Last month two screenings of the film, first broadcast on RTE in 1979, attracted very large attendances to the Courthouse. In fact, the ‘house full’ signs went up for the initial event, organised by the Old Ennistymon Society as part of its contribution to National Heritage Week. In response to public demand, The North Clare Historical Society has now linked up with The Old Ennistymon Society to facilitate another showing, starting at 8pm on Monday next and admission is €5. The 25-minute film and accompanying set of evocative photographs are bound to generate much discussion and contributions from the audience, as did the September screenings.
‘A Horse’s Tale’ features three schoolchildren from Moy National School observing, and lending a hand to, farmer Joe Garrihy from Carrowntedaun, Lahinch, and his trusted Irish Draught mare ‘Doonbay’ as they carried out various tasks on the farm These ranged from cutting and harvesting the hay to drawing home turf from the bog. The film also showed the mare being shod at Moloney’s blacksmith forge in Ennistymon while her repaired bridle is retrieved from the local Crowe’s saddlery. Scenes were also shot at Kilmihil cattle fair and the famous Spancilhill horse fair.
The documentary, produced in association with RTE, was inspired by prize-winning entries from pupils at the Moy National School, under the guidance of School Principal, Úna Uí Rócháin, in a national essay competition. “The previous screenings provoked much stimulating discussion and reminisces about precious but largely forgotten farming and equine traditions, as well as town-based crafts such as the blacksmith and saddler,” said John O’Loughlin, Chairman of the North Clare Historical Society. “We look forward to many further contributions during a group discussion after the film at next week’s event, when the contributors will include Colman Garrihy, the son of ‘Doonbay’ owner, the late Joe Garrihy,” he concluded.
The photo above shows the 'stars' of A Horse's Tale - Joe Garrihy, owner of the Irish Draught mare, Doonbay, flanked by Sean Curtin and Michael Harhen with John Garrihy (seated on creamery can) get a lift from local man, Mick Conlon in Ennistymon.