Arrows in the air at Hook Head

HOOK HEAD… SITE OF THE TRADITIONAL ARROW CEREMONY ON NEW YEARS’ DAY.

By Dan Walsh

The ancient traditional ceremony of loading the bow and sending arrows through the air into the Irish Sea symbolising the ports authority over the estuary takes place on New Year’s Day at 1pm and it is a free event with appeal to young and old alike.

Leading the challenge will be Cllr Michael Sheehan, Cathaoirleach of New Ross Municipal District Council with the assistance of the Dunbrody Archers, founded in 2004.

Apparently, the tradition dates from 1687 when the Mayor and the corporation of New Ross Town Council claimed their authority over the waters by travelling to Hook and shooting an arrow into the sea from Hook Head Lighthouse.

Lorraine Waters at Hook Lighthouse said; “This is always an incredible occasion, and we are delighted to have a full return for the first time since 2019 and to continue the ancient tradition, right here on the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East.”

Hook Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Europe and is open for guided tours. Interest in Ireland’s lighthouses has gained momentum in recent times with the remarkable award-winning television documentary series which reproduced incredible history and heritage in print and pictures.

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