Mayo Heritage Week agus Gnó Mhaigh Eo, will be bringing back, for one day only, the traditional bonamh and farmers’ market that took place for years on Rush Street, on Saturday next, August 26.
This promises to be a great day of craic agus spraoi for everyone. On the day you will find a thatcher, a woodturner and walking-stick maker, a forge will be set up and the blacksmith will display the scileanna traidisiúnta, as well as traditional children’s games made from willow and rush. Another feature of the day will be the celebration of native food, the centrepiece being a pig on the spit. On display also on the day will be traditional artefacts, old cars and old tractors and farm machinery. This promises to be a unique day and will reflect the history of Castlebar, and will feature sean nós dancing with Daithí Ó Gallachóir, traditional music with Rolling Waves, and CRC FM will broadcast live from the market on the day.
The market dates way back and Castlebar locals remember it fondly, one source says Rush Street is so called because rushes (luachra ) were spread on the road to absorb the droppings of the animals. The calf market was centered around the Rush St/Charles Street. The bonamh market was intermingled with the calf market. Old Moore’s Almanac used to refer to the fairs at that time in town. A baby chick market was held and a dillisk stall was a feature on the bridge.
Local historian Noel Campbell, author of A History of Castlebar: Municipal Government 1613-2014, will be there at 2pm to give a talk on the history of Castlebar, but specifically, that area of Castlebar. His talk will be repeated at 4pm and is a must for anyone who has an interest in the town’s history and would like to hear some stories from this well-known historian. The organisers would love to hear from people who might have photos from that time or any memories of the market. If you took part in the market and would like to take part contact (094 ) 9024845 or email [email protected]