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11 Aug 2011
Bhí scaifte mór i láthair ag CLG na Gráinsí taobh amuigh de chathair Ard Mhacha an tseachtain seo caite nuair a cuireadh tús le Féile an Átha Bhuí le comóradh a dhéanamh ar na láithreacha staire sa cheantar a bhaineann le Béal an Átha Bhuí, cath a troideadh ag deireadh an séú haois déag mar chuid de Chogadh an Dá Aodh. Bhí David Swift i láthair  ar an Aoine le spléachadh a thabhairt ar na huirlisí a úsáideadh sa chath iomráiteach nuair a sháraigh na Gaeil arm shasana a bhí faoi stiúir Henry Bagenal. Bhí ceoltóirí Chiorcal Comhrá Ard Mhacha ann le cuid de na hamhráin a bhaineann leis an éacht agus a bhaineann leis an cheantar a scaipeadh lena raibh i láthair. Ar an Satharn, tugadh faoi imeacht speisialta nuair a d’imigh cabhlachán ar an Abhainn Mhór ó Achadh an Dá Chora agus thuig na daoine a bhí ar bord cé chomh deacair is a bhí turas dá leithéid ar an uisce, go háirithe nuair a phléaisc na scamaill i lár an turais. Cé go raibh na daoine uilig báite go craicinn, ní dheachaigh na báid faoi a bhuí leis na bádóirí ó Chumann Oidhreacht Bádóireachta Loch nEathach. Agus an slua ar ais ar thalamh tirim in An Port Mór, tháinig an ghrian amach agus ní fada go raibh siad ar an bhóthar arís ag leanstan bealach na nGael ar Shlí an Átha Bhuí. Bhí an Dr Antaine Ó Donnaile i láthair le míniú a thabhairt ag achan stad ar ar tharla ar an bhealach chuig an chath. Cuireadh deireadh leis an fhéile le cluiche iománaíochta idir Cumann Chú Chullain in Ard Mhacha agus Cumann Naomh Éanna a tháinig anuas ó Ghleann Gormlaithe. Bhí foireann na háite ró-láidir d’fhir Aontroma le bua eile a thabhairt d’iománaithe Ard Mhacha a choinneoidh greim ar Sciath an Átha Bhuí go ceann bliana eile ar a laghad. Bhí an-rath ar fhéile na bliana seo agus is léir go bhfuil dúil ag pobal Ard Mhacha ó achan cúlra, i ndúchas Gaelach an cheantair.
 
The Grange club was packed last Friday night for the launch of the annual Yellow Ford Festival, which celebrates the historic sites associated with the famous battle, fought between Hugh Ó Néill’s gaelic supporters and Henry Bagenal’s army in the late 16th century during the Nine Years War. David Swift gave a fantastic talk on Friday evening, presenting some of the weapons that would have been used during the battle. Later that evening, the musicians from Ciorcal Comhrá Ard Mhacha sang some of the songs that recall the battle and kept the crowd entertained until the wee hours. Saturday saw a unique and special event when over 50 people joined a flotilla of vessels along the Blackwater, setting out from Charlemont and sailing up to Port Mór, where a large crowd had gathered to welcome this special flotilla. Many people admired the craft involved in building the boats and the skills of the boatmen from the Lough Neagh Boating Heritage Association, who persevered and kept the boats afloat in spite of the downpour along the way. Back on dry land at An Port Mór, the crowd swelled and set out to trace the steps of Ó Néill’s men as they went to battle at the Yellow Ford. We were fortunate to have Dr Antaine Ó Donnaile with us who shared his expert knowledge of the area and of this historic episode in the area’s history and he was able to point out some of the important landmarks and points of historice significance associated with the battle. The festival was brought to a close with a hurling challenge between the local Cúchullain side and Glengormley side, Naomh Éanna. The Armagh side proved to be stronger on the day and got the better of the Antrim men to gain a small bit of revenge following Armagh’s Ulster final defeat to the Saffrons. This year’s festival proved to be a very successful weekend and it proved that the people of Armagh, from every section of society, have a huge interest in the Gaelic heritage of the area.