Athlone Castle and Visitor Centre, together with the Táin March Festival, extends an invitation to those living in and visiting Athlone to welcome Queen Medb and her warriors to the town on Friday, June 24.
The Táin March procession will start at the Civic Square, Church Street at 5.30pm and will proceed down Church Street and across the town bridge to Athlone Castle.
Athlone Castle will host a gathering for Queen Medb and the Táin March participants and supporters from 5.30pm to 7pm. There will be free admission to the castle visitor centre and museum, with outdoor board games, outdoor chess and costumes for children to dress up and have fun for all to enjoy in the castle courtyard. The Táin organisers will give demonstrations and encourage everyone to join in and there will also be a brief talk about the Táin March.
The story of Táin is a story of envy, honour and military prowess. The armies of Connacht and Ulster met in a titanic struggle over a prize bull called Donn Cúailnge. The Táin March was established in 2011 as a community walking festival to celebrate and promote the epic tale of the Cattle Raid of Cooley. The Táin March normally starts in Rathcroghan in County Roscommon, where Queen Medb began her quest for the Brown Bull of Cooley and ends in Bush, Cooley, Co. Louth. Over three weekends and twelve walking days, marchers walk from Rathcroghan all the way to Cooley following Queens Medb’s route in pursuit of the Brown Bull. This year’s festival is a little different the march started in Cooley and is making its way to Mullingar and Athlone before reaching Rathcroughan.
"We are delighted to welcome the Táin March to Athlone Castle and we encourage everyone, especially families with children from the community of Athlone to join in the march and discover this Epic tale," Carmel Duffy, Manager of Athlone Castle, stated.
To help the children get ready for the march, the festival organisers will deliver storytelling and drama workshops created around the story of the Táin. These free workshops will take place on the afternoon and early evening of Wednesday, June 22.
The workshops are suitable for children between 9-14 years of age. Booking in advance is essential via 090 6442130 or [email protected] as spaces will be limited. See www.athlonecastle.ie/events for further information or check out Athlone Castle on Instagram or Facebook.