As the organisers of The Táin March prepared for the county signature event this weekend, they were stunned when it suddenly came to their attention that the glorious sculpture of the Brown Bull situated on the M1 at the entrance of the Cooley Peninsula… is gone!
An Tarbh Donn, a magnificent sculpture was commissioned to mark the opening of the M1 bypass of Dundalk in 2005 under the Percentage For Arts Scheme where 1% of the scheme budget is allocated to roadside art. The three metre high bull made of metal mesh was directly inspired by the Bull in the Táin Bó Cúailnge and secured on a concrete base.
So now, yet again, the search is on to find An Tarbh Donn and not only by the bold warrior Maeve this weekend, but by the local inhabitants of the county of Louth.
‘It is all quite strange’ stated Tim Mullins, a local businessman. ‘Everyone is very proud and protective of the Bull as it is a beautiful piece of art that depicts the heritage of the area perfectly. The fact that it was discovered at this time – just before the March begins – is remarkable. No one seems to know anything.’
The national epic is being spectacularly reenacted across Louth beginning in Ardee on Thursday evening. marching across the county through towns and villages enjoying campfires, lectures and stunning performances from the epic. The army will begin their final descent over the spectacular Cooley Mountains on Sunday, where their arrival will be toasted with mead and the hungry warriors will feast on pig and bread. As the celtic customs dictated, visitors to the town will be advised to eat the customary salted bread available on the day in order to avoid any quarrelling.
Everyone is welcome to join the march at any stage during its journey. Full details on www.thetainmarch.net.