Along The Black Pigs Dyke

A large attendance was present in St. Peter’s Tin Church Laragh, Castleblayney, on Friday night last for the finale of “Along The Black Pigs Dyke” programme. A unique Cross-Border community project which organised between Castleblayney Community Enterprise and Cullyhanna Community Partnership and was supported under the Co-operation with Northern Ireland Scheme 2017 funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The project was established to enhance the shared culture of the North and South which are connected by the ancient fortification which runs across South Ulster known as The Black Pig’s Dyke. While the areas are now divided by the creation in 1921 of the North/South Border there is no division of people living in both areas as both share the same historical, mythological, cultural and traditional values and beliefs.

The programme included the series of musical workshops using traditional instruments that was held in the local schools and culminated in Friday night’s joint event, bringing all schools together. Traditional musicians from both areas performed on consecutive occasions in an open showcase in venues in both areas. There were two bus tours from north and south visiting the natural and built-in heritage of the two areas. Two Photographers, Glenn Murphy and Martina McKeown, were engaged to travel through the respective areas  to capture the natural and built-in heritage , and worked on creating a 2018 calendar which was printed and circulated throughout both areas. The calendar was launched by Culture Minister Heather Humphreys on the night.

A small scale folklore project was initiated and facilitated through the schools whereby students were asked to interview parents and grandparents to record stories of bygone days under selected topics e.g. customs, cures, farm life and superstitions. A small booklet was created, which captures the common threads of the collections.

This all culminated in the final presentation at St. Peter’s Tin Church.