50,000 people are expected to flock into Athenry this weekend as the largest centenary 1916 celebration of country life is held at Mellows Campus.
Visitors will be brought back in time to experience the sights, sounds and smells of Ireland from 100 years ago.
This breath-taking event will see visitors journey through a time tunnel, transporting them back to a town from 1916 with a bustling town square, Fair Day, GAA matches and sports day, and a traditional cottage and farm, all occupied by poultry, cattle, sheep and pigs breeds of the time.
The event opens tomorrow from 10am to 5pm and runs all day Friday and Saturday.
A life-size replica of the GPO has been created at Mellows Campus, which featured in ‘Wrecking the Rising’ on TG4 before making its way to Athenry.
Throughout the event, visitors will have the opportunity to contribute to a commemorative time capsule and ‘post’ a souvenir postcard in the GPO which will be sent out 50 years after the event, marking the 150th anniversary of the Rising.
This free family event will see drama groups from across the country recreate scenes rural Ireland 100 years ago. Visitors are invited to dress up in 1916 attire, where the most appropriately dressed visitors will be in with a chance of winning top prizes. Special attention is being paid to activities for children with trails and games throughout the event.
The event comprises seven thematic villages which include:
•Farm Family and Rural Life
•Education and Co-operation
•Mechanization of Farming
•Sporting and Cultural Life
The seven themes will be animated through interactive exhibits, dramatic re-enactments, talks and reconstructions to bring to life rural Ireland of our ancestors.
The event will see an exciting line up of panel discussions and talks, one of which will be moderated by Sharon Ní Bheoláin from RTÉ.
Director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle, said: “Construction work has transformed our working research farm into the largest 1916 commemorative event to take place outside of Dublin.
“This will be an event like no other and we are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the country. I want to thank our many sponsors who have been extremely generous towards this project. In particular I want to acknowledge the contributions from FBD and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.”
A full map of the campus and the event is pictured in the AgriAdvertiser published in the middle of this newspaper.