Weatherwise yesterday was a horrible day, however that did’nt put us off attending Ireland’s 1st Mushroom Festival at Killegar Estate, near Carrigallen, Co Leitrim. This event was, part of the Save Killegar Campaign which the current owner Sue, Lady Kilbracken, organised as a way of raising awareness and hopefully some funds to save this beautiful old house. Completed in 1813, Killegar is in dire need of reburfishment. Sue and her son Sean live in just a couple of downstairs rooms. The rest of the house is not habitable.
A good crowd turned out for the event which was well organised. We went in groups with knowledgeable Mycologists through the grounds of the estate. We walked about 3 miles and found a range of fungi, edible and poisonous. Ireland has about 2,500 different Mushrooms. A fact I found amazing as we tend to concertrate our focus on 3 or 4 varieties. Can’t remember the name of the ones above but they were edible. However about 20% of the population have a severe allergic reaction to them so they are no longer on the edible list. Apparently they are popular in Italy.
This person had an innovative way of carrying their bounty! Like it!
There were many other attractions too. This man was giving rides on his Donkey and cart. There were also food stalls, craft demonstrations, art exhibition plus lectures and information stalls.
At the end of the day all the Mushrooms were identified by the experts and displayed. About 70 varieties were found. A great day out despite the weather!
If you wish to find out more info about Killegar or the Save Killegar Campaign go to www.Killegar.net . Sue, Lady Kilbracken describes Killegar as “a jewel in the heart of Leitrim”. You won’t find many disagreeing with her. Hopefully in the coming years Killegar will be restored to its former glory.