A dip into the BBC Archives to listen to an extract of the Ballyboley
(Click on speaker to listen.)
In February 2004 Breege McCusker visited the Centre to hear from Jim
Ledwith and Dessie Reilly about a visit
by the Aughakillymaude Community Mummers
(Click on speaker to listen.)
(To access audio and video you need RealPlayer
Relevant Web Links
Communities – The Art of Rural Living (Includes
footage of Mummers)
Muriel McGrath - Jan '08
I was born in Omagh but live in Berkshire. My
mother gave me Dr Haldane Mitchell's "Images
of Omagh and surrounding district" Volume
15 for Christmas and in it there was a picture
of Mummers. I went on "Google" to search
for more information and found this article really
Art Curry - May '07
My name is Arthur Curry.
My grandparents were from Derrylin, Co Fermanagh.
My grandfather was Redmond Curry and my grandmother
was Alice Blake. Both popular names in Co Fermanagh.
Mary Coyle just recently told me about the Mummers.
I have read a lot about the mummers.
My email is alc2848 at ail dot com. Slainte
Daith MacAindriu - Apr '07
Philadelphia - January 1st - Mummers parade -
the biggest mummers event known to man. Yes indeed
the roots are Irish. Glad to see yous keep the
tradition alive. If you make it to Philadelphia
- there is a mummer's museum and many club houses
of the various mummer organizations.
Marilyn Vance McGaughey - Mar
This is a neat article that gives a wonderful
idea to those of us in the US some of the history
and customs as well as the participation of the
people in helping the community in Co. Fermanagh
Ireland. It was most interesting .
Gerald Flanagan - Feb '07
Reports of the trials are to be found in the Enniskillen
Chronicle/Erne Packet avalible on film at Enniskillen
library. Very tedious work though because of the
layout ot newspapers then.
Ron Kerr - Feb '07
I am Ron Kerr and I lived in Lisnarick, near Irvinestown,
from 1939 to 1952. I rememember taking part in
the mummers as a ten or twelve year old in the
late 1940s and going from house to house in the
village. Unfortunatly I can't remember any details!
However it was interesting to read the article.
JB - Nov '06
In the west of Ireland they are known as the "Straw
Boys". The tradition is alive and well on
Achill Island and surrounding districts.
Last year a group of us musicians went on the
wren for the first time. The occasion was greatly
enjoyed by us but in particular by our neighbours
and friends. This we intend to repeat the event
but would love to make the straw masks. Can you
help us with this? Would you have instructions
for same? Many thanks
Nell Dale - Aug '06
Do you have any instructions on how to make straw
costumes, I am making some for a harvest procession
and guessing at constuction can you help at all.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Martin Plumley - Dec '05
"We are one two three jolly lads all in one
mind And we've come here a mumming this merry
Christmas time So we hope you'll prove kind with
your coins and strong beer For we'll come no more
nigh here until the next year"
Is the song we (the Weston Mummers from Bath in
England) sing before we enter in. I have played
The Old King in our version of the play (rewritten
around 20 years ago) for over 10 years but I recognise
much from the Ballyboley clip. Wonderful to hear
such a traditional rendition. For me it marks
the passing of the year and meeting up with old
friends to entertain and have a drink or two.
Liza Austin Strange - June '05
My name is Liza Austin Strange and I'm from Hayfield
in the High Peak area of England. Recently I was
lucky enough to be invited to visit Fermanagh
with my group of musicians and dancers from the
Fosbrook Folk Education Trust School of Traditional
Dance, Music and Song based in Stockport, Cheshire.
Our invitation came via the Adlington Morris
Men who have been involved in exchanges with the
Aughakillymaude Mummers before and brought them
to visit our school in Stockport three years ago.
The nine young people who went with myself and
my husband were fascinated by midsummer ritual
we attended on Knockninny Mountain and were delighted
to meet so many interesting characters.
We particularly enjoyed the ceilidhs at the community
centre where the music, set dancing, tea and soda
bread were excellent! We also enjoyed meeting
the young fiddlers from Derrylin and their teacher.
Rides in Michael McBarron's donkey cart were another
highlight of our time there. We are planning another
visit to this part of the world as we enjoyed
ourselves so much.
Our young people are proud to have been part
of the initiative for Peace and Reconciliation
which supported the midsummer festival there.
We'd like to thank the Aughakillymaude Community
Mummers and congratulate them on their achievements.
Their community spirit blazes like their hilltop
bonfire. The organiser of the festival Jim Ledwith
must be worth his weight in gold to that community
and an inspiration to all who strive to pull together
for common good.
Although we are clog dancers and musicians rather
than mummers, mumming does also take place in
the north west of England where we live. Our plays
also champion the triumph of good over evil. Aughakillymaude
Mummers have achieved this by extending the hand
of friendship successfully across a variety of
Ian Storer - June '05
My name is Ian Storer from Macclesfield in Cheshire
with an interest in taking pictures of places
close to home and my travels. I've recently been
asked to give a slide show of our county and what
happens around Cheshire. I found some slides of
your visit to Quarry Bank Mill and Macclesfield
during your weekend with the Adlington Morris
Men. It was a pleasure to meet such a fantastic
group of folks as yourselves. Thanks for keeping
traditions alive, for providing your unique form
of entertainment, and for being great guys to
My name is Jim McMaster of Devonshire, Bermuda.
I was born in Belfast and as a young man joined
the R.U.C., and trained in the Depot in Enniskillen
1950. I heard about the Mummers when I was there.
I was stationed in Garrison, Co. Fermanagh for
a year and a half and then joined the Bermuda
Police Service in 1952 and married a Bermuda girl
in 1956 and have remained here ever since. I was
browsing the BBC channel to get the news from
N.Ireland when I came across this article on the
Mummers and found it very interesting indeed.
Good to be able to hear an extract of the Ballyboley
Mummers performing and the Aughakillymaude Mummers
visit to Bulgaria. Very interesting and enjoyable.