Mystery statue revealed and turf-footing competition in Rock village outside Cookstown

'The Water Carrier' will be unveiled in Rock on Saturday May 2
'The Water Carrier' will be unveiled in Rock on Saturday May 2

For the past month people driving through Rock village have wondered at the life-size figure wrapped in black polythene on the Green.

All will be revealed on Saturday 2 May when the statue ‘The Water Carrier will be unveiled by local women Molly Mullan and Margaret Beaufoy.

Molly represents the villagers who carried water through the ages and Margaret the family of local writer Ellen Beck (1858 - 1924) who wrote about the joys and woes (especially the chore of carrying water) of village life in the late 1800’s.

Ellen Beck’s work has recently been published by Rock Historical Society in the book entitled ‘The Dear Green Country’.

In her stories Ellen describes the Rock as it was 120 years ago, and 6 Scenes from her best story: ‘Day in the Life of a Tyrone Village’ are being dramatized by a cast of 40 villagers in period costume using vintage implements.

The highlight of these re-enactments is ‘the wee play’ entitled ‘A Go of Water’ where the meek husband ‘rares up’ and water is spilt!

The day begins at 11 am in the Rock Parochial Hall Car Park with the following ‘modern’ entertainers: Stephen Hayden (violin); Rock PS Primary School Choir; Ivor Paisley (bag-pipes); Carroll School of Irish Dancing; Patricia McNally (fiddle); Carraig GAA Under-14 Boys’ Team; Victoria Watson (flute); Adrian Lewis (banjo); and Malachy Cush (singer).

Following the unveiling of the Statue the following Vintage Exhibitions take place on the village Green: Parade of mule pulling an Irish-block-wheeled Cart (Brendan McAnallen); A 4-man Flailing Demonstration (corn sheaves provided); Bread-Making (Helen Glasgow); Churning

Butter (Mary Faulkner); The All-Ulster Turf Footing and Rickling Competition; Vintage Machinery (horse cart, water barrel on wheels, hand thresher, and corn fiddle, etc). Also a tame cow, donkeys and hens on show.

Plus a Treasure Hunt for under 8’s.