12 Aug 2022

Longford's annual Bealtaine Festival tea dance moves online

Longford's annual Bealtaine Festival tea dance moves online

Michael Smyth, Breda Greaves Co-Ordinator of Ballymahon Day Center, Billy Kelly, Margaret Connell, Philomena Donlon, Philomena Trayers, Eileen Comcannon, Ethne Noonan and Marie Mulvey last year

Join the annual Bealtaine Tea Dance hosted by Longford Community Gardaí and Longford Library this year from the comfort of your own armchair.

Bealtaine is Ireland's largest national festival celebrating the creativity of older people. It takes place during the month of May and, like every other festival and public event, it has been a victim of Covid-19.

The government has given us a very strong message during this pandemic about us all being in this together and we need to stay connected and stay active while staying at home.

This year the annual Bealtaine tea dance which is one of the highlights of the festival will take place online.

All you need is a smart phone, a laptop or a computer and an internet connection and you can join the party on Longford Libraries facebook page at 3pm on Thursday next 28th may. A video is also being made of the whole event so if you miss out on Thursday you will get to see it again.

Each year Longford Library joins with Longford Community Gardaí, Longford Older Persons Council, and many other agencies and Active Age groups in organising an extensive programme of cultural activities to celebrate Bealtaine.

One of the most popular events is the annual Tea Dance which is a great afternoon of music, song, story and dance organised by Longford Community Gardaí.

Speaking to the Leader Mary Reynolds County Librarian said; “This year, because of Covid-19 it was not possible to run many of the planned Bealtaine events but instead we have been organising popular online events including weekly cookery demonstrations with Fiona Egan from Cloughan Farm, Gardening with Mary Holmes and lots of useful tips on staying strong and minding your mental health with Occupational Psychologist Paul Marsden.

“Sgt Lionel Mullaly and his team in Longford Community Gardaí approached us with the idea of running the annual tea dance online this year and with the technical support of Shane Crossan, Longford Outtake Media, our annual tea dance will take place on social media on Thursday, May 28 at 3pm. So put the kettle on, put on your dancing shoes or sit back and relax and join the party online.”

We all need something to smile about and a small but enthusiastic team led by Longford Community Gardaí and the library staff have assembled a great programme of music, song and poetry to suit all tastes.

Speaking to the Leader Sergeant Mullally said; “We are very grateful to all of our artists and musicians especially the popular Ramblers band and the staff of Thomond Lodge Nursing home who have allowed us to film the event in the grounds on a gigrig loaned to us by Shane Crossan.

“Some of our musicians and poets will be entertaining us from their own homes and the the event to which everyone is invited will go out live on Thursday, May 28, at 3pm on Longford Libraries Facebook page. There will be a video produced of the event which can be enjoyed by everyone at any time afterwards.”

Everyone is invited to join us online at 3pm on Thursday 28th for what will be a great afternoons entertainment and laughter. If you need more information please ring 043341124 or email

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