PICTURES | Keeping people connected with the Bealtaine Virtual Tea Dance at Ballymahon's Thomond Lodge

News Reporter

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Thursday last, on one of the last days of the annual Bealtaine Festival, 2020 – ‘Celebrating the arts and creativity as we age', Longford Community Policing in partnership with Longford County Library Service and the Longford Older Person’s Council, hosted the first ever virtual Bealtaine Tea Dance in the grounds of Thomond Lodge Nursing home Ballymahon.

Sgt Lionel Mullally, head of Community Policing in Longford, speaking to the Leader said; “Garda Mick Belton has been involved with organising the Tea Dance for the last ten years and he was determined that it would happen again this year despite Covid-19.

“It was a glorious sunny day and the event brought a smile not just to the residents of Thomond Lodge but to all of our friends who could not attend in person this year but were able to join us online. We are very grateful to everyone who helped make this happen and especially to the management, staff and residents of Thomond Lodge who made us so welcome.”

Special guests appearing at the event were the very popular Ramblers band from Abbeyshrule and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Pat Barlow from Longford.

Also joining in the celebration from their own homes and gardens were a selection of local inspiring poets and musicians including Joyce and Aidan O’Hara, Kitty Hughes, Larry Mitchell, Sr Rose Moran, and Vanessa Flood.

Rose Moran paid a special tribute to all the Longford people who have passed away during this very sad time and that included her own sister Eileen Reilly who was a very important part of the Bealtaine celebrations every year.

A beautiful cake to celebrate the event was created by Didi from Didiz Cakeporium in Longford town. Center Parcs provided the very generous spot prizes and the winners were Carmel Ward of Longford town and Madeline Bennett of Newtownforbes, both of whom were enjoying the event from their own armchairs at home.

Speaking to the Longford Leader, County Librarian Mary Reynolds said; “We are delighted with the response to the event with so many people joining us not just from Longford but from around the world.

“It was a great opportunity to bring a little joy to everyone and to bring all of our friends together during these challenging times.

“We are very grateful to everyone who agreed to help us make it happen, especially to Shane Crossan who managed all of the technology to ensure that it went out live at 3pm on Thursday last,” she added.

If you haven’t seen the event yet you can view it anytime via the link below:

WATCH | Longford Community Gardaí and Longford Library host annual Bealtaine Tea Dance online