In class this morning, we learnt our Gaelic names and studied Celtic and early Christian Ireland. We have four tribes in the group, each representing a province, Munster, Ulster, Connaght and Leinster. We elected a Taoiseach, file (poet), Druid, Brehon (judge) and laoch (hero) for each. We also wrote our names in Ogham writing.
We visited Devinish Island, a beautiful old monastic settlement in the middle of Lough Erne. Here are the remains of an old abbey, a medieval high cross, and a round tower. Our boat also passed by Eniskillen Castle and Royal Portora, where Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett went to school.
Ethnomusicologist Marc Geagan, North West College, Derry, and Rory Corbett, University College Galway, hosted a talk about the roots of Irish music. We watched some great clips of the Transatlantic Sessions, learned the history and differences between the Irish and the American banjo, and listened to some contemporary, traditional style, Irish music by Michael McGoldrick. Then the band Erdini conducted an interactive performance with the students.
We cheekily pulled two of our group up for some traditional irish dancing. Tomorrow we head all the way to the stunning cultural oasis of Galway City.