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

What's on at the Museum of Country Life - October to December 2005
By Bernie Byron
10, Oct 2005 - 19:58

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Sunday 2nd 2.30-3.30pm

Talk. The Centenary of the Oratory on Croagh Patrick

Join Harry Hughes, Chairman of the Croagh Patrick Archaeological Committee, as he discusses the 100-year history of this building on Mayo’s holy mountain.

Wednesday 5th 2.30-3.30pm

Workshop. Wool Crochet. Improve Your Crochet Skills!

Crochet has been in the family of Mary McGranahan for generations. Take this opportunity to have a go and try out this traditional craft.

Sunday 9th 2.30-3.30pm

Talk. Farming in the Calendar Year

Join Hans Wieland of Ross Inver Organic Farming Centre to hear about food storage in winter and growing organic food.

Wednesday 12th 2.30-3.30pm

Tour. National Tree Day 13th October

Join Niall Mc Coitir, author of ‘Irish Tree’s, Myths, Legends & Folklore’, as he explains the uses and mythology of trees on the Museum Grounds.

Sunday 16th 2.30-5.00pm

Talk. Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA): How to Create an Orchard

Join Kevin Dudley, ISSA Orchard Manager, as he talks about creating an orchard. Hear about heritage varieties of apples and then taste the different types.

Wednesday 19th 2.30-3.30pm

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 learn about the reliquaries, amulets and talismans.

Sunday 23rd 2.30-3.30pm

Art Workshop. Watch out for the Púca! Prepare for the Hallowe’en party.

Hear about the traditions at Hallowe’en. Then make your own spooky mask to celebrate this festival with Tom Doyle of the Education & Outreach Department.

Wednesday 26th 2.30-3.30pm

Hallowe’en Party. Bite for apples, Dip for money, Seek your fortune!

Hear about the festival of Samhain and then join in the fun and games with members of the Education & Outreach Department.

Friday 28th October

Straw Craft: The Last Straw.

Find out about different straw crafts and the harvest traditions in different parts of the country. Then make your own harvest knots and cailleach (last sheaf) on this one-day course with Melanie Lorien.

Saturday 29th October 11am-4pm

Mayo Spinners and Weavers Open Day

Sunday 30th 2.30-3.30pm

Demonstration. Jack O’ Lantern’s

Hear about the traditions at Hallowe’en. Then watch Albert Siggins demonstrate making a spooky turnip head to celebrate this festival.


Wednesday 2nd 2.30-3.30pm

Demonstration. Prepare a Pudding!

Get some tips on how to make traditional Christmas puddings with Jean Beattie and bring in your own recipes and samples.

Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th November:

Patchwork Family Crests

Learn the principles of patchwork and appliqué your own family crest on this two-day course with local craftsman Gillen Hardesty.

Sunday 6th 2.30-4.30pm

Tour. Tour of the Reserve Collection of Turned Objects in the Storage Facility

From egg cups to spinning wheels, the wood turner produced many useful items. Join Curator Rosa Meehan to explore the Museum’s turned collection. Age: Adult

Wednesday 9th 2.30-3.30pm

Talk. 'A Samhain Sacrifice: Cures, Customs and Retribution.' The 11th of November is the feast day of St. Martin

Local writer Joe McGowan, author of ‘Inishmurray Island Voices’, tells us about St. Martin’s predilection for punishing those who didn't make a sacrificial offering for his feast.

Photographic Competition for Primary & Post-Primary Schools.
Theme: Local Heritage: People & Places

In celebration of National Heritage Week 2005 (4th - 11th September), Primary & Post Primary Schools are invited to enter a competition using photography to illustrate the theme "Local Heritage: People & Places".  Closing Date for receipt of entries: 12 November 2005.  Further details available from Brendan McGowan, Education & Outreach
Department Tel: (094) 90 31769; Email:


Sunday 13th 2.30-3.30pm

‘Science’ Tour (National Science Week 13th to 20th November) Behind the Glass Case. Why does a museum look like it does?

Join Brendan McDonnell of the Education & Outreach Department and find out how and why objects are protected in museums.

Wednesday 16th 2.30-3.30pm

Talk. S.O.S. (Save Our Sods): Bogland Conservation

Join nature conservationist Jackie Hunt for a talk on the development and exploitation of our boglands in the past and the importance of protecting them for the future.

Sunday 20th 2.30-3.30pm

Performance. Gospel Choir Singing

Enjoy Castlebar’s Adult Gospel Choir as they sing traditional choir songs. All ages

Wednesday 23rd 2.30-3.30pm

Talk. Spongeware. Nicholas Mosse Pottery

Join Nicholas Mosse as he talks about Irish Spongeware; this beautiful, functional pottery often rurally inspired, using images of plants and animals. Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November:

Marquetry & Furniture Restoration.

Following an introduction to the furniture display in Turlough Park House, learn about the different decorative techniques on furniture and how they are conserved. Then make your own marquetry piece with Sven Habermann from the Conservation Restoration Centre, Letterfrack on this two-day course.

Sunday 27th 2.30-3.30pm & 8pm

Music and Storytelling Performance. John Campbell and Len GrahamBe entertained by two of Ireland’s premier exponents of traditional singing and storytelling in the museum and also later in the local pub, The Roundtower. Adult

Wednesday 30th 2.30-3.30pm

Talk. We Ourselves. 100 years of Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin was founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith with the aim of achieving self-determination. Join local councillor Noel Campbell as he talks about the history of the party.


Sunday 4th 2.30-3.30pm

Talk. How to Identify Wood

Join Willie Creighton of the Mayo Woodturners Guild as he explains the processes of wood identification.

Wednesday 7th 2.30-3.30pm

Straw Workshop

The Mummers were a group of people who traditionally performed an intricate play with varied characters around Christmas time. Join Ted Kelly to make a Mummers mask.

Thursday 8th


Come celebrate Christmas at the National Museum of Ireland with a variety of 1-hour Workshops.

11.30am- Join staff from the Education & Outreach Department to make various Christmas decorations to hang on your tree.

2.30pm- Learn new Christmas wrapping techniques with staff from the museum shop.

3.30pm- Join staff from of the Education & Outreach Department to make various types of Christmas cards.


Friday 9th December:

Candle Craft. Candles for Christmas

Hear about lighting in the past before electricity and then make and decorate your own candles on this one-day course with candle maker Áine Bell.
Further details available from the Education & Outreach Dept.

Sunday 11th 2.30-3.30pm

Workshop. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly!

Make your own traditional Christmas log table decoration with Lorna Elms of the Education & Outreach Department.

Wednesday 14th 2.30-4.30pm

Workshop & Demonstration. The Mummers. Interested in acting and plays?

Learn part of a Mummer’s play with Joe McGowan and then perform your part with the 'Sidhe Gaoithe' Mummers on 1st January.

Sunday 18th 2.30-4.00pm

Tour & Workshop: Sponges & Transfers, a Temporary Exhibition of Earthenware Mugs

Look at the techniques and designs on these popular household objects and then decorate your own ceramic piece with Tom Doyle of the Education & Outreach Department.

Wednesday 21st 2.30-4.30pm

Performance. Carol Singing

Enjoy traditional Christmas carols with the Foxford National School Band. All ages

Sunday 25th 2.30-3.30pm

Museum Closed

Wednesday 28th 2.30-3.30pm

No workshop this day


Sunday 1st 2.30-3.30pm

Theatrical Performance. The Mummer’s Play

Watch the Sligo ‘Sidhe Gaoithe’ Mummers bring to life such characters as St. Patrick, Gráinne Uaile, Queen Maeve and many more in a traditional Mummer’s play.

All ages

Groups who would like to arrange a repeat of any event should contact the Education & Outreach Dept.

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