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History and heritage is put under the spotlight

07 June 2016

From Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th June, Tullaghoge Fort, Cookstown and the Hill of the O’Neill, Dungannon will be at the heart of a series of events, from historical tours and talks to dramatic re-enactments and performances that commemorate the life of Hugh O’Neill, and tell the story of the shaping of the history, landscape and heritage of the region by the O’Neills and the great family names who were born and lived there.

The Gathering of the Clans, organised by Mid Ulster District Council, explores a unique part of the history and heritage of the Mid Ulster region, in this the year which also marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Hugh ‘The Great’ O’Neill, the last Chieftain to be inaugurated at Tullaghoge Fort and the last Earl of Tyrone and Baron of Dungannon to bear the title of “The O’Neill”.

Launching the new programme, Chairman of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor C├íthal Mallaghan, said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to find out more about the rich and varied history and heritage of the area, and be entertained with stellar performers in various venues, and great days out for all the family!”

There’s a varied programme from walking tours of the Sperrins to exploration of ancient battle and historic sites at Yellow Ford, near Armagh; Tullaghoge Fort, near Cookstown’ and the Hill of the O’Neill in Dungannon on 18th June. There’s music to celebrate the summer solstice at Beaghmore Stone Circles on 21st June, and in the Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown, where the Sounds of the Clans will be heard on 24th June, and Ranfurly House Arts and Visitors Centre which will play host to The Priests on 23rd June. Drama from Cookstown born Owen O’Neill in his one man play, The Rebel Crown on 22nd June in the Burnavon, Cookstown presents a history of the extraordinary, turbulent life of Red Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone.

With a living history banquet on 25th June and a fantastic family fun day at the Hill of the O’Neill to draw the week to a close on 26th June, it’s the ideal opportunity to explore the area’s hidden heritage.

For more information and to see the full programme, go to www.midulsterdistrictcouncil.org/gathering or phone 03000 132 132.

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