Clár 0006 – Camino Ard Mhacha
In this episode -Réamonn Ó Ciaráin introduces himself and give us some background on the new project Camino Ard Mhacha.
Even those of us with little knowledge of history and mythology will be aware that Armagh (Ir: Ard Mhacha – ‘Macha’s Height’), the ancient capital of Ulster, once played host to the legendary figures of Cú Chulainn, Queen Macha, King Conor Mac Neasa and the legendary band of warriors known as ‘The Red Branch Knights’.
Drawing their inspiration from the Iron Age tales described in the ‘Ulster Cycle’, which is comparable to the Greek Iliad in theme and tone, the team at the new Aonach Mhacha Centre in the Shambles have announced plans to develop an annual ‘Camino Mhacha’ [‘Macha’s Way’] from the Tí Chulainn Centre in Mullaghbane to the Aonach Mhacha Cultural Centre in Armagh City.
The inaugural ‘Camino’ on the Festival of Lúnasa (August 1) attracted huge interest both locally and nationally.
Its purpose is to raise funds for the new Irish language facility which was forced to close its doors just one week after opening, prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aonach Mhacha director Réamonn Ó Ciaráin said the sponsored Camino supported by Foras na Gaeilge will take place to coincide with the Lúnasa Harvest Festival.
Walkers will follow in the footsteps of Setanta, the boy hero from Ulster who made his heroic return to the Red Branch Warriors at Eamhain Mhacha [Navan Fort] from Tí Chulainn with his new hero’s name, Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Culann. He became the foremost warrior of the Red Branch Heroes and the legendary defender of Ulster.
Réamonn added: “The Camino was preceded by ‘The Hero’s Breakfast’ in Cultúrlann Aonach Mhacha at the Shambles, after which transport will be provided to Tí Chulainn, Mullaghbane, for the commencement of the epic return walk.