Anocht oiche Shin Sean.

Bonfire Night, an tine mar shiombal an gile agus an cumhacht.

                   Ta draoicht ann.

I think I may have been only six years old when our neighbour, Jimmy Mulvihill, who died too young, lit a fire on St. John’s Eve just down the road from here. We gathered and there was a great sense of outdoor ritual. It was pagan, wild and real.

Over in Asdee there is the Holy Well of St. Eoin. For these days were Christianised as St. John’s Eve.

And I remember an account of life along our road written by Tom Linnane in The Shannonside Annual in 1956. His memory reached back into the mid 1700’s. He recalled the old people saying that when the Viking Chiefs were dying back home they bequeathed to their families some lands in the shade of Cnoc an Fhomhair. For they had settled along the estuary when they came here and set up our first towns. Sankt Hans is the name of the mid summer festival the Danes observe these nights as their Viking Celebration.

Memory is to the person


Tradition is to community.


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