Milking goat needed for offaly festival

The annual Imbolc goat milking festival in Cadamstown ran into a spot of bother when its star attraction Ginny the goat ran out of milk.

The Slieve Bloom Association put out an appeal on twitter when they realised “poor auld Ginny is gone dry.” The milking goat, a pet belonging to the Rigney family has been milked during previous Imbolc festivals run by the Slieve Bloom Association.

“We haven’t had any offers as of yet. Hopefully we should hear from someone before Sunday,” a spokesman said.There needn’t be anything specific about the goat, other than its ability to milk. “It just needs to be a friendly enough milking goat. We can arrange pick-up too,” the spokesman said.

While there were no offers by Thursday, he remained confident and said, “I’m sure we’ll get our hands on a goat and it will go ahead.”

The Imbolc Festival marks the beginning of spring and has its origins in pagan times. It is most commonly held on January 31 or February 1.

It's one of the four Celtic seasonal festivals. The others are Bealtane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. The Imbolc Festival was revived by the Slieve Bloom Association in 2013. There are many customs associated with Imbolc festival.

The custom associated with Slieve Bloom is the milking of the goat.
Anyone interested in taking part in the Imbolc Festival 2015, or ‘milking of the goat’ festival can attend Dempsey’s Pub carpark, in Cadamstown at 2pm on Sunday, February 1. From there, the crowd will travel to Spink Hill for the milking.  

Locals and visitors alike are invited to come along, hear old stories and traditions. Watch or take part in the ancient Imbolc Festival of the milking of the goat on Spink Hill and maybe churn the milk afterwards. No kidding!

For more information or if you happen to have a milking goat see