'Boys of the Old High Nelly Brigade'

 A group of the members of Cumann na bhFear (Men's Shed Galway) cycled from Ballinfoile to Shantalla on Sunday last to participate in the festivities to commemorate the Irish nationalist Daniel O'Connell's famous 'Repeal the Union' (with Britain) monster meeting that took place there in 1843 in front of a crowd estimated at 300,000. 
Sunday's event was a truly remarkable occasion and a tribute to the strong community spirit that still exists in urban neighbourhoods and rural localities across Ireland. We joined other groups ranging from Sea Scouts to school bands in marching through the streets of Shantalla to the foot of the 'Sliding Rock' where thousands were gathered including President Michael D Higgins to hear wonderful actors brilliantly re-enact the speeches that rang out in 1843 over the fields, cottages and spires of Galway demanding independence for Ireland.
The event was held as part of the Gathering 2013 and was prove positive that this Diaspora-orientated initiative has done much to re-vitalize local community festivals across Ireland.
Finally, a fleet of these High Nelly bikes are being readied for the Slí na gCaisleán Heritage Cycle tour that will start at 10.00am from Terryland Castle on June 23rd.
Special thanks to Brian MacGabhann for organising the weekly 'High Nelly' repair workshops at Cumann na bhFear.
President Michael D. Higgins returns to the heartland of his former political constituency

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