Maugherow a much wilder place. Summer 2019

I may have been thinking of Moughorow, a much wilder place, for the memories of one’s childhood are brittle things to lean upon.
— W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight (1902)

As part of Sligo’s annual Tread Softly Festival, the Bare Hazel is a new arts participation project launched with the kind support of Sligo County Council Creative Ireland Programme. Writers work with groups of artists from both professional and community backgrounds from County Sligo to create a series of written, visual and musical responses to the landscape.

For the 2019 festiva l was asked to organise an event commemorating Maugherow and proposed an overall vision of what this might entail:

Music and song, written word and spoken, images captured by neighbours of Maugherow and environs responding to the land- and sea- and skyscapes that shape the community. Surf and stone. Sun and storm. Flora and fauna. Hill and plain. Fossil and fort. Archaeology and folklore. Flock and herd. Wetland and pasture. Big house and cottage. Overflights of geese half the year.

We decided to organise the event in Ellen’s Pub in Maugherow on 3 August 2019 and subsequently published a podcast of the event (available here and  here) as well as a printed version (available here and here) and on the Tread Softly Web site that we launched at Ellen’s Pub on 10 January 2020.


Front cover: Ballyconnell Surf I, oil on canvas, by Póilín McGowan.