Straide Gathering/Tostal na Sraide
2013 became known as the year of the Gathering across Ireland. The Straide Gathering began on July 31st and ran until August 4th, with many Straide natives coming from across the world to celebrate the event.
With almost 5,000 communities nationwide celebrating The Gathering, Straide put its own spin on what an excellent initiative. The Gathering kicked off on the evening of July 31st, with a time capsule vigil. The community invited every local household to contribute a written piece and items for inclusion in the capsule, which is to be dug up in 2063, marking the 50th anniversary of the event.
The festivities that continued over the coming days were met with great excitement from locals and those returning to their home parish. Events over the weekend included an eviction re-enactment on the Village Green, a wreath-laying ceremony at Michael Davitt’s Grave by the then Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, an 8km walk around the Parish, while the Castlebar Concert and Marching Band gave a Recital in the Sraide Abbey after Mass.
Sporting events also came to the forefront during the Gathering, with a GAA Challenge match between Straide Gathering Team v Bohola Gathering Team on the Saturday of the event. While the match was supposed to be non-contact, there was a great sense of competitiveness, but the match was played in a great sporting nature. The Spraoi na Sráide (Annual Straide Fun Day) also took place on the Sunday of the Gathering and was met with great popularity.
The Straide Gathering highlighted the community’s link with the rest of the world. The four days brought back Straide natives from the UK, Australia, America and New Zealand amongst other places across the globe. The community effort shown in the months leading up to the event was a testimony to Straide’s ability to work together and deliver an event that will be talked about for quite some time.