Hearth & Community, Achill Island

March 4th – 6th 2022

Hearth and Community logo

Achill Tourism Launches Hearth and Community

A unique exploration of the anthropology of Irish Food

A unique event exploring the anthropology of Irish Food entitled Hearth and Community will take place on Achill Island. This event will explore how the environment dictates food and how this food has been central through the ages in creating community, conceiving traditions and providing a unique identity to the West of Ireland.

One of the highlights of the weekend will be a recreation of the prehistoric Fulacht Fiadh. Dating from the Neolithic period, this ancient cooking method will be demonstrated using meat from the ancient mhaol cow which dates from the Bronze Age and is mentioned in the famous epic the Mayo Táin.

Venue: Ted’s Bar & Restaurant, Cashel
Tickets: EventBrite

2pm: Official Opening
3pm: Lecture By Dr Eamonn Slater – “Ecological Sustainability, The Lessons from Achill”.
4pm: Lecture By Dr Marcus Malley – “Ecological Sustainability, Cattle and Grazing”.
5pm: Lecture by Karen O’Donohue – “The role of the microbiome in collective mental health”.
8pm: Lecture By Dr Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire – “Food in place names & song”. Followed by An evening of Sean Nós singing, craic & ceol, Hosted by Dr Máirtín Mac Iomaire & local musicians.

Venue: Patten’s Bar, Dereens
Tickets: EventBrite

11am: Lecture by Don Mullan – “The Great Green Wall”.
12 noon: Lecture By Michael Wade – “Food and Fuel”.
1pm – 4pm: Afternoon Event – A showcase of local produce, reenactment of a Fullacht Fia lead by Eileen Davis. Cookery demonstrations, display of Moile cattle & beehive. Shore foraging & performances by local musicians.
8.30pm: Lecture By Dr Finbarr Bradley – “Authenticity & Meaning in Food Ventures: The Power of Place”.
9.30pm: An evening of Sean Nós singing, craic & ceol ceol.

Venue: The Beehive, Keel
Tickets: EventBrite

Morning: Guided Tour of Achill – Achill Island Heritage Tours offers a guided coach tour of Achill. Please contact Alan on 0872683512 to book your place.
1pm: Lecture by Áine Maguire – “Curses and Cures from an Irish Kitchen”.
2pm: “Cois Tine” with Mary Sweeney & friends. – A fireside colloquium on local food and the customs surrounding it, accompanied by music, poetry and song.

Speaking about Hearth and Community, Chris McCarthy, Manager at Achill Tourism said, “We are really excited to be announcing this extremely unique and academically focused event. Food has played such an important role throughout the ages and here in Achill many of those traditions are still being handed down from generation to generation. We want to share this knowledge and dive even deeper into the history of food in the West of Ireland, at the same time supporting our local food producers and businesses. We hope that this event will grow over the years and provide a longer and more sustainable tourism season on Achill.”

The weekend will also include a focus on customs and Seanachais as well as much more. There will also be traditional food demonstrations, seanós evenings and tours of the island taking in significant historical and archaeological sites.

This event will be managed by Achill Tourism and is linked to the culinary department of TU Dublin. It is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Fáilte Ireland, Mayo North East and Home to Mayo.

Logos of supporting organisations
Purteen Harbour, Achill Island