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Step back in time at Farming and Country Life 1916

Have you ever wondered what life was like in rural Ireland in 1916? Well wonder no more! On 10th and 11th June Teagasc will host a major national centenary celebration at its research facility at Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway. Farming and Country Life 1916 is expected to attract over 50,000 visitors making it the single largest centenary celebration of farming and country life.

Step back in time at Farming and Country Life 1916

Visitors will be brought back in time to experience the sights, sounds and smells of Ireland from 100 years ago. This breath-taking event will see visitors journey through a time tunnel, transporting them back to a town from 1916 with a bustling town square, Fair Day, GAA matches and sports day, and a traditional cottage and farm, all occupied by poultry, cattle, sheep and pigs breeds of the time.

Director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle, said: “Construction work is well under way at Mellows Campus as we transform our working research farm into the largest 1916 commemorative event to take place outside of Dublin. This will be an event like no other and we are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the country. I want to thank our many sponsors who have been extremely generous towards this project. In particular I want to acknowledge the contributions from FBD and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.”

The event comprises seven thematic villages which include:

  1. Ireland 1916
  2. Farm Family and Rural Life
  3. The Land
  4. Education and Co-operation
  5. Mechanization of Farming
  6. Livestock
  7. Sporting and Cultural Life

The seven themes will be animated through interactive exhibits, dramatic re-enactments, talks and reconstructions to bring to life rural Ireland of our ancestors.

The event will see an exciting line up of panel discussions and talks, one of which will be moderated by Sharon Ní Bheoláin from RTÉ.

A life-size replica of the GPO has been created at Mellows Campus, which featured in ‘Wrecking the Rising’ on TG4 before making its way to Athenry. The GPO was central to the Rising in 1916, and will form the link between our rich farming heritage and the military Rising. Throughout the event, visitors will have the opportunity to contribute to a commemorative time capsule and ‘post’ a souvenir postcard in the GPO which will be sent out 50 years after the event, marking the 150th anniversary of the Rising.

This free family event will see drama groups from across the country recreate scenes rural Ireland 100 years ago. Visitors are invited to dress up in 1916 attire, where the most appropriately dressed visitors will be in with a chance of winning top prizes. Special attention is being paid to activities for children with trails and games throughout the event.

Farming and Country Life 1916 has something for all age groups, rural and urban and will be a once in a lifetime celebration of rural Irish history.

The event will take place from 10am to 5pm on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th June. The site is located close to Athenry town and is easily accessible from all major routes via car, rail and bus, with extensive car parking available.

For more information on the event please see www.teagasc.ie/1916 or visit us on Twitter or Facebook; @FarmCountry1916 and www.facebook.com/farmingandcountrylife1916