Lovely ‘Letters of Kindness’ campaign as part of Bealtaine celebrations in Longford

Lovely ‘Letters of Kindness’ campaign as part of Bealtaine celebrations in Longford

TY students at Moyne Community School, Tamara Cosgrove and Paige McLoughlin, who participated in the 'Letters of Kindness' campaign with the members of the Dolmen Failte and Dolmen Day care groups

Bealtaine is Ireland’s national festival which celebrates creativity in older age and is held every May.

The festival organised by Age & Opportunity was established in 1995 and indeed the first Bealtaine Festival celebrations in Co Longford were held by the Dolmen Centre participants in Aughnacliffe.

The Bonanza event hosted 600 Longfordians on what was a most memorable occasion. It opened up with the younger and older generation joining in ecumenical prayer, followed by wonderful music, song and storytelling in the glowing setting of a bonfire and it truly put the Dolmen family on the map.

Rath Mhuire & Dolmen Active Age Groups have continued their tradition and Bealtaine celebrations ever since then and this year was no exception, despite restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

Again, the two different generations, TY students from Moyne Community School and members of the Dolmen Active Age groups and Daycare services teamed up in a lovely intergenerational project, sharing their experiences, both the positive ones and the more challenging ones, during the lockdown periods.

This project, coordinated by Pamela Martin from Rath Mhuire & Dolmen Centre and Ms Campbell from Moyne Community School, was a great way for helping both generations to understand the impact Covid 19 had on different groups within their local community.

While we have all appreciated the value of technology during the lockdown, what was particularly lovely about this project was that both groups actually sat down and wrote ‘real ‘ ‘Letters of Kindness’ which both parties seem to have really enjoyed.

These letters will be a very tangible memory in years to come as well as becoming part of the social history of North Longford in what was an extraordinary time.

We want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all involved.

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