During the period from July 19th to August 6th, many events were organised by the Upperchurch Development Association to celebrate and reinforce the philosophy of The Gathering.
“Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” as the saying goes and Upperchurch and its surrounding area is synonymous with entertainment, craic, and traditional Irish music. During the fortnight all three pubs in the village of Upperchurch (Kinnane’s, Ryan’s and Kennedy’s) played host to music sessions which were thoroughly enjoyed by all.
The well-known hostelry Jim O’the Mill’s also held a Céilí on August 1st, and traditional music sessions which were a huge success. The sound of footsteps treading and pounding to the melodic sound of the Siege of Ennis still resounds on the roadside as we pass by this welcoming Inn with its homely and welcoming appearance.
It is said that we reveal something of the human spirit when we sing and nobody can deny the depth of feeling embodied by our local singers during the golden hazy evenings of the ‘Gathering’. Some of the memories still live in our minds.
Most of all the ‘Gathering’ worked for us in Upperchurch because it brought people in our community together as well as extending the hand of hospitality to visitors, relations who may be living abroad and tourists. Other cultural events included a Race Night in Kennedy’s pub, hill-walking on our numerous official walking trails as well as some homestead routes. Official walks and climbs include the “Éamon an Chnoic” walk, the Knockalough Walk and the ‘Birchill Trail’.
These walks are something we, in Upperchurch, are very proud of, as they inspire many of our visitors to return again to our village because of the inspiring views they offer and also because of the enjoyment they offer in terms of recreation.
On August 3rd, there was a very enjoyable Homestead Forum on local history and genealogy held in the Community Centre. The forum worked really well as local people were invited to share their knowledge about the area.
It helped us realize how valuable our reservoir of local knowledge (stories, folktales and nostalgia) really is and also instilled in us great respect for the knowledge and wisdom of our elderly people which could so easily be neglected and forgotten were it not for the advent of the forum. On August 4th, the annual Bike Ride took place. The cycling club in Upperchurch is gaining popularity and has about 50 members.