THE modern and traditional will go hand in hand in Hospital this weekend when the village celebrates its past 800 years with a host of activities ranging from an historical guided walk to a fun day featuring a barbecue and bouncy castles.
“This is the big weekend. There has been other weekends as well but this is the big one,” said Eddie Creighton of the commemoration weekend which is to celebrate 800 years of the very rich history of Hospital.
Events begins this Friday with a walk guided by local historian Michael O’Sullivan at 8pm in the church car park.
On Saturday evening at 8pm there will be a three-course meal in the community hall followed by a concert by Shaun O’Dowd. Tickets are priced at €15.
“It’s an occasion for people to sit down, have a nice meal, get out of the house and listen to Shaun O’Dowd,” said Mr Creighton who brought up the idea for the celebrations at a community council meeting.
Mr Creighton, who is a former county councillor, is involved in a number of committees for the 800 celebrations including the communications committee and the finance committee.
On Sunday, an outdoor commemoration Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly in St John the Baptist church grounds at 2pm.
There will be no Mass at 11am on that Sunday. “There will be junior and senior choirs participating in the Mass. People ordained from the parish are coming home from England and further afield and priests who have served in the parish over the years are returning to concelebrate the Mass with the bishop,” Mr Creighton explained.
The committee regrets that they cannot provide seating for everybody attending this very special Mass. They are advising people to bring their own seating such as fold up seats or stools so that people will be able to comfortably participate in the service.
A family fun day with many attractions takes place in John The Baptist Community school grounds at 3.30pm. Admission is free. Visitors will be able to watch families compete for the fittest family title and enjoy a barbecue. Proud dog owners will be showing their beloved pets and there will also be a ladies’ and men’s tug of war competition, children’s sports, a bouncy castle, hole in one golf, wellington throw, and some great bargain reading material at the tennis club’s book stall. “There will be plenty of fun and games. Weather permitting we hope to have big crowds,” said Mr Creighton who commended the local community for their support of the event.
“It has been 24/7. We have a very good community council and there are different groups involved in it including all the clubs like the GAA, handball, tennis, the gun club - you name it. We have enjoyed great support so far. There will be other events up to the end of the year.”