Belfast Archive


Peace building workshops are based on legend

30 June 2004

LOCAL people are being urged to take part in an intense series of peace building workshops based around the legend of ChuChulainn.

The cross community workshops will examine the Celtic tale of the Ulster folklore hero and the Tain, in a bid to explore the relevance and lessons of ancient local myth for people today.

The legend of the Tain, set to music during the 80's by Ulster band, The Horslips, is based around the cattle raid of Cooley.

Maeve, the warrior queen of Connaght, invades Ulster to capture the magnificent Brown Bull owned by ChuChulainn.

ChuChulainn holds back the invaders while the UIster army lies sick under a spell for having dishonoured the godess Macha.

Macha, commemorated in Altnagelvin hospital's entrance sculpture, according to the legend was nine months pregnant when she was forced to race the King's horses.

She wins the race and gives birth to twins but curses the men of Ulster.

In the ensuing battle ChuChulainn kills his foster-brother Ferdia.

Organiser John Donaghey said the aim of the project was to show the madness of war and the benefits of healing through creativity.

Mr Donaghey said: "This is a very powerful workshop examining the demands of the tribe versus the authority of the heart.

"ChuChulainn is someone who has been hailed as a hero and an icon by both republicans and loyalists."

An international group of experts will lead the residential workshop, which will take place from July 9 to 13 at the Benburg Priory, Co Tyrone.

The project is partly funded by the Community Relations Council.

Anyone seeking further information can contact John Donaghey on 028 7126 1941.


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