4 September 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

Everything Laragh Heritage Group put their minds to, they do exceptionally well and their ‘Follow the thread from Flax to Laragh Linen’ heritage project was no exception.

Last Sunday afternoon the Laragh Harvest Celebration was held in the beautiful south County Monaghan village.

This heritage day served as part two of the process which turned the flax plant into linen cloth before spectators’ very eyes. No shortcuts were taken through the painstaking task either.

The hard-working committee would like to pay particular tribute to Patsy Connolly for his dedication and determination in ensuring that all fifteen steps from ‘Flax to Laragh Linen’ were followed and demonstrated at the event.

A debt of gratitude is also owed to the McElwaine family, who decorated St. Peter’s Tin Tabernacle, Laragh for the harvest.

This picturesque church was also the setting for Dr. Fred Hammond’s talk on the area’s industrial heritage and the Mills of County Monaghan and Eanna Ni Lamhna’s talk on biodiversity and its everyday links to food and fabric.

In addition, the deconsecrated church played host to other guest speakers, harvest foods, industrial heritage displays and live trad music. Incidentally, the building is open Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 12-6pm.

There was plenty going otherwise as people made their way down through the village, flanked by forest on either side.

The first stop on the vast and varied tour was a display by Newgrange Falconry’s Brian McCann, who is a retired fireman.

There was a fine display of falcons, hawks and owls on the day. These included the European Eagle Owl, the largest of its species and the Peregrine Falcon, which is the fastest animal in the world, not the cheetah, contrary to popular belief.

There were plenty of activities for kids including hedgerow nature walks with Felim MacGabhann. Felim, a wild food expert, guided kids safely through the scenic Laragh countryside, telling them what was safe to eat and what should be left alone as they foraged.

Nature 4 Kidz encouraged children to examine plant and animal life in Laragh, including streamscapes.

Savvy schoolgoers could hitch a ride on a mini steamtrain operated by Connolly Haulage, Shantonagh ….

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