Firestarter Launch for Oldcastle Equinox Festival at Loughcrew

Oldcastle Tourism Group released the line up of events for the much anticipated celebration of the Spring Equinox at Loughcrew for the upcoming weekend of 21st – 23rd March. The line up went live on the Oldcastle Chamber website on the 1st of March and features a wide range of events and artists including Dawn Ceremonies on each of the three days at 6.00 am at Cairn T on Loughcrew. The first ceremony on Friday 21st will feature Babylon Inferno Fire Dancers welcoming the Sunrise and will be attended by Minister Brian Hayes. The overall event is entitled The Return of the Light and is based on the belief systems and knowledge of the original Neolithic builders some 5,500 years ago. The range of events take place after The Dawn Ceremonies both in the town of Oldcastle and Loughcrew Gardens and feature workshops, seminars, talks, walks,classes, sessions and fun promises the Event poster. These will feature Meditation, Shamanism, Druidry, Healing, Yoga, Mindfulness, History, Art, Poetry, Sound Vibration, Nature and Music.

” We are delighted to be able to assemble for the Spring Equinox such a diverse range of events with so many talented people from the locality and afar and we are looking forward to creating some memorable experiences for people. Using the energy generated by a natural occurrence which was captured by our ancient ancestors over 5,000 years ago is a great way forward for sustainable Tourism in this area.” says Event Organiser Bartle D’Arcy from Directing Tourism.

The Oldcastle Tourism Group met with The OPW recently and are also delighted to announce that there will be much needed improvements carried out on the site this year after an architects report.

” The OPW are going to carry out works on the steps which are a bit steep at the moment, put in additional seating for the journey up the hill and address the issue of excess water coming into the tomb from the roof vent. New interpretive signage at the site will be of great benefit and combined with our Spring Equinox Events should make it a very good summer for Tourism at Loughcrew and Oldcastle this year.” said Garry O’Neill President Oldcastle Chamber of Commerce.

Equinox Festival Crew at Loughcrew - Bartle D'Arcy Directing Tourism, Garry O'Neill President Oldcastle Chamber of Commerce, George Allen General Manager Loughcrew Gardens and Gerry Reilly Oldcastle Tourism Group at Cairn T

Equinox Festival Crew at Loughcrew – Bartle D’Arcy Directing Tourism, Garry O’Neill
President Oldcastle Chamber of Commerce, George Allen General Manager Loughcrew Gardens
and Gerry Reilly Oldcastle Tourism Group at Cairn T

Local artists are to the fore for the Equinox Events and the first Warm Up event is a book signing by local author Tina Halpin and illustrator Lisa Brady on their childrens book  ” Conan and the Mystical, Magical Light of Loughcrew “on St Patrick’s Day in The Kraft Kaffee Oldcastle.  Artists from all over Ireland are coming for the Equinox and Treasa Kerrigan  took on the role of Event Co-ordinator after meeting Bartle on a guided walk he was giving in Fore and hearing about the upcoming plans.  Treasa channels guided meditations from  Sacred Sites of Ireland and is preparing her next work from Loughcrew.

“I’m very excited about being asked to be part of the Oldcastle / Loughcrew Equinox Festival Team.  Loughcrew is a very spiritual place and my vision for the Equinox Festivals is to celebrate our sacred landscape and heritage in a respectful and spiritual manner.  For this first festival we have some wonderful people from the Irish spiritual community including Deirdre Wadding, Luke Eastwood, Martin Byrne from Carrowkeel who will be talking on the sacred rock art of the cairns , Sinead Whyte,  Vinnie Woods and Tom Swinburne amongst others.” remarked Treasa.

The full event listings complete with times, venues, accommodation and camping information is now available on and you can check for updates on Facebook at Oldcastle Equinoxes Loughcrew.

The Last Torch – Musical Ceoldrama Premiering in Australia

Frances McGinnis O’Neill talks frankly about her ceoldrama which is premiering in Melbourne, Australia in October of this year.

Last Torch banner

“I have never felt “Australian “. This is probably due to being raised by Scottish/Irish parents. Music was a part of my feeling different. My family still sing together, no families I know do this. Having no extended family, my mother thought it important to tell stories of her family, childhood and youth. She wanted me to be grateful, for her childhood was tumultuous and dangerous whereas mine was youthful, naïve and safe. So I came to understand why she left Scotland.  One day mum mentioned incredulously that her violent, alcoholic father used to say that she should walk proudly and properly as she was of royal blood. Oh! Doesn’t every girl want to be a princess? This piqued my interest in the O’Rourkes. I had become interested in my fathers side when I was sent “home” to visit.  My first experience of what it is to be a McGinnis was an English army officer, upon hearing my last name abruptly turning his back on me. Perplexed, I told my cousin who asked “Don’t you know who you are?” I am a white Australian, but here I was black Irish. I came to know myself as half terrorist, half royal.

Whilst studying opera I became passionate about writing one, and researching the O’Rourkes I found an event that excited me because of its dramatic potential and potential links to my family. This event was the wreckage of a few ships from Philip of Spain’s fleet off the West coast of Ireland. In this famous shipwreck an O’Rourke saved many Spaniards from certain death in direct rebellion of Queen Elizabeth I.  The story explained the Spanish characteristics in my family, and the reason such a noble clan ended up broken in Scotland. One of the Spaniards washed ashore was Captain Francisco Cuellar, who left a detailed account of his adventures in Ireland.

This ceoldrama is set at the turn of the 16th century Ireland, where survivors of a shipwreck from the Spanish Armada have washed ashore, setting the stage for forces of love, liberty, sovereignty, spirituality & magic to collide. With a mixture of Spanish and Irish music, this musical tells of the last clan leader standing against the English. Descended from Irish royalty, he was an extremely learned and handsome clan leader who made a last ditch attempt to push the English out of Ireland nearing the full conquest by the British crown. Although historical, the musical contains strong mythical and spiritual themes.

Please see this video. It is the overture, which contains the musical themes and a brief visual synopsis of the first act.  Overture of The Last Torch on YouTube

It has no Hollywood script or ending. It is gritty, honest and tragic.

Last Torch poster

When I started writing the opera it flooded out of me and came naturally as if it were emerging from my bones. I felt that it was being whispered in my ear and for five months I worked like a woman possessed. It took five years to complete in between working fulltime and family life. In 2013 I ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to get it to the stage. This October “The Last Torch” will premiere in Melbourne, Australia

At its heart it is a story that many indigenous people share. On many levels The Last Torch is a love story. It tells of the love of the Irish for their culture and land and the love for their family and people. It is romance and passion on the backdrop of conflict. This story gives homage to the fallen, to the men and women who have fought for their independence against dire odds and have given their lives in the name of freedom.”

This Soundcloud page contains demos from The Last Torch. They are demos only to give an idea of the sound of the songs. Please enjoy, imagination required.

Please support us through Facebook and follow me on twitter as I embark on the journey of my first musical

Frances McGinnis O’Neill


Reviews of A Guided Meditation from Uisneach

Yet more wonderful reviews of my Uisneach CD.   Here’s one from an elderly gentleman in a Nursing Home:

God bless you, it’s wonderful.  I haven’t listened to the Hill of Tara CD yet because I’m listening to Uisneach every day.  The burning ash fire reminds me of when I was young and we used to have a turf fire, I would sit looking into the fire.  This CD has awoken dormant thoughts and sparked my imagination again.

I’ve listened many times and gotten great pleasure and great inspiration.  This is the history we should be teaching in our schools.  You must be really proud to be able to create something so wonderful.  Thank you.

Christy Brady – Nursing Home Resident, Citizen of North County Dublin.



Uisneach by Treasa Ni Mhurchu

Track Time
Introduction: 08.09
A guided meditation: 35.39
Harp music: 08.53

Treasa has a very relaxing and calming voice. I found listening to the CD through ear phones got the best results. The meditation leaves you feeling positive, calm and uplifted. I have listened to a number of meditation CD’s & have to say that this is one of the best. Meditation and relaxation are now becoming mainstream methods of healing for their therapeutic benefits, recommended by many therapists, doctors & hospitals across Ireland, Europe and the world. Guided visualisations are perfect for meditating or just relaxing to. The CD includes many positive affirmations beneficial to the healing process.

Introduction. A very informative talk on the meaning and background to the Hill of Uisneach. This first track talks you through the history of the site and takes you to the hill at the centre of Ireland, a sacred place going back through myth and legend to ancient times.

The meditation is based around being at the Hill of Uisneach. A spiritual sanctuary overlooking the royal road between Uisneach and famous neighbouring Hill of Tara. Treasa makes references to mythical energies of the sacred in a guided visualisation of through the four directions, North, South, East and West. Then the meditation asks you to gather thoughts and then release them from the present by acknowledgement and acceptance. Then talks you through lighting a hill top fire, a re-birthing ceremony with the Celtic gods and goddesses, and back down to the plain below.

Harp music. The harp music at the end of the meditation compliments the similar background music throughout CD. It provides the perfect background accompaniment to meditation. It is very soothing and relaxing background music.

I found this to be a really good CD. It can be played as a stand-alone and unique relaxation session based around Celtic myth and legend.

David Madden

Psychotherapist. Dip Counselling, Deg Counselling, MSc, MIACP.

The Benefits of Meditation and Energy Work in Dealing with Everyday Stress

The option of taking time out to spend in nature isn’t always available to us, especially when the weather is bad, or we’re overworked or suffering from ill health. I find when I don’t get outside to reconnect I tend to get more stressed and less productive, unless I specifically set time aside for meditation or another form of energy work, to clear my energies and rebalance my chakras.

When you think about the amount of time we spend in man made environments, buildings with artificial lights and radiation from computers, mobile phones etc, or small metal boxes with rubber tyres that inhibit our abilities to ground ourselves, not to mention the amount of interactions we are having with other people, it makes sense to incorporate a clearing and grounding ritual into your everyday practice, like having a shower to wash off the accumulated dirt of the day. Indeed, if you practice visualising while in the shower that helps clear your aura. Our intentions create our reality.



Loughcrew / Oldcastle Spring Equinox Festival


The First Loughcrew / Oldcastle Spring Equinox Festival takes place this year on Friday evening 21st March and Saturday 22nd March with a dawn ceremony at Cairn T on the Saturday followed by all day and evening events. We are currently accepting submissions from any groups or individuals interested in participating in the programme of events. Submissions welcome for the following: to give talks or workshops on Druidry, Shamanism, Wicca etc talks on archaeology, history and mythology, workshops including meditation, yoga, chant, toning or any type of holistic therapies, individuals seeking to work as holistic therapists or tarot readers, poets musicians and storytellers, or groups or individuals interested in participating in the dawn procession and ceremonies. Please email by Monday 10th February with an event proposal including costs, expenses, space and facilities needed and relevant experience. Thanks. Treasa

No restricted access to cairn from festival, no charge to cairn, OPW
guides will be present on each of the days from Thurs to Sunday.
Festival events are educational added value events to celebrate
occasion and most would be free perhaps small cover charge for some
depending on cost associated. Non profit making experiential tourism
to promote area in general and the town of Oldcastle will host
majority of events and campsite for weekend use.



Loughcrew Festival


Hill of Tara Meditation ‘Therapy for the Mind’

Here’s a wonderful review of my Hill of Tara Guided Meditation.  Thank you so much Thomas Raymond, for taking the time to let me know how it helped you.

‘After having major heart surgery the road to recovery looked to be a long slow process.  I first listened to the Hill of Tara in the hospital bed as the noise of machines, the general hustle and bustle and the sleeplessness was making me agitated. I needed to relax to aid my healing. This was more than meditation it was therapy for my mind. The words were soft and soothing the harp was angelic but it was the voice that was heavenly. I went back to being a young boy and being enthralled once more by the magic of Ireland. I listened to the cd a few times a week.  I was no longer uncomfortable but sleeping soundly with pleasant dreams and waking feeling happy. I became like the Beech tree I firmly replanted my roots to stabilise myself and was more aware of what I needed to do to recover. This CD gave me courage, determination and patience. Would highly recommend for those who want to strengthen their mind to heal their body and engage their soul. It was like magic. Thank you.’

Thomas Raymond, County Cork


Please Take my Market Research Survey


I need to do a Market Research Survey as part of my college course. I’ve designed a short survey, it should only take about 5 minutes to complete. I would appreciate if as many people as possible could complete it for me. The survey can be filled in anonymously or with contact details, I will randomly select winners from the surveys with details to receive copies of my meditation cds as a way of saying thank you. All help much appreciated. Namaste Treasa