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Féile Charn Tóchair 2016

FCT 2016 –
Families Celebrating Together
Féile Charn Tóchair 2016 drew to a close on Friday 15th July with a hugely successful Scoil Samhraidh Charn Tóchair / Irish Language Adult School with 40 participants from as far away as Fermanagh and Dublin attending this year. It proved to be a fitting end to another brilliant Féile Charn Tóchair.
Although the weather was not on our side the committee and volunteers of Carntogher Community Association made every effort to deliver another memorable festival for the local community and further afield.  The festival kicked off with the annual Nature Funday at Drumnaph Nature Reserve.  With the sun shining at short intervals throughout the day the locals had the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Drumnaph in between the showers and enjoy a falconry show with Belfast Falconry Company, ferret racing, Eco mantella, nature art, face painting, bees wax candle making and a kids playzone with mini golf.   Thank you to P&N Meats for sponsoring meat for the BBQ and to Martin McPeake for taking care of the cooking.  Unfortunately the camp night and Poc Fada had to be postponed but plans are underway to set a new date for these events before the end of the summer.  Keep an eye out on local press and social media over the coming weeks.
The festival delivered a number of other enjoyable events including a Guided Historical Tour through Irish with Pádraig Ó’Mianáin, Treasure hunt with clues provided by Bernie MCNicholl, Irish Mass at Granaghan Mass Rock with Fr Oliver Crilly and a Historical Walk on Carntogher Mountain with Deaglan Ó ‘Doibhlin.  Congratulations to the Hann White family who won the treasure hunt and thanks to all those who attended these events throughout the week.
One of the highlights of the festival took place on Sunday 10th July when Sharon Shannon and Alan Conor visited An Coire for the first time and what a night it proved to be. Performing to a full house, Sharon and Alan put on a show to remember and left the audience on their feet looking for more.  We hope that this will not be the last time we see Sharon on the An Coire stage and look forward to her return.
Rith an Carn & annual funday/ BBQ is now into its 6th year and it is going from strength to strength.  This year saw the return of the Carn MTB challenge in conjunction with Carn Wheelers.  The 10km mountain challenge attracted 32 riders from the local cycling clubs and further afield.  Congratulations to Sean Bradley on retaining his King of the Carn title and the organising committee would like to thank everyone who took part and support the event. . 
Rith an Carn had it highest ever entries with 103 entries of men, women and children and welcomed a number of new faces from various running clubs all over Mid Ulster.  Comhghairdeas to Shane Donnelly and Shannon Graham on being crowned King & Queen of the Carn for the first time.  A special mention to all our entrants who made the journey from near and far to take part.  Maith sibh…  A special mention to Arbutus Catering Company and Barry Dallat for their sponsorship of the Rith event . 
The weather remained nice throughout the day and the funday proved a massive hit with families with over 500 people attending the free family activities – climbing wall, bouncy castles, mini golf, ball cage and BBQ with Arbutus catering. A special thankyou to everyone who came along and made the 12th July a special occasion for everyone and a day to remember. 
The committee of Coiste Forbartha Charn Tóchair would like to take this opportunity to thank a range of people who helped to make our festival possible.  Firstly to our funders Foras na Gaeilge, Arts Council of NI and Mid Ulster Council who provided the much needed funds to deliver our events.  Thank you to all our event sponsors this year – Pat O’Kane Hurls, Arbutus Catering Company and P&N Meats.  A big thank you to all our dedicated and hard working volunteers and staff who offered their help when it was most needed throughout the festival.  A special mention to North West Mountain Rescue volunteers who supervised the run and Carn Wheelers for their help during Rith An Chairn/Carn MTB challenge.  Finally a big ‘Go Raibh Maith Agat’ to all those who attended the events and continue to support our work within the Carntogher community.  Your support is very much appreciated.  We look forward to seeing you all next year!

An Carn, 132a Tirkane Road, Maghera July 2016
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