Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

A Visit to the Folklife Museum in Castlebar

I came away from my first visit to the National Museum of Country Life, in Castlebar, entranced by a beautiful 8th Century belt shrine, the belt it had protected having once, it seems, encircled the 34-inch waist of a saint. The delicacy of its decoration – similar in style to the bosses on the side of the Ardagh Chalice but much smaller – were beautifully preserved, as were the abstract designs on the buckle. But what stayed longer in my mind were two photographs of children.