Two hectic days for McManus Gathering

A two-day event celebrating the history of the McManus clan takes place in Drum this weekend. Both the townlands of Ardnanure and Nure once consisted entirely of families with the surname McManus.

The event kicks off at 11.30am this Saturday August 17, when visitors from home and abroad will convene at the Heritage Centre, followed by a tour to view profiles of such eminent scholars as Sean O’Neachtean and TP O’Connor.

Items on display include a map tracing the Mass paths used by parishioners over the centuries; a scaled model of the Titanic combined with memorabilia on passengers such as the Rice family of Athlone and Delia Henry; and a working model of an early corn mill.

Heritage group PRO Anton Lennon will then take visitors on a guided tour of the monastic sites and St Brigids Holy Well, followed by a tour of recently restored heritage sites in Drum including the 300 metre bridal pathway leading to the 2000BC portal tomb at Meehambee.

Visitors will also view the Daniel O’Connell memorial at Summerhill, Thomastown Cemetery, the Clonellan birthplace of Gaelic scholar and writer Sean O’Neachtean, and Curraghaleen Hedge School. At 3pm all will assemble at Ardnanure for a tour of the old clachan design village, followed by an unveiling of a wayside information panel.

The celebrations continue with demonstrations on patchwork quilt making, and a presentation by Paddy Egan on flax growing and linen-making. In the kitchen of the refurbished homestead at Ardnanure, visitors can view an exhibition of old photographs. The day will end with an exhibition of griddle bread baking on the hearth fire.

Sunday gets underway with a three-mile commemorative walk from Cornafulla School to Nure. All walkers must register at 1.30pm. On arrival at the remembrance park and wakehouse, Fr Michael McManus will unveil the new genealogy information panel, depicting the names and parents of all school-going children in Nure from 1860-1940.

The walk will be followed by an address on folklore in rural Ireland by Barbara ní Flionn and a showcase of old crafts demonstrations. At 4pm the cast for the American Wake takes the stage headed by Sarah Seery and Barthley ó Flahery, with music from Drum-born singer Tommy Devine and Maura O’Brien.

Film-maker Martina Goode will record the weekend’s activities, and copies of the film will be available at a later date.

For further information email [email protected] or call (087 ) 9918966.


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