Kate Burrows began weaving baskets while living deep in the woods in a handmade strawbale and cob roundhouse.
Natural crafts and natural living on the land has always been Kates passion throughout life.
Herself and husband Alan built their own home, keep goats, chickens and geese and grow all their own food. Now living out on the bogs in Ballinlough, County Roscommon, Kate has perfected her craft to make many different types of basket for commissions, market stalls, shows and festivals, she also gives talks and demonstrations, and teaches basketry workshops all over the country.
Her latest venture is weaving natural willow coffins using her home grown irish willows planted throughout her land. Kate will be inviting people into her workshop to help take part in weaving their loved ones coffins if they so wish to, taking part in creating a really special final resting place for their beloveds final journey can be a great comfort.
Súil an Craic is the second iteration of an independently organised, multi-layered journey of exploration and re-discovery of the land, which seeks to open up routes for long-term pilgrimages through our ancient culture and richly varied landscape.
From his birthplace in Tory Island, down to the final resting place of his foster mother in Loughcrew, we are following the legends and deeds of Lugh Lamhfada, the champion of light who brought about change and freedom to the Tuatha Dé Dannan by defeating the Fomorians; dark beings whose greed and disregard for the Land herself knew no limits.
In association with the All is Well initiative, our route involves restoration and cleaning of ancient holy wells along the way, allowing Water to lead our path and remind communities of the importance of water care.
We’ll visit meaningful ancient sites, seeking to boost interest in lore and heritage, engaging with local communities to encourage indigenous tourism, fostering awareness about the state of our ecology, providing opportunities for guest experts to share their knowledge along the way… and ah, sure, have some craic while we’re at it.
Súil an Craic took three months to complete the 500 mile walk from Tory Island to Loughcrew in Co. Meath. People interested in learning about our heritage, lore and land ecology participated all along the route. Some came to walk, others supported with knowledge or practical help to undertake this venture. Every few days the walk would stop at pivotal places along the story of Lugh Lamhfada, a holy well or ancient sacred site. Here, experts and people in the local area would come to spend a few days in this people participation of learning about the local areas, and actively maintaining the spaces.
Outreach: (Where relevant) How was the event broadcast to a
audience before and after the event.
Before the walk, we co-created with irish artist Sean Fitzgerald to design a graphic map to raise awareness over social media. This post reached 76,304 views with 368 shares.
A amazing logo and paper flyer was created and donated by Seamus Draoigall of Deercún which was invaluable in explaining the project to people we met along route
There was a revival off the Facebook page. In June 2020 there were 943 members with steady substantial growth to the present. That group now supports 1437 members with new requests every day. 1,041of these are Active Members.
A website to support the walk and future projects relating to Irish diaspora in contemporary forms was created. This can be viewed at Fairycouncil.ie
Many interviews were undertaken before, during and after the walk. To date, there has been an interview for a book, 3 podcasts, 2 puppets with online forums, parish newspapers and local Westmeath newspaper. Some of these have yet to be released.
Graphic Artist Daniel Fagan created two amazing pieces of art to help portray the story of Lugh
Indicator of Success: By what measure can the project have been judged to be a success?
We would measure our success by the growth of active participation that undertaking the walk encouraged. We have gained deep connection with the land and all we met
We walked over 500 miles raising awareness in challenging times
We crossed the second most difficult mountain range in Ireland
Guest Speakers of various expertise contributed, Breezy Kelly of Bake Bread for Peace, award-winning Irish storyteller and contributor to The Folklore Society of Ireland Eithne Ní Ghallchobhair, Brian Lacey writer of Lug’s Forgotten Donegal Kingdom: The Archaeology, History and Folklore of the Sil Lugdach of Cloghaneely, Lar Dooley, advocate of indigenous Ireland, Artist and Author of Out of the Darkness, Dessie McCallion from Inishowen Tours and local historian, and Kathleen O Hara from the Edge School
There was online support and communication with Anthony Murphy from Mythological Ireland, and Martin Byrne of Carrowkeel.com on an advisory level towards the following of the myth.
Over 500 hardcopy flyers were distributed to the wider public
When St. Bridgets Well in Killare, Co Meath was being cleaned by the walkers, there were up to 20 local participants that came to volunteer work over the week period being there.
At the rest points along the walk, up to 50 people a day would flow through to support the concept of the walk.
We cleaned and raised awareness of many wells and ancient sites along the route.
Recognition from local Parishes in the careship of the local well.
The landowner of Uisneach now recognises St Bridget’s Well in Killare as part of the site he cares for and has agreed to the maintenance of the well.
The facebook and instagram is still receiving daily membership requests
We have noticed significant growth on the seed sister project All is Well
Have you attached/sent any photos or other evidence of the event/project? (newspaper articles, social media screen-shots, documents produced, other products etc)
contribution in portraying the journey undertaken. Lugh and the Walkers at the base of Muckish Mountain, start of the seven sister mountain range. This is reputed to be the second most difficult mountain range in Ireland. The second image portrays the arrival and completion of the walk into the Cailleachs home of Loughcrew in Meath.
What would you do differently if you could do this project/event again?
We feel that we are setting strong foundations to exciting people to actively participate in the maintaining and careship of the ecology of this land by utilizing the strong legends we have. This is an ongoing and far reaching project whose full potential has yet to be achieved.
Each year that we undertake this task, we become more organised in how to do so. We realised there were some organisational protocols that we failed to put into place before we started walking. If we undertake this particular project again we aim to learn from this second alliteration to enable us to reach and include even more people with more efficient cohesion.
Enagh Farrell is an illustrator based in Dublin. She grew up in rural Ireland surrounded by fields, fairy tales and a love for nature and mythology. Enagh studied Fine Art Print in NCAD.
Illustration was a calling as she found she works best with text and visual narrative. Her work explores nature and its magic such as the seasonal changes, trees, stars and indigenous wisdom. Apart from drawing and creating micro texts, Enagh loves to walk in the mountains or any nature space, drinking tea, chatting with friends, learning more about biodiversity, meditation and studying texts from great mystical teachers, wearing wolly jumpers, her allotment, her cat, local community planting projects and being a parent to her two beautiful kids.
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