Unique Leitrim Hawthorn Project unveiled

By | 15th May 2023

The Leitrim Hawthorn Project is a holistic celebration of the Hawthorn Tree in County Leitrim. This community heritage project is designed to sensitively research Hawthorn traditions throughout Leitrim towards a sustainable celebration of this folkloric icon.

The public is invited to take part in free workshops and events throughout the Summer and Autumn of 2023 exploring the natural and cultural heritage of the Hawthorn tree through music, dance, printmaking, storytelling events, tree planting, the folklore and medicinal properties of the tree and discovering its key role in supporting biodiversity in nature.

Farmer and storyteller Gerry Bohan will be visiting all four Leitrim Marts over the coming months gathering stories of Lone Hawthorn bushes. He is hoping to chat to farmers who might like to share with him any folklore relating to the Lone Bush.

Gerry will document in writing and will share through storytelling events anything of interest from his trips to Carrigallen, Mohill, Drumshanbo, and Manorhamilton. He will also be visiting community gardens and men’s sheds in North and South Leitrim.

For anyone who would like their stories documented, or anyone who feels they might bring something of interest to the Leitrim Hawthorn Project, Gerry would be delighted to chat with you. Gerry Bohan: 087 2820556.

The workshops will include practical tips on the ancient craft of hedge laying and explore the extensive benefits of the Hawthorn to gardens, farms and nature. Wayne will also oversee the planting workshops of Lone bushes in communities that are looking to create a Hawthorn tree focal point in their community.

Visual and sound artist Tara Baoth Mooney will lead workshops that explore the cultural languages and folkloric connections of the Hawthorn through the seasons.

The workshops will look at the conservation of habitats and herb collecting as a regular practice with methods for sustainable harvesting for practical workshops on making medicinal tinctures, overnight teas and flower essence.

Choreographer and community activist Edwina Guckian is researching the music, dance and songs associated with the May bush celebration traditions in a range of communities throughout the county.

She is interested in finding and archiving the diverse variations that may exist through Leitrim County and will be sharing her findings through community music and dance events.

Visual Artist Anna Macleod will lead workshops in print and drawing / painting to celebrate the Hawthorn through its seasonal identities. The images and motifs created during this community creative process will become the identity for the Hawthorn Project and Maybush celebrations / used in promoting future events on posters and social media.

Artist and filmmaker Padraig Cunningham is making a short film of the project recording our research, workshops, storytelling events, dancing and tunes workshops and tree planting.

Dates and venues will be announced through social media on:

WhatsApp: Leitrim Hawthorn Project 2023

Instagram: Leitrim_Hawthorn_Project_2023

This project is funded by the Heritage Council and Leitrim County Council Heritage Office.