Episode 99: Faces & Places – Celebrate Leitrim Day

This week for Faces & Places Breifne Earley visits the Celebrate Leitrim Day held in Drumsna Community Centre last weekend.

He talks to event organiser Jo Sachs Eldridge about how the event came about, what activities were happening and what she hopes people will get out of the event. They chatted about the contribution of artist Kate Murtagh Sheridan, Natalia Beylis and her Listening Workshop and musician Eileen O’Toole who entertained the attendees and led the parade with a rousing rendition of her own song “Give It Up For Leitrim”.

Natalia guided the group through a listening workshop along the banks of the River Shannon in the village where all ages took a few moments to really soak up the soundscape that was on offer. With animals like birds and dogs, traffic crossing the bridge all over a backing track of the fast moving water making its way along under the bridge.

She encouraged the participants to recreate a visual representation of the sounds they heard during the workshop before a ‘Listening Walk’ brought the group back to the community centre.

Eileen O’Toole shared about her experience of migrating to Leitrim on the advice of a pair of men in a Dublin pub and on finding Drumshanbo decided to make the town her home after a first weekend of music, drinking and craic on the banks of Lough Allen. Over a decade later she’s still there and loving life in the county.

She was honoured to be the grand marshall of the event parade which she led by playing her own composition ‘Give It Up For Leitrim’, a real foot tapper and crowd pleaser.

Finally Bas, a Dutchman who has settled in the county after buying a 25 acre farm near Drumsna, explains why he chose to move to Lovely Leitrim and make a life for himself on the land here in the Irish countryside.

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