Press Release

Athboy 100 are thrilled to announce that they will be hosting the nationally acclaimed ‘1916 Song Project’ as part of their May Bank Holiday festivities to celebrate the anniversary of 1916.

1916 Song Project

This national research and performance project which has been devised and produced by Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert for the 2016 Commemoration Programme, features some of the country’s most respected traditional singers and songwriters.

This is just one of many events scheduled for Athboy over the weekend which will see the town whisked back one hundred years to celebrate the lives of the ordinary men and women of a century ago.

Courtesy of Anne Bird-Leavy
Courtesy of Anne Bird-Leavy

Athboy 100 is a local history project, established to promote the history of the town during that time. Over the past number of months the group have also provided opportunities for people to learn about the events of the Easter Rising and the First World War, and also what life was like in Athboy over a 100 years ago.

The May Bank Holiday Weekend is all about bringing the town to life, by recapturing moments in history, re-enacting events, showcasing memorabilia and lots more.

Friday evening kicks off the festivities with local musician Des White hosting ‘Music and Tales of 1916’. A keen folkorist Des will give us samples of some of the music of the time while also telling stories from the locality. This takes place in Athboy Macra Hall at 8pm. The event is free of charge and includes a wine reception.

On Saturday evening at 6pm St. James’ Church of Ireland will be the venue for a free public talk entitled “Who Fears to Sing of 1916? – A Search for the Songs of the Rising”. This will be presented by Thérèse McIntyre.

The 1916 Song Project will commence at 8pm in the same location and will be preceded by a short drinks reception. This is a ticket only event and bookings can be made online at or Tickets are also available from The Darnley Lodge Hotel and The HUB office on Main St. Athboy. Tickets cost €12.

Athboy on Market Day (1895-1900)
Athboy on Market Day (1895-1900)

On Sunday afternoon between 12.30 and 4pm the Athboy Fair will take over the main street just as it would have in 1916. There will be children’s games, music, dancing and all sorts of fun. With contributions from the Dunderry Fair, Athboy High Nellie Club and many many more it promises to be a very entertaining day with something for all the family. Visitors are encouraged to dress up in costume of the time and get into the spirit of what a Fair of the time would have been like.

Athboy Macra Hall, formerly the towns Courthouse will return to its roots on Sunday at 3pm where Court will be in session as the Petty Sessions trials begin. Expect plenty of drama and even more hilarity.

Over the course of the weekend there will also be a Pop-up Museum in the town. A great opportunity to see some wonderful photographs, documents, maps and much more. Some poetry reading and drama will also feature while Meath historian Noel French will also give a talk on genealogy. The museum will be located in St. James’ Hall and open on Saturday from 2pm to 6pm and on Sunday from 12pm to 6pm. An old style Post Office will also be making an appearance for the weekend so make sure to pop in and have a look!

The Athboy 100 weekend is sure to be an informative and fun filled weekend for all ages. We hope you will join us to celebrate the lives of the ordinary people of Athboy.


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