The Tain Bo Cualigne is the national epic of Ireland and stretches from Roscommon to the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth providing the Irish equivalent to the Greek mythology tales.
The Táin March, will begin with the gathering of Queen Maeve’s army of warriors in Ardee on Thursday where a spectacular re-enactment will take place of the battle between Cuchulainn and Ferdia, the mighty warrior’s beloved foster brother.
On Friday, the army will begin their march to Stephenstown Pond in Knockbridge, close to Cuchulainn’s Stone, on which the warrior died. The walkers will leave Ardee at 10am, arriving in Tallanstown at 12.30pm and Stephenstown at 4.30pm. A re-enactment will be presented alongside a campside talk by historian, lecturer and author Professor Paul Gosling at 7pm.
An art exhibition by 6th class students from six local primary schools portraying the full story of the Tain will be on display during the month of June in the Stephenstown Pond Centre.
The ‘army’ will continue to follow Maeve’s route on Saturday, leaving Knockbridge at 10am and arriving at Cuchulainn’s Castle at 1.30pm where Prof Gosling will give another talk.
The marchers will then gather at Oriel Park, where costumes and facepainting will be available before making their way to the town centre where there will be a dramatic battle between Cuchulainn and Ferdia at the Market Square, with music by Glasheen. The Army will then proceed to the Navvy Bank and get a boat across the bay to Bellurgan Point, and travel to Tipping’s Wood before enjoying refreshments and joviality in the Lumpers’ Bar.
And finally on Sunday, the Cooley Mountains will once again witness the mighty approach of Maeve’s Army climbing over the Golyin Pass from the Lumpers Bar and into the village of Carlingford. This spectacular end of the journey will be greeted by the villagers who will toast the army’s arrival and offer ‘Cuchulainn’s supper’ to the hungry warriors. Anyone who would like to join in the event, whether for one day or the entire journey, is welcome.
Families and children are particularly invited to participate in this unique event and groups are invited to raise money for your school, community group or charity. Walkers can opt to complete the whole which is 63km or a day, approx 15 or 22km, or again simply join the marchers on any of the shorter legs. For information contact the Cooley Peninsula Tourist Office 00 353 (0) 42 937 3033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. www.tainmarch.net.