A visit to the delightful Mount Briscoe Rare and Traditional Breeds Show
It was the last Sunday morning in July and I woke to the sound of raindrops spilling on the roof. I put my head back under the covers in hope it might stop. It stopped, and the sun shone, but for the remainder of the day rain and sun battled it out. In the end the rain lost on points, but not for want of trying.
My family and I headed down to Mount Briscoe carrying rain jackets, umbrellas and our wellies. We were prepared for it all. The event was well signposted and we were met by a very friendly girl at the gate who took our payment and directed us to the parking. Plenty of parking was available and the ground underneath was quite firm, even though there had been a fair amount of rain that morning.
My little sister headed straight for Lisnolan Farm Mobile Petting Farm. Sean Hyland and his young assistant had travelled all the way from Co. Mayo with their array of animals. The kune kune pig was a hit with us but my sister just loved the bunnies.
Mary McGrath and Gay Keogh from Kildare were travelling around the grounds on their pony drawn cart with the most beautiful Kerry Bog Ponies, Suzy and Jester. There are accounts dating from the 1600’s that this small pony existed in south Kerry at that time They played a vital roll in day to day life where they were ridden and used as pack animals.
Lynne Kirkham of Greenmantle Arts Co, Tipperary had a fabulous array of willow work on show and was kept very busy showing the kids how to make fish and daggers. Lynne is currently very busy with her sculptures, like Fionn McCumhaille and his hounds on the Ballymany Roundabout exit 12 on the M7 Co. Kildare.
We stood for a while watching in fascination as the highly skilled and very talented Kathleen McCormick from Co.Kildare spun her way to a fabulous ball of natural yarn. Kathleen has a wonderful range of Woven Craft and Willow Baskets of all shapes and sizes.
Mount Briscoe Organic Farm had a great little display of freshly made jam which really complemented the selection of home grown hardwood timber chopping boards.
There was a fabulous demonstration on how to milk a cow and quite a few people were giving it a go, even Margaret herself had a turn.
By this stage we were rather peckish so headed to the Wood Fired Pizza stand. Made fresh and baked before our eyes in the mobile wood fired oven Knockout Pizza brings you the most authentic and delicious artisan pizza. These guys have a great setup for a mobile pizza service, Knockout Pizza you may be mobile but your pizzas and service were first class.
While we waited for our pizza we had a chat with ‘Wild Food Mary’ from the Birr/Kinnitty area.
Mary is a forager, chef and loves all the good foods nature has to offer.
Mary also gives guided foraging walks and workshops to small groups throughout the year. The adults were offered a little sample of her very own wild liqueurs, Wild Damson and Wild Beech Leaf. A couple of bottles went home on the day.
Eamon Eagan from Co Longford (seated) Midland Draught Horse Society
Eamon founded the Midland Draught Horse Society in 2011 with the aim being to save and promote the draught horses for their traditional use ie. a working horse. He has a passion for preserving the old ways of life and spends a great deal of his time preserving old horse drawn machines and promoting the Midland Draught Horse Society.
(Left) Local supporter Owen óg checking out Lisnolan Mobile Pet Farm with parents Mary and Enda Scully.
Chilling with my best friend (below right)
Mouth-watering pizza coming right up.
Margaret and William hosting and enjoying the day.
Even though the weather wasn’t perfect and the crowds weren’t there in droves, it was a very successful day. Everyone who attended whether it be the family down the road, the bunnies from Co.Mayo or the farmers soaked to the bone showing off their pride and joy, we all had great time and really enjoyed the day.
What a fabulous event. Congratulations Margaret all the hard work was worth it. Will definitely be there next year and am sure the next event will be even more successful.
Written by Mitch Richie, Daingean Online’s intrepid Junior Reporter.
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