An Achill Island Pageant marks the restoration of graves in the local graveyard and commemorates those who are buried there.
A pageant on Achill Island was held to celebrate the restoration of the Kildownet graveyard.
Through years of neglect the cemetery had become overgrown with weeds and nettles. Father Sommerville, with assistance form a youth employment scheme, tackled the task of restoring the graveyard.
The pageant told the story of Saint Dymphna, who the graveyard is named after, and of others buried in the graveyard. As part of the pageant, 32 youngsters each carrying a cross with a name, remembered the drowning tragedy of 1894. A small boat from Achill with people onboard emigrating to Scotland, capsized with the loss of 32 lives. They were buried in a mass grave in Kildownet.
Also remembered was another great tragedy of 1937 when 9 teenagers and one young man from Kildownet lost their lives in the Scottish fire tragedy. They were sleeping after potato picking in Kirkintilloch, Scotland when their hut caught fire. They all died in the fire.
There was also a re-enactment of a funeral where a coffin was brought by boat across the bay.
Coffin Maker, Mickey Mor Ó Gallchoir, recalls the many coffins he has made and the burials he has witnessed over the years.
As the Pollagh Pipe Band played, the fishing boats anchored opposite the cemetary for the blessing ceremony.
An RTÉ News report by Pádraic O Catháin broadcast on 21 May 1985.