On 12 August 2017, The Clans of Ulster celebrated Lúnasa at Tullaghogue Fort with their inaugural unique and innovative Lúnasa, Spirit of Folk Festival. It was the first festival to be held at the fort in over 400 years. Crowds were enjoyed the glorious weather and were entertained by Celtic warrior displays by Tomás and Sean Ó Brógáin of Oireas Historical Services, birds of prey with NI School of Falconry, and an archaeology dig for children organised by Jodie Jackson. Guests were greeted the Celtic god Lugh and Ó’Hagan the key holder of Tullaghogue Fort played by actors from Craic Theatre and Arts Centre. Along the walking trail, guests spoke to National Trust, Cairde Teo, and could have a reading done by Catherine O’Neill. The beautifully decorated marquee at the top of the fort was filled with music by Comhaltas and craft stalls by Red Horse Crafts, Parklane Rocks, Celtia Jewellery, DaraByrne Jewellery, and Billie’s Coin Rings. Families participated in craft projects organised by Ursula Uí Dhonnghaile, the Mid Ulster Irish Language Officer.
In the evening, the fort was set alight with torches designed by Set Build Northern Ireland. Tomney’s Bar of Moy catered to a few hundred people who roared with laughter at the comedy talents of Paddy McDonald and danced and sang along to the music of BackWest featuring Tyrone’s legendary virtuoso PJ McDonald. The concept was developed and designed by The Clans of Ulster and supported by the O’Neill Country Historical Society and financially supported by the Mid-Ulster District Council as well as private donations and the incredible volunteers who helped throughout the planning process and on the day. Malachy O’Neill, Chair of The Clans of Ulster said ‘It was a brilliant festival and we look forward to making it bigger and better next year’.