Posted by Blazeaway on June 25, 2003 at 00:16:41:
The eve of St. John was celebrated in traditional style in Castlebar with bonfires in many areas. In the past this was a great night out and local singers and musicians went from one fire to another. I remember Paddy Kelly with his accordian, Larry Burke and Paddy McGinty, two great singers. In McHale Road we held raffles and the Child of Prague statue was always the prize. We collected turf from the ends of stacks in Kilboyne bog and Charlie Guthrie always built the fire for us. My mother used to take a coal from the fire and put it on the fire in our kitchen. It was an old custom, probably going back to pagan times. Happy days and times, and no blackguardism like nowadays, just lots of good clean fun. Money was scarce but we knew how to enjoy ourselves. Often went to bed bleary-eyed at 4 o'clock in the morning and up again with the lark. Oh, happy days!