The Annual Family Picnic Day at Donamon Castle take place on this Sunday, 28th of July. It will commence with Mass in the church at 12 noon. This is a very special year for this historic castle, as it is the 80th anniversary of the arrival of the Divine Word Missionaries in Donamon.
In the year 1939, Fr. Ignatius Huelmeier and three Brothers took up residence in a very run-down building with broken windows and sparse furniture – but with help from the neighbours and other sources they persisted and eventually got the novitiate up and running.
This year is also very special as it is the 25th anniversary of the holding of the Annual Family Picnic Day on the grounds. It was spearheaded by the late Fr. Shane Fitzgerald SVD and comprised of five local people, Sean Beirne, Bert Curley, John Kelly, Buddy Raftery and Seamus Ward. Funds generated by the Picnic Day go to help with the maintenance of the castle, which dates back to 1150.
To mark this special occasion, the Mass will feature singer and harpist Annette Griffin (of Ashford Castle fame) accompanied by John Staunton as well as a performance by the Castlerea Brass & Reed Band.
Following Mass, there is a fun-filled day planned, with entertainment and events to suit all the family. From 1 pm, we will have music from The Castlerea Brass & Reed Band, Bill Haugh, Patsy McCaul Band, No Regrets, Celtic Cru, Larissa Tormey – while Jake Carter, and Mick Flavin and Carmel McLoughlin with the Ryan Turner Band will be headlining. An auction will also be held and there will be a display of Irish dancing from the Duggan School of Dance.
All through the day there will be a variety of events, including an array of eagles, a display of fish and fauna by Inland Fisheries, clown, bouncy castles, pony rides, train rides, book stall and cuddly toys, flower stand and tours of the castle itself.
To mark the 80th anniversary a special video has been produced by Kairos and will be shown in one of the tents throughout the day.
The refreshment tent will have tea/coffee, sandwiches, hot dogs, sweets, ice cream and soft drinks on offer.
The grand raffle will be held towards the end of the day at approximately 6 pm with a top prize of €1,500 and other good cash prizes. Many spot prizes can be won on the day.
This day is possible only due to the dedication of many people including the hard-working committee, the stewards and helpers, generous sponsors, and help from agencies such as Roscommon County Council, An Garda Siochana, Civil Defence, Kilbegnet Development Committee Rural Social Scheme, Roscommon LEADER Group and many others too numerous to mention.
The Divine Word Missionaries and the committee extend a very warm welcome to everyone to come and enjoy this great occasion. You can bring along your own picnic or barbeque to have on the lawn. Tickets for the grand raffle will be available at the sales stand.
Our resident MC for the day Danny Burke will ensure that everyone is informed of all the events. Of course we hope that the weather will be favourable and that everyone will have a day to remember – so mark this date in your diary! Admission and parking is free.