Festivals on Achill (3)

The Achill Feis of 1911; Part (2)

The Achill Feis (fair) was one of the biggest events held on the Island. It was reported on by local newspaper the Mayo News:

The Achill Feis, which took place on Thursday last, was the first event of the kind ever held in Lower Achill. We are glad to be able to record that it was a good success… the crowds gathered from all parts of the island,┬ákind helpers motored down form Castlebar, and by 8 o’clock all was set going.


Dooagh Village, where the 1911 Feis was held.

Dooagh Village, where the 1911 Feis was held. Reproduced by kind permission of Mayo Libraries.

Under the instruction of Emily Weddall and members of the Gaelic League the many Islanders clubbed together to put the final touches to the fair. The men of Dooagh worked into the early hours to have the hall ready in time for the big day.

On the day of the fair the children were dressed in their best clothes to perform in front of the crowd each hoping to finish first in the singing, dancing or storytelling competition. The adults too competed in similar categories. There were many exhibits of crafts, industrial exhibits, home produce and baking. Emily won first prize for darning!

The bilingual play The Doctor was performed by the talented locals. A perfect end to a perfect day!

Mayo News; June 3, 1911. P. 8