to borrow during your visit to the Museum. Full instructions are available with the games.

For further information or to make a booking for any of our events contact the Education and Outreach Department.

HERITAGE WEEK 2005: 4th –11th SEPTEMBER 2005

"European Heritage Days" is a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which over forty countries participate each year. Its main aims are to promote awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage. In Ireland we celebrate a full week of events. The National Museum of Ireland County Life join in this celebration with a full programme of events including the following:

Sunday 4th – Sunday 11th September (closed Mondays)

Free Guided Tours of the Exhibitions (at intervals)

Sunday, 4th September -2.00pm- 5.00pm

Traditional Crafts Demonstrations: Spinning, Basketmaking, Rushwork and Bee-keeping

Music Performance: 2.30pm- 4.00pm: Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann

Wednesday, 7th September - 2.30pm-3.30pm

Workshop. Water Divining

Join Austin Mc Tiernan, Water Diviner, to find out about water divining. Afterwards explore the grounds to find underground water and other aspects of divining.

Sunday, 11th September - 2.30pm-4.30pm

Workshop. Damhsa Sean Nós agus Ceol Beo

Ever tried the brush dance? Join- Clann Uí Chuinneagáin (Cunningham family) from Connemara and try sean nós jigs, reels and the brush dance. Local musicians John Chambers and Bernice Connolly will perform on the day. All ages welcome.



For further information on any of the above events and/or to make a booking contact the Education and Outreach Department.

Education and Outreach Department Details

All events are FREE of charge unless otherwise stated. Places are limited so book early. Materials supplied.

Tel: 094 9031751

Fax: 094 9031498


Booking Office Hours

Monday to Friday 10.00am - 2.00pm



Religion and Magic - Objects associated with popular belief and practice:

Running until 23 October 2005

Often people when worried or in despair turn to powers outside themselves for support. For many this takes the form of asking God for help.

In magico/religious beliefs acceptance is given to the efficacy of certain objects. Charms, talismans and amulets are believed to provide good luck, power and protection. In the Christian religions similar meanings are embedded in crucifixes, medals, rosary beads and other relics. These objects and their associations form the nucleus of an exhibition, Religion and Magic, which is currently running in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.

On exhibit is the Clog Dubh Phádraig – the Black Bell of St. Patrick (600-900 AD) - the venerated relic which has close associations with Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo.



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