The Millennium Quater Centenary of the death of St. Lachtain, 622-2022.

Féile Lachtain 2022 was organised to commemorate the 1400th anniversary of the death of St. Lachtain which occurred in 622. It also celebrated  more than 1400 years of continuous worship on the site of St. Lachtain’s Church of Ireland.
Festival launch: March 19 Feast of St. Lachtain. The festival was launched with a special church service titled “Celebrating our Shared Christian Heritage”. It began in St. Lachtain’s Church of Ireland, followed by a procession to St. Lachtain’s R.C. Church where it concluded. Both Bishops of Ossory attended. 
The Covid delayed War of Independence Commemoration was held on Easter Sunday with a good attendance despite inclement weather. The tent, provided by Kilkenny Co. Council, was the venue with the presence of the Kilkenny Flying Column  reenactors attending to the occasion. 


Freshford was delighted to welcome back Fleadh Cheoil Cill Chainnigh to the Green in April.  


Ned Kennedy’s booklet on the  life and work of Edmund Fitzpatrick was launched on Friday, May 6, by Lord Bellew of Barmeath Castle, Co. Louth. whose ancestors commissioned paintings from the artist. Art history was created on the night when nine Fitzpatrick paintings were exhibited together for the first time. 
On Saturday, May 7: author Ms Derville Murphy delivered an interesting lecture on the life and work of another nineteenth century artist, Margaret Allen, who lived at Brookville, Lisdowney for a time. She was the first female member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.  
Friday, May 20: Lecture by Ms. Margaret Quinlan, RIAI and Dr. Rachel Moss of Trinity College on the history and architecture of St. Lachtain’s Church and Doorway.
On June 11 an open-air painting event for children was held on the Green. The following day it was the turn of the adults who spent an enjoyable few hours painting and drawing in various spots around the Green. 
Sunday, June 26: due to inclement weather St. Lachtain’s Cemetery Mass was moved to St. Lachtain’s Church. It was followed by a Vintage Car Rally on the Green on Sunday afternoon.  
Sunday, July 10: PILGRIMAGE SUNDAY. A Sponsored Walk took place to the 13th century church ruins at Wellbrook . 
ARTS WEEK EVENT: the Exhibition of paintings by local artists, curated by Marie Cleere in Ionad Lachtain, was another enjoyable event. It was opened by artist William Watson, a native of Three Castles. 
Monday, August 15: Grateful thanks to Mr. Cóilín Ó Drisceoil for his excellent lecture on “Excavations at St. Lachtain’s Church of Ireland.”
The highlight of Heritage Week was the launch of Mike Cormack’s book of 21st.  century Freshford photos. It also includes a survey of 20th. century home ownership in Freshford village. A lovely souvenir of Freshford  for Christmas or any occasion. 
On Friday, September 9, the MQC lecture on the “Shrine of St. Lachtain’s Arm – a unique national treasure from the 12th century” was delivered by Dr. Griffin Murray of UCC. 
On October 8: The Rafter Family Concert at St. Lachtain’s R.C. Church was a moving and uplifting occasion for all who attended.
Monsignor Kieron Kennedy closed the festival with a special Mass celebrated in Tulla and Freshford. Sacred music was provided by Alexander Rafter and the combined choirs of Tulla and Freshford Churches who sang the spiritual songs of Elvis Presley. They were accompanied by local musicians Maura Rafter, Garry Barnaville and Jerry Delaney. It was another uplifting occasion for the congregations. 
Thanks to all who supported the events held to mark this special year in the history of the parish. Please keep an eye out for the Féile Lachtain 2023 programme of events. 
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