South East Area Community Development News • Winter / Spring 2017

Pictured: Wren Boys Day in Sandymount, Dublin. were Klinta and Kristine Pizica from Latvia. Picture Jason Clarke

Sandymount Tidy Towns Community Association (STTCA) in association with Dublin City Council South East Community Development celebrated the 33rd annual Wren Boys Day on St. Stephen’s day 26th December in Sandymount.

The sun shone brightly on this crisp, cold day for the annual traditional event. It was led by Grand Master for 2016, Pat McEvoy, with Grand Marshal, Michael McAuliffe, Leader of the Clare Brigade, Mick Lacey, Leader of the Dublin Brigade, Cathal Holland and ‘Father of the Wren’, Bob Ryan.

The Swords Mummers and many more participants made this a great afternoon event for all the local community and for many visitors from afar home for Christmas.

The day started at 11am in Gus Ryan’s Pub, the Sandymount House, with culture, poetry and music until noon and then the Wren Boys left for the stage just off Sandymount Green for two hours of music until 2pm.

This ancient Irish tradition of ‘Hunting the Wren’ consists of ‘hunting’ a fake wren and putting it on top of a decorated pole. Crowds of mummers, or strawboys, celebrate the wren by dressing up in masks, straw suits, and colourful motley clothing. They form music bands and parade through towns and villages. The tradition has many origins with various stories of the wren across the country.

Pictured: Meadhbh Ni Chleirigh age 8 from Booterstown, Dublin. Picture Jason Clarke.

The locals certainly put on a great display of colour, with many in traditional dress and there was great enjoyment, with music and laughter celebrating this old tradition with the group of musicians and artists who have been performing for many years in Sandymount.

Cheque presentation at Spellman Centre

Pictured above: Ros Moran (glasses) and Sheila Mooney (black jacket) of Sandymount Tidy Towns Community Association present the cheque to Mary Doolin (left of cheque in grey) and Theresa Weafer of the Spellman Centre. Photo by Kevin O’Gorman.

A collection was made at Wren Boys Day events for the Spellman Centre. The Spellman Centre provides community and family support to those affected by drugs and is a vital organisation for the South East Area, preventing and working with the challenges of drug addiction. Members of the Sandymount Tidy Towns Community Association collected €1,663 on the day and presented a cheque to the Spellman centre in January.

Valentine’s Day – February 14th

Valentine’s Day is coming, so for all the lovebirds out there we have Valentine-themed tea dances for older people that will be taking place featuring music from down the years courtesy of the band, Past Times. Bring those dancing shoes to the following venues!
• Tuesday, 7th February at 2pm – Community Room, Verschoyle Court, Off Lower Mount Street
• Friday 10th February at 2pm – Iris Charles Centre, Newbridge Avenue, Sandymount.
• Tuesday, 14th February at 2.30pm – Parish Centre, Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook.

Chair Aerobics for older persons

Chair Aerobics for older persons commences at Beech Hill Court Community Room in Donnybrook on Mondays at 2pm.

Walk & Talk

Pictured: Participants on the walk and talk.

The community initiative, Let’s Walk & Talk continues to grow from strength to strength with 10 weekly walks now taking place in the city, including ones in Irish, French and Spanish. One of these walking groups meet every Thursday at 2pm on Sandymount Green for an enjoyable relaxing stroll around the area and sometimes beyond. In recent months, they have also taken visits to the Jeanie Johnston, EPIC exhibition at the CHQ and Print Museum and all for free! It’s a great way to stay healthy, meet people and learn something about our Fair City.

Also on offer during the Spring period under this initiative will be some historical walking tours with Pat Liddy.
Please keep an eye on for updates.