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Paul Healy

Paul Healy

Ballintubber Heritage and Eileen Óg Festival Weekend (24-26 July)


Ballintubber Heritage and Eileen Óg Festival weekend activities start on Friday the 24th of July at 7 pm with a Celtic spiritual religious service at St. Bride’s Well in The Old Graveyard. At 7.30 pm Con Connor will give an illustrated demonstration of ancient cobbling techniques in The Old School House. Evening entertainment is provided by traditional music from Claremorris Ceoltas, set dancing with Mildred and storytelling in Garvey’s starting at 9.30 pm.


Saturday’s events start at 11 am with a tour of The Old Graveyard by archaeologist Mary Timoney, where she will share her vast research on the stone masonry and symbolism of historic headstones.

The official opening of the festival weekend by Eileen Óg and McGrath is at 1 pm and traditional farming methods will be demonstrated by scythe cutting of the meadow in the bio-diversity garden at 2 pm.

There will be butter churning and displays of homemade breads in The Old School House from 11 am to 6 pm, and also various craft demonstrations such as St. Bridget’s cross making, with refreshments served.

Throughout the village all day there will be displays of vintage cars and machinery, farm animals and fowl, bouncy castle and pony rides. Traditional music and Irish stew will also be served all day in Garvey’s.


Sunday’s events start at 2 pm with a historic walk of the village and dancing at the crossroads. Horse shoeing will be demonstrated at The Old Forge at 3 pm and traditional hay making will also be demonstrated.

The trail of The Willsgrove Mile will start from The Old School House at 4 pm. There’ll be a cake sale and refreshments served all day in The Old School House.

Guided tours of Ballintober Castle will be given on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and any finds will be displayed in The Old School House. There will also be food and craft stalls throughout.


On Monday morning at 11 am Ballintubber will welcome American ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley. Ambassador O’Malley will be given a tour of Ballintober Castle and he will plant a ceremonial tree in the village.

There will be a medieval workshop for children aged 7-12 at 2.30 pm at The Castle, costumes will be provided.

In the evening there will be a farewell party for the American guests in Kenny’s Lounge, with barbeque and music by Moonlight Serenades and special guest.

5 Highlights of Ballygar Carnival 2015…

Thursday July 30th to Tuesday August 4th

Nathan Carter

Perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated musical entertainment of the carnival will be the performance of Irish Country sensation Nathan Carter at the Mattie McDonagh Centre on Friday, July 31st from 11.30 pm.

The heartthrob shot to stardom with his single ‘Wagon Wheel’ in 2013, which catapulted him to the forefront of Irish County Music. Make sure not to miss Nathan and his band at the carnival. Tickets are €15.

Ballygar Truckin’

One of the events which has sprung to prominence in recent years is the Ballygar Truckin’ which takes place this year on Saturday, August 1st from 12 noon, with fun for all throughout the day.

This novel event has raised in excess of €34,000 over the last two years. Entertainment will be provided throughout the day with live music, face-painting, barbecue and lots, lots more!

Heritage & Fair Day

The Heritage & Fair Day which this year will take place on Monday 3rd of August is set to be a major hit again, with free puppet shows, stilt walkers, circus acts and a magician.

There will also be a Craft Fair and Cake Sale for the Friends of the Belarus Project and a sheep dog demonstration by renowned dog trainer Eamon Egan.

The Wolfe Tones

Ballygar Carnival has always been noted for its musical flair, and the festival welcomes one of the country’s most iconic Irish trad, rebel and folk bands when the ever-popular The Wolfe Tones perform on Sunday night 2nd of August at the Mattie McDonagh Centre from 11.30 pm.

Nature Walk with Elaine O’Riordan

For the more easy-going carnival-goer, a Nature Walk and Treasure Trail takes place in the forest with NUIG Ecologist Elaine O’Riordan on Tuesday 4th of August at 1 pm. This promises to be a wonderful relaxing walk and the perfect way to wind down after the carnival.

Fun for all the family at 27th annual Castlerea Rose Festival and Agricultural Show

The 27th annual Rose of Castlerea Festival will take place from Wednesday, July 29, until Sunday, August 2.

It promises to be five days filled with lots of free family events and lots of entertainment for all ages!

Every year, the organisers strive to make the festival bigger and brighter and this year is no different.


On the Wednesday night, there will be a spectacular grand opening parade.

A world of colour and theatre will parade through the streets in a carnival atmosphere to officially launch the festival.

There will be some never-seen-before bright exhilarating inflatables to help create a spectacular evening for all.

Following the parade, the amazing Michael English and his band will play all their latest hits.


On the Thursday, the day will start with a fantastic traders’ market at 10 am on St Patrick’s Street.

Then on Thursday evening at 7 pm, there will be the first ever bubble soccer tournament to Castlerea.

After the great success of last year’s ‘Reeling through the Years’ photo exhibition, it will be returning again this year in the Trinity Arts Centre, also at 7 pm.

At 9 pm Declan Nerney and his band will perform all his greatest hits in the heart of Castlerea in a free open-air concert.

This will be followed by a fantastic fireworks display.


Friday brings another busy day. During the day, there will be a children’s window treasure hunt and a teenage make-up master class.

Then at 8 pm, there will be a live pig racing with street entertainment, providing loads of fun for all the family. Music will be provided by a sensational local band ‘The White Cakes’.


Saturday is a day for the children. The events start bright and early at 10 am, with a children’s colouring competition, cupcake decorating and teddy bears picnic all being held in the Hub.

Then, if they are not too tired, there will be a funky kiddies’ disco with DJ Keith at 4 pm.

That evening at 8.30 pm brings us another new event, ‘Trad at the train station’. This promises to be an excellent evening with set dancing with Mildred Beirne and Music by the Duntally Céilí band.

Also at 8.30 pm, there will be a White Collar Boxing exhibition in the Hub. ‘The clash of Castlerea’ promises to be a boxing bonanza full of excitement, rivalry and entertainment.


Sunday brings us to our family fun day, starting with a swimming gala at 11 am followed by a family fun day in the Demesne at 1 pm which will include BBQ, sports day, penalty shoot-out, bouncy castles, face-painting and much much more.

For all the fitness enthusiasts, there will be a 5km/10km fun run/walk/jog starting at 2.30 pm. At 3 pm we introduce another new event the Castlerea heritage walk.

There will be a stroll through the hundreds of years of history throughout the town. Then at 4.30 pm, the ‘Gaelic for mothers and others’ will battle it out in a fun football blitz in the O’Rourke Centre.

Then, to finish off our festival, we will have the Rose of Castlerea selection night at 9 pm in Trinity Arts Centre. This promises to be a fantastic night’s entertainment, with the crowning of the 2015 Rose of Castlerea.


Castlerea Agricultural Trade and Craft Show will take place on Monday, August 3, which is a bank holiday. 

The committee have devoted lots of effort to ensure that the event will be highly successful. 

The first such event was staged in 1995. This year''s event will b opened by Ballinlough man Seán Finan, the national president of Macra na Feirme. 

First-ever Rooskey Heritage Festival

Rooskey village is to host a major event this weekend: the inaugural Rooskey Heritage Festival, from Friday to Sunday.

  The entire weekend will be filled with activities that will cater for, and entertain, young and old.

  The River Shannon, as a focal point, will be utilised for kayaking, canoeing, river races, boat trips and a demonstration from Longford Sub Aqua.

  Rooskey village is also the location for the 2015 Shannon Boat Rally and it is expected that up to 100 boats will be harbouring here that weekend.

  A food and craft village is being constructed, with up to 40 stalls showcasing traditional culinary skills, homemade produce and handcrafted wares throughout the weekend.

  This will all be taking place in a specially constructed marquee that is located in the centre of the village. 

  Activities for children will include a puppet show, train rides, pet farm, face painting, bouncy castles and a climbing wall.

  Street entertainment will include various displays of vintage cars and tractors, along with two army LTAVs.

  Richie Clarke, wood carver, will also be creating a unique piece of art from an 8 ft. piece of cedar wood during Saturday and Sunday which will then be on permanent display in the village.

  Alongside all this there will be a vintage car and tractor display on Sunday.

  Musically, Friday night’s entertainment is being provided by the hugely popular band ‘White Chalk’, who have just returned from supporting ‘Kodaline’ on their UK tour.

  A busking competition will take place in the village on Saturday from 2 pm until 6 pm and there will be a prize of €500 for the winning entry.

  Saturday night’s entertainment is Patrick Feeney, who has had major success as part of the ‘Three Amigos’ group’ with Jimmy Buckley and Robert Mizzell.

  Sunday’s entertainment is a medley of local solo artists, bands and talent starting from 4 pm untill late. All this will be taking place in the Big Red Barn behind the Community Centre, located in the middle of the village.

  Rooskey Heritage Centre is located beside CJ’s Bar and have a fantastic display of memorabilia from times past and will be available to answers any questions people may have.

  Michael Bell is leading a nature trail on Sunday 26 at 3 pm. There will be a bus leaving from the Heritage Centre. Michael is an expert in his field and this event will give young and old an appreciation of what's on our doorsteps.

  The festival will be officially opened on Friday at 7.30 pm at the River Shannon, with a blessing Fr Kevin Fallon, the local parish priest, followed by entertainment from local traditional artists and the Raheen Pipe Band.

  The committee and people of Rooskey look forward to seeing you there and for more information log onto www.rooskeyheritagefestival.com or check out Rooskey Heritage Festival on Facebook.