An Tóstal (Irish pronunciation: [ən̪ˠ ˈt̪ˠoːst̪ˠal̪ˠ], meaning "The Pageant") was the name for a series of festivals held in Ireland in the 20th Century. Inaugurated in 1953 as a celebration of Irish life, it continued on until 1958 when it died out in most centres except Drumshanbo.
The original purpose of the festival was a celebration of Irish culture, with an emphasis upon drawing tourists into the country during the Easter off-season. It was marked by a series of regional parades, arts and sporting events. Many towns began a clean-up plan, thus starting off the National Tidy Town Awards, which is running still in Ireland. In 1953, a set of commemorative stamps designed by Limerick artist Fergus O'Ryan, were issued by the Irish Post Office.
Drumshanbo in County Leitrim have the distinction of being the only place that An Tóstal has continued to run every year since 1953.
At the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College (Indiana), the festival dubbed "Antostal" celebrates the last full week of classes of the academic year. The events often include competitions, sporting events, concerts and other various performances. The Irish Hockey Union held an exhibition match between Connaught Selectd XI and The Schools of Ireland XI on April 9th 1953 at The Mental Hospital grounds Carlow which the School of Ireland won by 4 to 3. The Irish Times report by A. Goodridge on the following day stated that this was the "first ever appearance" of an Irish Schools Hockey team.
- An Tostal Festival - Drumshanbo
- Article re. Tostal 1953 - workersliberty.org
- Oireachtas debate from 1953 re. meaning of 'Tóstal'
- Seoighe Inish Bearachain
- An Tostal - International Chess Tournament Dublin 1956, Ficheall Publications
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