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14 Sep 2012

Tá clú agus cáil ar Ard Mhacha ar fud an domhain mar gheall ar a stair Cheilteach agus Ghaelach. Mar aitheantas air an stádas sin, tá Gaeilgeoirí agus foghlaimeoirí an cheantair ag teacht le chéile mar chuid den Lá Cultúir ar 21 Meán Fómhair le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar an oidhreacht Ghaelach sin. Beidh CAIRDE Teo ag reáchtáil turas idirghníomhach staire agus beidh roinnt staraithe áitiúla i láthair le béim a leagan ar an ghné thábhachtach seo d’Ard Mhacha. Iarrtar ar rannpháirtithe teacht le chéile ar 1.00 ag túsphointe na siúlóide ag Óstán Chathair Ard Mhacha.

Mar chuid den turas, bhéarfaidh siúlóirí cuairt ar shuíomhanna atá bainteach le cuid de na Gaeil is iomráití sa chathair agus cluinfidh siad faoi na nósanna agus na traidisiúin atá á gcleachtadh in Ard Mhacha le fada an lá.

Aithnítear Faiche Ard Mhacha mar láithreán spraoi sa chathair; ach leagfaidh an tsiúlóid seo béim ar an tábhacht stairiúil a bhaineann leis nó is ann a bhailigh Ceiltigh Uladh le chéile. Maíonn roinnt scoláirí clúiteacha go raibh Aonach Mhacha lonnaithe ar an láithreán ar a dtugtar an Fhaiche air anois agus ba é an áit ina mbíodh searmanais ríoga na nGael.

Inseofar scéal Shéamuis Mhóir Mhic Mhurchaidh – ag an tseancheall braighdeanais ar a bhfuil an tábhairne Hole in the Wall ann anois agus ag seantheach na cúirte a bhí lonnaithe san áit a bhfuil an leabharlann anois. File Gaelach, rapaire agus laoch a bhí i Séamus Mór Mac Murchaidh agus crochadh é ar Chnoc na Croiche in Ard Mhacha. Tá cloch cuimhneacháin ar an spota inar cuireadh chun báis é os comhair an tsaoil mhóir.

I dtalamh Ardeaglais Naomh Pádraig d’Eaglais na hÉireann, glacfaidh siúlóirí bomaite le hómós a thabhairt d’Ard Rí na hÉireann Brian Boróimhe atá curtha ar chúl na hardeaglaise. Maraíodh Brian Boróimhe i gCath Chluain Tarbh sa bhliain 1014 agus tógadh a chorp go hArd Mhacha lena adhlacadh de réir mar ba mhian leis.

Beidh an chéad stad eile ag an Seamlas, ceantar clúiteach in Ard Mhacha a fuair a ainm ón ghníomh a tharla ann nó bhí ainmhithe a marú ann go dtí na seascaidí. Is ag an Seamlas atá an seanStaisiún Dóiteáin. Tá pleananna ag roinnt grúpaí ionad a thógáil ar an suíomh seo a bheas mar lárionad cultúrtha do phobal na Gaeilge in Ard Mhacha.

Scolaire iomráiteach na Gaeilge a bhí sa Chairdinéal Tomás Ó Fiaich agus is cinnte go mbeidh dea-chuimhní ag cuid mhór de na rannpháirtithe nuair a stopann siad ag a uaigh atá taobh le hArdeaglais Naomh Pádraig. Tá a chuid scríbhinní féin lonnaithe sa leabharlann a bhfuil a ainm air mar ómós ar an fhear agus is ann a bhuaileann an grúpa Cumann Seanchas Ard Mhacha.

Bhí ról ríthábahchtach ag CLG Ard Mhacha sa chathair ó bunaíodh an eagraíocht sa bhliain 1884 agus cuimseoidh an turas cuairt ar an fhoirgneamh inar bunaíodh Comhairle Uladh den CLG i mí an Mhárta 1903.

Stopfaidh an turas ag suíomh brónach iartheach na mbocht agus reilg an ghorta mhóir atá suite ar Chnoc an Túir taobh thiar de Eaglais Naomh Marcas d’Eaglais na hÉireann. In aimsir an drochshaoil, bhíodh na céadta Gaeilgeoirí ina gcónaí in Ard Mhacha agus thigeadh cuid mhór acu isteach chuig teach na mbocht. Tá cuid mhór acu curtha sa reilig i ndeas dó.

Tiocfaidh deireadh leis an tsiúlóid Ghaelach seo ag an áit ina raibh an mhainistir is faide in Éirinn, ag fothracha na Mainistreach Proinsiasaí. Bhunaigh an Príomháidh Ó Scanláin an mhainistir sa bhliain 1266,agus bhí sé ar cheann de na mainistreacha a bhuail Anraí VIII cos orthu sa bhliain 1542. Dhóigh Shane Ó Néill í sa bhliain 1561 agus dhóigh an fear céanna an ardeaglais agus tithe sa chathair nó mhaígh sé nach ligfeadh sé do na Sasanaigh greim a choinneáil ar Ard Mhacha. Sa bhliain 1596, tharla scliúchas idir thrúpaí Aoidh Uí Néill agus an Ghinearáil Norris ag suíomh na mainistreach. Adhlacadh Gormfhlaith, céile Dhómhnall Uí Néill, Rí Uladh, taobh istigh den Mhainistir sa bhliain 1353.

Beidh CAIRDE Teo in éineacht le Gael Linn ag eagrú ceolchoirme saor in aisce fosta mar chuid den Oíche Chultúir, agus beidh an sárcheoltir Bernadette Morris ar an ardán in Ard Mhacha den chéad uair. Cuirfear tús leis an cheolchoirm ar a 6 in Amharclann Phlás an Mhargaidh agus cuirfear sóláistí ar fáil don lucht féachana.

 

Armagh City is renowned throughout the world for its Celtic and Gaelic heritage. In recognition of this status, local Irish speakers and learners are coming together as part of Culture Day on 21 September to celebrate the importance of the Gaelic legacy in Armagh. An interactive history tour will be led by local Irish language development organisation CAIRDE Teo and will be ably assisted by several historians with connections to the city. Walkers are requested to assemble at 1.00pm at Armagh City Hotel for the commencement of this unique excursion.

As part of the tour, walkers will visit sites associated with some of the most famous Gaels who had a link to the city and will also include some of the historical customs and traditions that have been practiced in Armagh throughout its history.

The Mall in Armagh is well known throughout the city as a place of recreation; however, this walk will highlight its origins as the ancient gathering place of the Celtic people of Ulster. Eminent scholars suggest that ‘Aonach Mhacha’ was sited on the area known as the Mall and was the location of Gaelic royal ceremonies, gatherings and fairs.

The story of Séamus Mór Mac Murchaidh will be recounted – from the old holding cell that now houses the Hole in the Wall pub to the old courthouse in which the library is now located. Séamus Mór Mac Murchaidh was a Gaelic poet and rapparee who was hanged at Gallows’ Hill in Armagh. An Irish language commemoration stone now marks the spot of his public execution.

In the grounds of St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, walkers will pay their respects at the burial place of Brian Boróimhe. Boróimhe was the Ard Rí or High King of Ireland, killed during the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 and brought to Armagh to be interred according to his wishes.

Next on the itinerary is the Shambles (from the Irish Seamlas, meaning slaughterhouse), a name that reflects the recent history of the area which operated as an abattoir until the 1960s. It is also the site of the old Fire Station. A number of groups are currently planning to build a centre at this site which will serve as a cultural hub for the Irish language community.

Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich was a notable Irish language scholar and his resting place alongside St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral will prove to be a sombre moment for many of the participants on the walk. The library named in his honour houses his archives and provides a base for Cumann Seanchas Ard Mhacha.

Armagh GAA has had a prominent role within the city since its foundation in 1884 and the tour will include a visit to the building in which the Ulster Council of the GAA was established in March 1903.

The penultimate stop on this Irish language walking tour will be the poignant site of the former work house and famine graveyard situated on Tower Hill behind St Mark’s Church of Ireland. At the time of the Great Hunger, Armagh would have been home to hundreds of Irish speakers, who would have visited the workhouse. Many of them are buried in the famine graveyard nearby.

The Irish language walking tour will conclude at the site of Ireland’s longest monastery, housed within the ruins of the Franciscan Friary. The friary was founded in 1266 by Primate Ó Scanláin, and it was amongst those suppressed by Henry VIII in 1542.It was burned down in 1561 by Shane Ó Néill, who also burnt the Cathedral and the houses of the City, claiming that he would not have the English therein. In 1596, a struggle between the troops of Hugh O’ Neill and General Norris took place at the site of the friary. Gormlaith, wife of Domhnall O’ Neill, King of Ulster, was buried in the Friary precincts in 1353.

CAIRDE Teo and Gael Linn will also be organising a free concert as part of the Culture Day celebrations, with folk artist Bernadette Morris featuring in Armagh for the first time. The concert begins at 6pm in the Marketplace Theatre and refreshments will be provided at the beginning of the concert for all those in attendance.