Na Féilte

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‘Is maith an cúnamh lá breá.’

Tá sin fíor, go háirithe ag an am seo den bhliain nuair atá an méid sin féilte ar siúl i nDoire agus in Inis Eoghain. Ach ar an lá saoire bainc Éireannach an tseachtain seo caite, bhí an spotsolas ar Dhún na nGall. Chuaigh mé féin go dtí an Fhéile i Magh.

Bhí an aimsir go han-mhaith ar an Aoine: bhí níos mó flótaí ann ná mar a bhí an bhliain anuraidh agus bhí lucht féachana ollmhór amuigh ar an phríomhshráid.

Ar an drochuair, bhí an aimsir millteanach ar an Satharn, ach tháinig scaifte maith amach chuig Páirc na Féile ina raibh a lán taispeántas agus gníomhaíochtaí.

Bhí sé ag cur go trom ar an Domhnach, ach arís, bhí scaifte maith ag an Lá Spóirt agus bhain na páistí agus na daoine fásta an-sult as.

Bhí gné Ghaelach ag Féile Mhaighe. Bhí an t-ollphuball plódaithe don chéilí Dé Domhnaigh. Bhí amhránaithe áitiúla ann, rinceoirí óga ag taispeáint na ndamhsaí, agus daoine cosúil liom féin nach bhfuil chomh hóg sin ar an urlár.

Tá mé ag fulaingt go fóill: tá matáin agam agus ní raibh a fhios agam go raibh siad agam roimhe.

Bhí an aimsir tirim ar an Luan. Bhí siúlóid dhátheangach ann chuig dolmán agus galán sa cheantar.

Tá a lán staire agus réamhstaire i Magh agus an tír máguaird. Tá daoine ag caint ar chumann staire sa sráidbhaile le fada. Ach ‘béarfaidh bó éigin gamhain éigin lá éigin’.

Tá ardmholadh tuillte ag na grúpaí deonacha uilig in Inis Eoghain a eagraíonn na féilte agus a lán imeachtaí eile ar ndóigh.

Tháinig na mílte isteach ó áiteanna eile go dtí an leithinis nuair a bhí an Tíogar beo. Tugann na heagraíochta áiltiúla deis dóibh páirt a ghlacadh i saol an phobail.

Tá spiorad an phobail beo beatha in Inis Eoghain go fóill - chan amháin i Magh.

The festivals

A fine day is a good help’.

That is true, especially at this time of year when there are so many festivals going on in Derry and Inis Eoghain. But on the Irish bank holiday last week, the spotlight was on Donegal. I went to the Muff Festival.

The weather was very good on the Friday: there were more floats in the parade than last year and there was a huge number of spectators out on the Main Street.

Unfortunately, the weather was dreadful on the Saturday, but a large number of people came out to the Festival Field where there were lots of exhibitions and activities.

It was raining heavily on Sunday, but, again, there was a good crowd at the Sports Day and both the children and the grown-ups had a great time.

Muff Festival had an Irish aspect. The marquee was crowded for the céilí on Sunday. There were local singers, young people demonstrating the dances, and not so young people like myself on the floor. I am still suffering: I have muscles that I didn’t know I had before.

The weather was dry on Monday.

There was a bilingual walk to a standing stone and a prehistoric tomb in the area.

There is a lot of history and prehistory in Muff and the surrounding area. People have been talking about a historical association in the village for a long time. ‘Some cow or other will have some calf or other someday or other.’ (The unexpected may happen.)

All the voluntary groups in Inis Eoghain who organise festivals and other activities, of course deserve the highest praise.

Thousands of people came into the peninsula when the Tiger was alive.

The local organisations give them an opportunity to take part in community life. The community spirit is very much alive in Inis Eoghain still – not only in Muff.