How to fix your bodhrán. And other things.
A new "R word" has been added to the "reduce, re-use and recycle" mantra – the word "repair".
An entire organisation - "Repair Acts Ireland" - is dedicating itself to reminding the public how useful the practice of repairing things can be.
This it is doing by connecting past stories about mending and fixing things, with what we do today, to how we envision the future.
But it also aims at giving practical DIY advice and tips.
All will become clearer during a series of events the organisation is holding in Mullingar on July 23 and during the Fleadh on August 4-6.
On July 23, Repair Acts Ireland will host two events at Áras an Mhuilinn in Mullingar. In the morning session (11-12.30pm), professional storyteller Jack Lynch will share his own repertoire of repair stories and use this art of storytelling to support the group to share their own repair tales. The session will also see discussion on the future of repair activities in the county.
The second event, running from 2pm-3.30pm, is a workshop that demonstrates the skills and tools necessary for carrying out everyday repairs including the repair of loose doors, hanging pictures, resealing worktops, repairing cracks, painting techniques and more.
The workshop is being run in partnership with the Rediscovery Centre, Dublin. As the National Centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland, the Rediscovery Centre is a hub for creative movement connecting people, ideas and resources to support greener low-carbon living, bringing together the skills and expertise of artists, scientists, designers and craftspeople united in a common purpose of sustainability.
From the August 4-6 as part of the Fleadh Cheoil programme, Repair Acts Ireland, with Westmeath County Council, will host two music-focused repair events in the Green Environmental Awareness Tent at the fleadh.
In the first, technical repair engineer, Robert (Bob) Leadbeater and Irish bodhrán maker and repairer, Paraic McNeela will be in action.
Bob eorks at the famed Peter Gabriel’s (lead singer of Genesis and founder of the global World of Music, Arts and Dance Festival Womad), Real World Studio in England, where he is responsible for repairing the studio’s vintage music equipment. Bob will be sharing and demonstrating his knowledge on vintage guitar amp repair.
Paraic McNeela from McNeela’s Instruments will be running a demonstration on how to make, repair and maintain your bodhrán. Bodhrán-making kits will also be available on the day.
"Repair Acts Ireland" is a year-long project that looks at how we can foster more vibrant repair cultures in the country.
Through storytelling, installations and art works, it will be mapping histories and heritages of repair, co-building Ireland’s "People’s Archive of Everyday Repair", designing Ireland’s First Repair Declaration and celebrating repair, mending and fixing through a number of free public events, workshops and exhibitions.
Says the organisation: "With the ambition of creating a ‘People’s Archive of Everyday Repair’, we aim to collect 1,000 stories of everyday repair from across Ireland.
"We want you to upload to our website your DIY and professional repair stories," it continues, explaining that this can be done via www.repairacts.ie/stories/add-your-repair-story/
The workshops are free and open to general audiences and those interested in repair. Full details of all workshops and events, including location and how to sign up is available via the Repair Acts, Ireland website: https://www.repairacts.ie/events/
From November 3-6, the organisation will be back in Westmeath for a 4-day event in Kilbeggan that will celebrate the project's work.