Biddies back with a vengeance after two-year absence

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It wasn’t so much a case of all around the house and mind the dresser but more an example of living it up in the great outdoors as the colourful Kilgobnet Biddy Group in Beaufort marked the arrival of St Brigid’s Day in some style.

The Biddies on the march through the parish

After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, they turned out in great numbers and in all their splendor with a proverbial feast of music, song and dance to mark the arrival of springtime.

They exhibited their unique brand of cheer and culture throughout the parish and in the process they maintained an age-old tradition of the Biddies, one of the oldest and most popular customs in Ireland, a blend of pagan and Christian pageantry. They gathered at Kilbognet National School and marched to Sheehan’s Cross and then on to Kissane’s Shop in Beaufort.

The O’Connor family, Anthony, Patrick, Brendan, Maura and Seán playing together

Heralding the beginning of a new season and honouring St Brígid, the patron saint of the farming community, the Kilgobnet Biddies banished the grim memories of Covid from the community – for one day at least – and men, women and children of all ages thoroughly enjoyed the event as the embraced their culture and proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the spirit is willing and the body is able.

Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan