A new short film created by older people from counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Cavan and Monaghan launches in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim today, exploring different views of St Brigid.

"Brigid, Our Spirit Stirring" is an Age and Opportunity project, and was made by older people from those six counties along with artist Marie Brett.

It follows a series of craft and poetry workshops which culminated in a final pageant held at the National Museum of Ireland, Country Life in Mayo where the participants paraded their creations in a procession inspired by traditional and holy pilgrimage.

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Mairead Cranley, Age Friendly North Regional Manager, described how following consultations with older people in the region, "we knew they wanted to explore traditions associated with St Brigid".

"This project was creative, colourful, and everyone got active. Age Friendly Ireland are always looking at ways to enhance the lives of older people and improve their quality of life," she said.

"Participating in creative projects like this will be of huge benefit to them."

She added: "The project explored past and future views of Brigid and her transformative relationship to the Irish people. Participants worked in a series of workshops and produced hand-crafted artefacts such as Brigid-style crosses, protective God's eyes, masks, hats and Brídeóga."

The project was carried out in partnership with Age Friendly Ireland and was funded by the Creative Ireland Programme, and the film is available to watch online on the Age and Opportunity YouTube channel.

Age Friendly Ireland said participating in creative projects like this was beneficial for older people
(Image: Age & Opportunity)

Age and Opportunity Chief Executive Karen Horgan said the project has connected older people from the northwest "in a uniquely creative and celebratory way around the theme of Brigid, both Goddess and Saint.

"As an organisation that aims to enable the best quality of life for us all as we age, where we can be more active, more visible, more creative, more connected and more confident, we are delighted to have worked in partnership with Age Friendly Ireland and artist Marie Brett."

As the lead artist, Ms Brett described the film as "a digital fusion of a contemporary live event that reimagines collective and cross-generational folk custom. It was such an enriching, creative experience to make this work, with so much elder knowledge.

"Together we combined pilgrimage tradition, Biddy Boys (which we’ve re-named Biddy-Girls) and Brídeóg custom, with thinking surrounding natural world learning, Celtic pathways, and elemental forces."