Haggis is Found for Burns Night

By Robert Cullen

Sligo Weekender, January 30th, 2002

TV3 CAME to the rescue of the Rosses Point Heritage Association on Friday last, by finding Ireland’s only haggis-making butcher.
The association were planning their traditional Robbie Burns night in Hackett’s Lounge in the village when the organisers realised they were missing the Scottish delicacy, normally brought over by one of their patrons.
“We hunted high and low for weeks,” said organiser, Rory Callagy. “Everyone told us you wouldn’t get one in Ireland.”
Fortunately, TV3 editor and Rosses Point native, Kieran Devaney stepped in. The station was covering the Robbie Burns celebrations of the Friends of St Andrews in Dun Laoghaire.
The group had traditionally asked a butcher in the area to make a haggis, and so TV3 invited him on the programme to show his wares.
The haggis, which was shown on the television on Friday morning, made it to Rosses Point that evening in time for the musical and poetic celebrations to begin.
“As seen on TV you might say,” added Rory.
The Robbie Burns celebrations in Rosses Point go back many decades, to when the late Alex Doherty and the late John Hackett organised full Robbie Burns suppers.
It was revived five years ago by the heritage association. And to mark the occasion Alex Doherty’s grand-daughter, Anne Marie Doherty, was on hand to read some of her grandfather’s poetry.
Other contributors included Kieran Devaney, Rita Walsh, John Deasy, Jill Hewitt and Carol Wilson.
There were plenty of singers too, with most of them, including Nicky Harte, Oliver Smyth, Willie Murphy and Fear An Tí, Donal Crowley from the village.
Music was provided by a collection of traditional musicians which included all-Ireland banjo player Rita Herity. It was led by Hugh McTiernan.
Young members of the local folk group were also there to entertain the very receptive audience.
The association’s next event will be a talk on W.B. Yeats from Maura McTighe of the Yeats Society on February 20. They also plan another night of music and singing in mid March.