Mc Namara's Cottages,
Phone: 067 25282 - Int + 353 67 25282
McNamara Drama Workshop
Come and enjoy our week long drama workshops, transporting children back in time to learn the importance of songs and storytelling in the past. The workshops will allow people to explore drama & theatre, help develop creativity and of course have a lot of fun.
Press Releases - June 2011
Getting down to earth with real life on a trad style farm
Tradition lives on in a rural setting on a practical farm, nestled in the shadow of Keeper Hill which has become the latest addition to the facilities bridging the urban-rural divide in tourism.
The launch of school tours to the Tipperary Traditional Working Farm is an extension to the successful tourism product
which has been developed on the farm and traded for the past number of years, attracting visitors from all over Europe and beyond each year for to holiday in the quiet rural countryside.
The setting is the McNamara Family Farm, close to the picturesque village of Killoscully, which earned national television fame in recent years as one of the locations for the RTE comedy series "Killinaskully" featuring comedian, Pat Short and his team.
The launch of the Farm Tours was marked by the visit of pupils who travelled from Birr National School, accompanied by their teachers Martina Mulqueen and Eimer Feehan to get down to earth with the farming way of life.
The venture is run by Todd McNamara and his wife Ann, both of whom have given a commitment over the years to a warm welcome and ensuring a pleasant stay for their visitors to the holiday homes which have been developed on the farm.
"We were planning to start farm tours at the time of the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak, but had to abandon it at that time because of the restrictions which were introduced", explained Todd.
The idea was then shelved for a number of years, as they concentrated on expanding the holiday home side of the farm
tourism, but a decade after the 2001 restrictions, the farm tours are back on the agenda.
Judging from the interest shown by the pupils of Birr Boys National School in the 'mystery' of a traditional farm, their latest addition to the tourism package could prove to be another winner. On hand, was Todd and Ann's daughter, Priscilla, a drama producer and teacher, to assist with the tour of the farmyard. The was kept busy providing the scores of answers and explanations which were demanded by the enquiring minds of the pupils, who were discovering at first hand where eggs come from, and that milk is not "made in a factory" as they watched a cow being milked by hand. They enjoyed the thrill of feeding a lamb - themselves - as the little woolly creatures were treated to an abundance of loving care and feed.
Some of the pupils from Birr Boys National School with their teachers and Priscilla McNamara and neighbour Valerie Jewitt on the McNamara Farm.
Visitors to the farm can experience the daily workings on a fully functioning working farm by participating in such activities as hand milking cows, feeding and caring for animals such as calves, lambs, hens, ducks, and the gathering of eggs. There is also an organic vegetable garden on the farm where visitors can take the opportunity to sample some of the produce in season.
The farmyard has been upgraded to facilitate the orderly presentation of the enterprises for the benefit of the visitors, and some of the old horse drawn farm machinery, which was used on this and similar farms over the past half century has been restored and placed on display.
The family explain that the tour is designed to be a cultural, historical and educational experience for the visitors, designed to given them a taste and feel of the pleasures of the rural countryside, through the first hand experience of the sights, sounds, and experiences of the natural heritage of the land.
They will discuss the many aspects of practical farming from the livestock being reared on the farm to the farmyard enterprises, with some of the farm buildings providing an insight into how farm families lived in the generations past.
As interest in the farm tours is showing promise, the recession has effected the holiday home business, with new bookings down, but repeat bookings are holding up well, as the experience of holidaying in the area continues to deliver.
The development of the tourism and other farm alternative ventures has been supported by LEADER and the North Tipperary LEADER Partnership programme.
The latest addition to the enterprise is the introduction of a Drama Workshop with Priscilla Nic Chonmara, a teacher, with vast experience in the field of theatre and drama. The workshops will run through the summer months and there are cur-
rently some vacancies on the courses. Priscilla holds a MA in Drama and Theatre and is a founder member of
Waterdonkey Theatre and Wildebeest Theatre.
She has worked as a performer and stage manager on such productions as "The very best of John Lennon", "Heart", "To the back of beyond", and producer of a recent production of "The Real World". Her experience as a stage manager includes working with Smashing Time Theatre and Playleft Production, Mephisto Theatre and Suantrai Theatre.
An award winning singer, songwriter and musician who has toured Europe and the US, she has also worked with Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe and Siamsa Tire, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, all of which has acquitted her with the experience to make her on farm drama workshop not only educational, but also entertaining and enjoyable as a worthwhile further addition to the farm enterprises.
Meeting the donkey on the McNamara Farm at the launch of Farm Tours are pupils from Birr.
A pupil from Birr National School getting on close terms with the poultry on the McNamara Farm.