“The Force is still strong in Inishowen”

Star Wars Masks feature as Inishowen’s clear community message to Star Wars Fans “Stay Safe – See you next year”!

by Heidi Doherty- Explore Inishowen CLG

“The May the 4th Be With You” Festival 2020 supported by Failte Ireland is a celebration of all things Star Wars. This festival was due to take place for the second year running. Pre-event highlights in 2019 hit headlines all over the globe with a renaming of the road “R242 to R2D2” and the “Invasion of the Stormtroppers landing at Greencastle”. 2019 saw excited Star War fans being treated to a weekend of Star Wars orientated activities with The Last Jedi Drive In Movie and firework finale closing the festival. The Malin Head Community Centre Association was in the completive stages of the 2020 programme, gaining momentum as the news of Covid-19 squashed their plans for this May.

This year’s programme was to feature “A Return of the Millennium Falcon” with hugely acclaimed “LUXE”; specialists in landscape theatre and processional spectacles recreating the galactic experiences of the Star Wars theme..

Although the Covid -19 Pandemic is still upon us and we continue to live our daily lives with certain restrictions, Inishowen Community groups collectively agreed it would be positive to still acknowledge the festival in some way.  Heidi Doherty, Manager, Explore Inishowen collaboratively organised the event last year with the community centres and she stated “The Clonmany Community Centre made Stars Wars orientated gifts and memorabilia for the festival in 2019 and subsequently during a recent meeting, Bebhinn Mullins (Clonmany Centre Manager) came up with the idea for themed masks as the centre had made mandatory masks for frontline workers in the past weeks. This was embraced as an effective way to engage with Star Wars fans and reinforce the message Stay Safe – See you next year!!

Malin Head Community Centre Manager, Ali Farren very much at the forefront of organising this year’s event with Ronan Doherty (Seaview Tavern) and their associate members kindly arranged to collate photos from local businesses and community centres. Participants in the May 4th celebrations adhered to safe –distancing whilst promoting our themed message. The Inishowen tourism and hospitality industry as part of our local community are going to experience the most difficult season and possibly year ahead. Heidi Doherty States “it’s a collaborative effort amidst a story of resilience and hope for the people and businesses of Inishowen; to prepare for when they can trade again and although it’s not possible to visit now; in relation to our Star Wars themed event for May 4th we send this beam of light from “this galaxy far, far away. …The Force is still strong in Inishowen”.