NOT even heavy rain could detract from the high spirits and sense of nostalgia last weekend, as the community in Gathabawn took a trip down memory lane.
In some cases, people travelled from Cork, Cavan, Wicklow and other counties to return to their former homestead and meet people they had not seen in 20 or 30 years. A DVD – a ‘Reeling in the Years’-style compilation of footage and photos taken locally over the decades – was the centrepiece of the weekend.
The event began on the Saturday evening, when around 150 people packed into the local church to watch the DVD. Clips from old hurling matches, singing pubs, first communions, farming days and other events helped
Later on that evening, both young and old stepped it out on the dance floor to a live waltzing band.
On Sunday morning, the local school raised its Green Flag as locals gathered in the church to begin the day’s activities. There was an exhibit of over 1200 photos and associated memorabilia and documents in the school. Despite the rain, no events were cancelled, and a range of different games took place over the afternoon, including horseshoe throwing, spin the wheel, face painting and a bouncy castle.
The big event was later that day, as the five surrounding townslands took to the hurling pitch to compete for top sporting honours.
“We decided to let all the men hurl,” said Richie Mackey, one of the event’s organisers.
“There was some great hurling, and everyone could play – it was young, old, and really old.
The weekend was helped along by the Gathabawn Rural Development group, and had sponsorship from 20 different local businesses.
“A lot of people said they want to have some sort of annual event,” said Mr Mackey. “We wouldn’t have a Reeling in the Years again, but we could look at something. The hurling was a success, and we are going to play the semi-finals and final in a few weeks.”