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Headford Lace Project

continues to inspire pride in local heritage

The Headford Lace Project began in May 2016, following Headford’s involvement in the Galway 2020 ‘Small Towns Big Ideas’ pilot project. Since then, Headford has been buzzing with activity to revive its lace-making tradition, which dates back to 1765, if not earlier.

The revival began when a piece of ‘Torchon’ bobbin lace, dated around 1904, from Headford Castle, was found in the community. A photograph of this simple lace trimming was sent to Jackie Magnin, a Cork-based bobbin lacemaker and member of the Traditional Lacemakers of Ireland.

Jackie’s experience allowed her to create a replica using the photograph as a guide. She brought this sample with her to a gathering of lace-makers in September 2016, at the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, which was organised by Galway-based crochet tutor Anne O’Hara Quinn, Chairperson of the Traditional Lacemakers of Ireland, Veronica Stuart and Museum Education Outreach Officer, Thomas Doyle. Members of the Headford Lace Project joined the lace-makers in Castlebar to discuss the possibility of reviving these skills in Headford.

Since then, Jackie Magin has taught sixteen locals the basic skills of bobbin lace-making, in workshops organised by the Headford Lace Project and these apprentices have gone on to demonstrate their new skills at community events such as the St. Patrick’s Day Cottage Market.

The next Headford Lace weekend takes place from 21st to 23rd April with the kind support of the GRETB Community Education Scheme.

The weekend begins with a Vintage Lace Tea Party at 2pm in St. Fursa’s Hall, Church St., Headford on Friday 21st April: admission is free and all are welcome. This is a chance to come and meet those involved, learn the history of flax-growing, spinning and lace-making in Headford, while enjoying some afternoon tea/coffee and music. If you have any stories or photographs of lace-making in your family, the project team would love to meet you!

The weekend continues on Saturday and Sunday at The Anglers Rest Hotel with beginners and improvers workshops, a video link-up with Slovenian Lacemakers followed by a walking tour of the Lacemaker Cottages on New Street.

Although the April workshops are fully booked, you can add your name to the waiting for future dates by phoning Ester on 087 6193870 or emailing You can also follow the story and hear of exciting future plans and collaborations on the Facebook Page: Headford Lace.