Ireland, like several other countries in the eurozone, is struggling under a heap of debt. Yet many refuse to give in to the doom and gloom – a constant round of activities feeds people’s optimism and sense of fun.
My particular favourite is the Cow Dung Festival, also held in County Mayo. It is clearly an occasion for anyone with a taste for the bizarre.
A Cow Dung Festival Queen is selected – not perhaps an accolade you would readily put on your list of accomplishments. Then there is the highlight of the day – cow dung bingo. A field is divided into squares. When names are gathered and bets placed, Betsy – the festival cow – is ushered in.
And yes, it is the squares on which Betsy decides to drop her cowpats that are the winners. It is all highly scientific – laser-measuring devices are used. The tension can be intense.
Last year it took Betsy – obviously playing to the gallery – an hour-and-a-half of wandering before deciding where to do her business.
This year blood pressures were eased, with Betsy lifting her tail after only 15 minutes and a lucky cow dung bingo-player walking away with the 1000-euro prize.