A further 2-year Creative Ireland programme for Carlow’s Drummin Bog announced on 50th anniversary of Earth Day

Update: The Drummin Bog Project committee are pleased to confirm a 2-year programme of creative projects to raise awareness of this unique wetland habitat will continue later in 2020 and into 2021. At present, the programme is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 virus restrictions. Sadly, fire has also recently damaged part of Drummin Bog but fortunately it does not affect the area for the Creative Ireland programme.

In early 2020, the Drummin Bog Project was delighted to learn that South Carlow-based Drummin Bog committee members and artists Jules Michael and Cathy Fitzgerald were successful in gaining significant ongoing funding from Carlow – Creative Ireland and ArtLinks to further the eco-social art programme of the Drummin Bog Project. The funding will enable rich, inclusive collaborations between members of BEAM, Bagenalstown, members of Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre, environmental archaelogists from UCC, historical woodwright Eoin Donnelly, people living near Drummin Bog and the wider Carlow community.

As part of that funding, Cathy and Jules will also undertake a mentorship with the international placemaking artist-researcher Dr Anita McKeown, of the Irish EPA-funded County Kerry Co-Designed Resilience art-led community eco-social art programme (www.codesres.ie). Working with Anita will support the understanding and devising of co-creative, inclusive projects between people and the particular place of Drummin Bog, over the next two years and forwards into the future. 

Creative Ireland Projects 2020-2021

‘The Bog Rosemary Song’

In February 2020 just prior to the lockdown, Jules Michael and Cathy Fitzgerald had just begun working with the three primary schools closest to Drummin Bog – Newtown, Glynn and Drummond – on The Bog Rosemary Song.

This song is an original composition inspired by Drummin Bog and written by local musician Carole Nelson, who is also performing it with the children in each school. Of course, for the moment this project has been paused, but we are very much looking forward to sharing how the local school children will be singing out loud and clear for Drummin Bog in due course.

South County Carlow-based composer and musician Carole Nelson visited Drummin Bog for the first last October 2019. Responding to the bog (Carole is enjoying squeezing some sphagnum moss), Carole has written music and lyrics for a song to be sung by school children. It has a catchy chorus that we can all join in with and march to! [Photo: Cathy Fitzgerald, 2019]
Local composer and musician Carole Nelson with Drummond National School children, practising their new Drummin Bog song, 24 February 2020. [Photo: Cathy Fitzgerald, 2019]

‘Drummin Bog Open Day’

COVID-19 has also paused our upcoming Drummin Bog Open Day, originally planned for early June.

The Drummin Bog Open Day – open to all, this will be a wonderful afternoon of sharing, talks, demonstrations, picnics and chats on Drummin Bog. We are excited that environmental archaeologists from UCC, Prof. Ben Geary and the international Wet Futures team will be with us, taking pollen samples from peat cores, and helping us to discover Drummin Bog’s history, farming practices and human habitation from its ancient past.

We are delighted historical woodwright, Eoin Donnelly, will also be there, to involve everyone in forgotten practices such as coppicing and flint-making. Together with these specialists, we will learn about ancient bog roads and wood-working methods – and they will be inviting us all to help design and plan a (short!) reconstruction of an ancient bog road.

We will keep you updated as to it’s eventual scheduling.

Woodwright Eoin Donnelly talking with Martin Lyttle, geotechnical engineer, stone sculptor and Chair of the Drummin Bog Project at Drummin Bog, February 2020 [Photo: Cathy Fitzgerald]

The Bog Road Project

The Bog Road Project – This will be the building of the small reconstruction of a bog road (as we all planned and designed on The Open Day). The archaeologists and woodwright will return to Drummin Bog, and with members of BEAM and Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre, interested people living nearby and the artists, we will work together in the making of the little track. The Bog Road will be more a short ‘platform’, symbolic of our combined input and collaboration; while creating a meeting place on Drummin Bog for the future. 

The Banner Project

The Banner Project – This is a creative and inclusive collaboration between the community groups and eco-social artist and painter, Jules Michael and textile artist Alexis Bernstorff. Large banners based on the flora and fauna of Drummin Bog will be stitched and woven together. These will be paraded as part of a concluding event on Drummin Bog in 2021, to bring all the participants from the Creative Ireland projects together in a celebration of their work, creative processes and co-creativity. 

We are delighted our two creative partners in both the Banner and Bog Road Projects will be The BEAM Centre, Bagenalstown, and Bagenalstown Family Resource Centre. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with their members, making for rich and fruitful days ahead. 

Fire on Drummin Bog, April 13 2020

Fire damage on Drummin bog , 13 April 2020

Sadly, there has also been a fire on Drummin Bog last week. As any of you know who came across Drummin Bog through the An Fraughan Creative Ireland project, the bog is a beautiful and sensitive place, an area of unique natural heritage in County Carlow and the South East of Ireland.

An extensive stretch of vegetation, mosses, grasses and all the creatures that lived there have been decimated. However, thankfully, the fire-damaged an area that the public does not visit. The parts we know and love are still as intact and as special as ever.

We know the positivity created by the Creative Ireland projects will bring Drummin Bog many good wishes as it recovers. We very much look forward to times of renewal and regrowth and re-engaging with you on the bog and its associated projects in the very near future.

Jules Michael and Cathy Fitzgerald for The Drummin Bog Committee, April 20, 2020

The Drummin Bog voluntary committee would like to acknowledge the generous support of the following organisations and people

Dr Anita McKeown, CoDesRes.ie
Dr. Ben Geary and WetFutures UCC,
Woodwright Eoin Donnelly

Discussing future creative community project ideas with coffee on Drummin bog: [from left] artists on the Drummin Bog committee: Jules Michael, Cathy Fitzgerald with County Carlow Arts Officer Sinead Dowling, geotechnical engineer, stone sculptor and Chair of the Drummin Bog Project Martin Lyttle, and Aileen Nolan, Creative Ireland Carlow on Drummin Bog, December 2019 [Photo: Alan Price, Vice Chair, Drummin Bog Committee]

One Comment Add yours

  1. Paddy Tobin says:

    Good news. Best wishes.


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