The art of storytelling is still alive and well in Lusk. On Friday 8th September Lusk Heritage Group proved that in Murray’s Pub with their lineup of storytellers, poets and raconteurs. Jim Hawkins from Swords was MC for the night and kept everyone entertained along the way Topics varied from the seaweed wars in Skerries and surrounding areas in the first half of the 1900s, and poems by Jim Finnegan stretching back over the last 50 years of his life. Eilen Sweetman brought back memories of the Square in Lusk, of her family and friends. Vera Stone from Rush enthralled her audience with three old recitations that had everyone falling out of their seats with laughter. Jim Monks gave us all a humorous warning about how the internet, I-phones and laptops are in danger of replacing local north county accents with much poorer versions of language and shorthand truncated writing that he was not at all impressed with. But local poet Damien Donnelly showed us that not all is lost yet. He regaled us with three of his poems about travelling, coming home and making sense of this modern world of ours.
Aidan Arnold gave a fascinating talk about his upcoming book Barnewall de Berneval, 800 years an Irish Norman Family. The book, which he hopes to have available for sale by mid-October, had its origins in a 22-year friendship between local Lusk woman Pat Kelly, Secretary of the Lusk Heritage Group and Sir Reginald Barnewall, the head of the Barnewall family worldwide until his death in 2018. On the night, Pat Kelly remembered friends she met over the years with connections to the rich heritage of Fingal, while Sean O’Gorman gave a not so complimentary account of Lord Holmpatrick of Skerries. His court battles with the farmers of Rush were reenacted by Sean and Jim Monks. At the time John Thorne finished up repeatedly in court, pitted against Ian Hamilton (he of the Hamilton Monument in Skerries,) who demanded to be paid for every cart load of seaweed that the local farmers laboriously drew with horse and cart from Shennick Island for use as fertiliser to grow their crops. Just a sample of all the strange and wonderful stories told and yet to be told about our local history.