Event took place in Northern Ireland.
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Causeway Coast AONB – County Antrim

Giant's Causeway

In this film, we are gathering together to celebrate these geological wonders and all that connects them – the landscape, the people and the music.

Gathering at dusk on Saturday 2 July hundreds of Lumenators, from all walks of life, came together at Giant’s Causeway for our third Northern Ireland event. A key theme of this event was connections – to landscape, to each other and across the water to Scotland.  Lumenators made a connection with the landscape by creating waves of lights and movement alongside the Giant’s Causeway.

Event Notebook

Clochán na bhFomhórach - Steppingstones of the Fomorians

Music composed by Dónal O’Connor

Two Lumenators talking whilst holding bodhrán drums

Bodhrán drummers during rehearsals

Man playing a violin atop stones

Dónal O’Connor

The Fomorians were a dark and mystical fairy race in Irish mythology, who were here before the Celts and who occupied an important place in the myth and lore of Ireland.

Originally, they were said to come from under the sea. Later, they were portrayed as sea raiders and giants. They were enemies of Ireland’s first settlers and opponents of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the other supernatural race in Irish mythology; although some members of the two races had offspring such as Lugh Lamhfada who was the son of (Fomorian) Cian and Balor’s daughter Ethniu of the Tuatha Dé Dannan. These stories have been likened to other Indo-European myths such as the Æsir and Vanir in Norse mythology and the Olympians and Titans in Greek mythology.

A Lumenator wearing an animal print top with blue hair and glitter on her face holds her Geolight up to light her face

Fingal’s Cave is found on the Isle of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides, just west of the Isle of Mull in Scotland. It is a sea cave, but not like any other cave. It is formed entirely of hexagonally jointed basalt columns, similar to the ones forming the Giant’s Causeway. The cave was named after James Macpherson’s 18th Century epic poem Fingal, which was inspired by the legend of Irish chief Fionn mac Cumhail who is said to have built Giant’s Causeway to reach his great foe over the Irish Sea. Composer Felix Mendelssohn visited the cave in 1829 while on a tour of Scotland and completed his Hebrides Overture, which is also known as Fingal’s Cave, the following year.

Two Lumenators taking a selfie lit by their Geolights
People rehearsing a Ceílí dance in the daytime

Lumenators rehearsing the Ceílí

Musician and composer Dónal O’Connor has, since childhood, held a fascination with these ancient myths and legends, and he has developed a close affection for the music, song and culture of his nearest Celtic neighbours in Scotland, having performed and recorded with many legendary Scottish musicians such as Karen Matheson, Julie Fowlis, Ross Martin, Maeve Mackinnon and Phil Cunningham. Dónal loves the notion that the Causeway was not only a mythical gateway to Scotland but also a gateway to the otherworld, and his composition draws its inspiration from these themes and ideas.

A man is teaching young toddler about rockpooling. He has a bucket and is showing the contents of the bucket from county Antrim

About The Causeway Coast AONB

Extending for 30km along the North Antrim Coast, the Causeway Coast AONB has a wide variety of different landscapes, including the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site.

The western part of the AONB is characterised by an extensive dune system at East Strand. It also includes a dramatic stretch of alternating white chalk and black basalt cliffs. Dunluce Castle forms a spectacular landmark with views of Donegal and the Skerries to the north. Contrasting with this wild coastal scenery are the gentler landscapes of the Bush Valley with its mixed farmland, woodland and the historic village of Bushmills. Moving east, the coastline around the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site has been heavily eroded into a series of small rocky bays and headlands. Here the land is farmed right to the very edge of the cliffs which plunge dramatically down to sea level. Towards Ballintoy, limestone and basalt cliffs again dominate the landscape, and there are breathtaking views of White Park Bay and Sheep Island.

The duneland system at White Park Bay has national importance. Further east, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is one of Northern Ireland’s top visitor attractions. The rugged coastal scenery around Kinbane has steep basalt cliffs and there are spectacular views north to Islay and Rathlin Island. This area is characterised by rough grassland, dry-stone walls, bogland, and gorse (known locally as ‘whin’).

Held at Giant's Causeway, looked after by National Trust

We’d like to thank all the groups who participated:

  • Belfast Trad
  • Trad Arts Partnership
  • Music Services for Pipes and Drums
  • North Coast Trad

Thanks to our partners who supported this event:

  • National Trust
  • National Trust for Scotland
  • Causeway Coast AONB
  • Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust

Photography by Brian Morrison