Buttevant toasts lengthy history

Medieval scenes will be re-enacted as part of a day of celebrations to mark a Co Cork town’s lengthy history.

Buttevant, originally built as a walled town in the 13th century, will be the scene of sword-and axe-wielding battle re-enactments, medieval singing, and a host of family fun events.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan will be on hand on June 16 to unveil two murals and a book detailing Buttevant’s rich past.

The festivities will get under way at 12pm when Mr Deenihan unveils a mural depicting medieval Buttevant and another dedicated to the St Leger, the world’s first steeplechase, which was run in 1752 between the churches in Buttevant and Doneraile.

Preparations for the day are in full swing, according to Buttevant Heritage group chairwoman Lilian Sheahan.

She said the battles would be performed in the castle grounds by professional re-enactment group Bran Dubh. Children will be able to have their own battle, but with foam swords.

“Traditional craft demonstrations, country market, and a puppet show will continue throughout the afternoon, while Buttevant’s Medieval Singers and traditional pipers and a harpist will add to the atmosphere,” said Ms Sheahan said.

Mr Deenihan will also launch an official book of the town, Buttevant — The Fortunes of an Anglo-French Town, by Eamonn Cotter.

The books is enhanced by work from Tadgh O’Keeffe, UCD; Paul MacCotter, UCC; Ann-Julie Layfayette, Paris; and Eamonn Cotter, archaeology consultant and heritage adviser.

A limited number of the books have been published and they will be available to purchase on the day.

“We are also hoping that the Barry Clan, whose ancestors founded Buttevant together with Lombards... will march up the town with Minister Deenihan,” said Ms Sheahan.

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