The inaugural Lough Gur Spirit of Place Celebration, featuring a series of public lectures, talks, contemplative tours and music in the heart of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites, took place on the 10th and 11th of October.
The event marked a unique opportunity for people to come together and explore the past, contemplate the future and take some time out from the hectic present at one of Ireland’s most iconic ancient sites.
Speaking at the launch of the event Kate Harrold, who manages the Lough Gur Heritage Centre, said: “The Spirit of Place event was initially created to address the reoccurring question, raised by residents and visitors alike – what exactly is it about Lough Gur that makes is such an intriguing place? – The answer is that there are many elements that add to the wonder and awe of Lough Gur”.
“The Spirit of Place weekend puts all of these elements into one pot and through a series of public lectures, talks and contemplative tours, will offer possible answers and raise new questions for everyone who attends”, Kate Harrold added.
Located just 21km from Limerick City, near the town of Bruff, the ancient site of Lough Gur is known in folklore as the Munster entrance to Tír an Óg. It is recorded in history for thousands of years that Lough Gur was a highly desirable location as Chieftans and great warriors, including Vikings, descended on the area.
The programme of events included the investigation of Ireland’s largest stone circle under the light of archaeoastronomy, a discipline which marries astronomy and archaeology to contemplate and explore what exactly these sites may have been used for over 6,000 years ago.
Abbot Patrick Hedderman, one of the organisers of celebration, notes the special sense of calm that is associated with the Lough Gur site. “Visitors to the great ancient site of Lough Gur often ostensibly arrive with a desire to go for a bit of fresh air and leave with a lot more – a sense of calm”, he notes.
“Anyone who walks this path will find a doorway to another world. Even those who can’t believe in a world other than this one will be surprised. Lough Gur manifests as threshold. Everything points towards otherness,” he adds.
Speakers at the two day celebration included Dr. Frank Prendergast who explored the findings of his most recent archaeoastromical study of Lough Gur’s Great Stone Circle, popular academic Billy Mag Fhloinn, travel writer Paul Clements, artist Robert Ryan, author Michael Quinlan and spiritual singer and theologian Dr Noreen Ni Riain
The weekend’s events culminated with a celebration of music featuring Liadan and Nóirín Ni Riain in the Honey Fitz Theatre at 8pm to pay tribute to the great Spirit of Place clearly visible and ever present in Lough Gur.
For further information go to www.loughgur.com or phone Kate Harrold directly on 061 385186 or 087 2852022
Photos by David Woodland for ILoveLimerick.com 2014. All Rights Reserved.