Askamore Féile le Chéile
A community celebrates together.
The newly inaugurated festival was set up to take advantage of the recently established looped walks, which skirt the side of the scenic Sliabh Bhuí. Fáilte Ireland, Coillte and the local community have much to celebrate in providing 3 new looped walks which will be of interest to walkers both local and further afield.
The festival ran from Friday to Sunday, June 4th – 6th 2010 and included 2 days of organised, guided walks on the newly mapped routes.
There were also fun events to ensure entertainment and inclusion for everybody. These included a car treasure hunt, a table quiz, discos for the youngsters, a barbeque, field day and music to suit all tastes. The field day ran as part of the annual Patron Day locally, and all in all, the weekend was considered a success.
In 2011, various changes were made, based on the Féile committee’s experiences in the previous inaugural year. The dates were changed, and there was a change in the events also.
The biggest decision and the focus of the entire weekend was the decision to re-create the tradition of saying mass on Sliabh Bhuí. Bishop Denis Brennan was invited to celebrate this mass, and a venue was eventually settled on in O’Neill’s field, just under the summit of the hill. There was a huge organisational invlolvement, from all members of the local community and further afield. On the day, Sunday, July 24th, 2011, ushers and Gárdaé guided walkers and motorists on the various routes available, 4 x 4 drivers brought those unable to walk to and from the mass venue, over 200 people, including the local choir, attended the mass, most having walked to the site.
Having had a very cloudy, misty start to the morning, a typical Sliabh Bhuí day, the clouds parted for the ceremony itself and mass was celebrated in sunshine. Bishop Brennan’s co-celebrants for the mass were Fr. Power and Fr. Ffrench.
Following the mass, people, including Bishop Brennan and our 2 priests, re-congrated in Kirwan’s field beside the Community Centre to enjoy the local Macra group’s Big Picnic. A beautiful sunny afternoon finished off a very special day.
During the week, 23 local organisations had committed a team to a table-quiz with a difference, to gain the title Brains of Askamore! First-round qualifying quizzes were run on Sunday July 17th, Tuesday and Thursday, with the winners of each night, plus the highest loser over the 3 nights qualifying for a match-play semi-final and final on Sunday, July 24th. It made a very dramatic and inclusive quiz, and after a close fought final, Kenny Windowfitters emerged victorius, and were crowned the first ever Brains of Askamore!