Garden gig helps charity

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Potatoes and tunes were the order of the day on the Old Dublin Road in Antrim on Saturday when people gathered in support of distressed refugees.

To mark the 170th anniversary of the onset of “The Great Hunger” in Ireland, a “Lumper Day” was held to aid those people currently suffering.

The “lumper” was the variety of potato widely grown in Ireland at that time, but because of its susceptibility to blight, it had fallen totally out of favour.

During that five year period, over a million people throughout the country, including our own locality, were lost to starvation and disease, and a further million and more became forced refugees.

Recent efforts by Michael McKillop of Glens of Antrim Potatoes had seen the lumper re-generated, initially via a cutting, which he cultivated.

Thanks to Michael’s generosity, a batch of Lumper seeds were sown earlier this year at 27 Dublin Road, and these harvested potatoes were prepared by several local chefs to produce some very savoury potato cuisine.

Accompanying these delicacies was a mix of live outdoor Folk, Traditional and Blue Grass music, generously provided by the highly talented group, “The Rare Auld Stuff” comprising local musicians, Kevin Mawdsley, Joe McKeague and Connor McCaffrey, along with several guest artists.

Hosts Tommy and Mary Crilly are hugely appreciative of the willing contribution of musicians, chefs, friends and neighbours, which, along with providing a hugely entertaining evening, also generated £1000 for Trócaire’s current work in the refugee crisis.