Published April 5, 2016
Milwaukee Irish Fest board members were awarded this beautiful painting by The Institute of Study Abroad Ireland at the Transatlantic Connections Conference in Donegal in January in recognition of the work we do to keep Irish culture alive. The artwork, an original from painter Kevin Lowery, who lives and works in the North-West of Ireland, was commissioned just for Milwaukee Irish Fest.
After we posted this photo of our volunteers with the painting in the Irish Fest Center’s Great Hall, one of our Facebook followers identified the location for the inspiration of the painting as the Fairy Bridges at Tullan Strand in Bundoran, County Donegal. So, we did a little investigating, and according to discoverbundoran.com, the Fairy Bridges are “sea stacks hundreds of years old and Bundoran’s original tourist attraction back in the 1800s. However, it is believed that as far back as the 1700s locals thought these to be haunted by the fairies.” And now we all know how this beautiful part of the coastline ended up with the name “The Fairy Bridges!”
Since many of you are too far away to visit us at our Irish Fest Center in Wauwatosa, WI, to admire our newest piece of art in person, we thought we’d share the poem, from Irish poet and writer Patrick Kavanagh, engraved under the painting. I think it perfectly summarizes the thoughts of all of us at Milwaukee Irish Fest:
I thank you and I say how proud
that I have been by fate allowed
to stand here having the joyful chance
to claim my inheritance.