Nine Day Festival Planned For Cultural Connemara

Bog Week Celebrates 33 Years

Nine Day Festival Planned For Cultural Connemara

Highlights of Bog Week 2017 include the launch of a new book, a concert in a gothic church and a series of walks and talks by internationally acclaimed ecologists and archaeologists.

Only a small amount of blanket bog exists in the world and Ireland possesses 8% of the world’s blanket bog and is the most important country in Europe for this type of habitat. Conamara Bog Week will celebrates its 33rd year this May, with a nine day festival packed with walks, talks, music and poetry, all in honour of the rugged landscape that surround the picturesque village of Letterfrack overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the wilds of Connemara.

Festival goers are invited to engage in the invigorating Connemara Bog Walks which will take place daily from Monday to Friday.  Morning walks will be led by local ecologist Marie Louise Heffernan and the afternoon walks will be led by a member of the staff of Connemara National Park.

Internationally acclaimed ecologist Gordan D’arcy will also give a fascinating talk entitled ‘Connemara explored’ in the Connemara National Park which will also play host to a poetry reading by Theo Dorgan and the launch of the Letterfrack Poetry Trail book( Sunday June 4th ). This engaging collection will include a poem from President Michael D. Higgins and nine specially commissioned poems from some of Ireland’s finest poets such as the brilliant Paula Meehan.

The trail consists of nine specially commissioned poems on plaques – three plaques in the National Park, three plaques in the Connemara West Centre and three plaques in the village of Letterfrack thus linking the park with the village.

The poets in this project are Paula Mehan, Louis dePaor, Mary O’Malley, Joan McBreen, Eva Bourke, Theo Dorgan, Rita Ann Higgins, Michael Gorman and Moya Cannon – some of Irelands most eminent poets. The poems explore the importance of place in all our lives. Some poems are site specific and others are more general in nature.

Ned Kelly, former keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland has written extensively on diverse aspects of Irish archaeology. His novel theory to explain the phenomena of Irish prehistoric bog bodies inspired a major exhibition entitled ‘Kingship and Sacrifice’ at the National Museum. A committed historian and archaeologist, his flair and passion for history and his ability to bring archaeology to life for an audience – even to those who would otherwise have no interest in the subject, means he is a valuable addition to the ‘Walking Connemara’ excursions.

John O’Halloran has over 20 years’ experience in the field of unique travel, his passion for history and archaeologist means he is an experienced archaeological heritage and sightseeing walking guide in the west coast of Ireland. Dr Dave McGrath, marine biologist and former lecturer at the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology and the brilliant ecologist, herbalist and botanist, Sinead Keane and musician Conor Keane will delight all while discovering the mysteries of the Connemara bog lands.

The Active Age Club celebration will take place mid week. This is a stylish lunch for the older and wiser members of our community in the beautiful Rosleague Manor. With fantastic music from Marcus Hernon and Don Stiffe, this will be an afternoon full of delights with Mark Foyle and the team on hand to ensure that everybody will feel welcome. Great food, music, story and dance.

Other mid week events will include a road race, poetry reading and pub gigs. On the Bank Holiday weekend there will be a children’s print workshop with well-known artist Bernie Dignam and the opening of the art exhibition which will feature the inspirational work of artists Angie Williams, David Keane and Tanya Doyne.

The Kane Sisters and the wild men from Clare – Cyril O’ Donoghue, Conor Keane and piper Blackie O’Connell will bring music and madness to Molly’s Bar where your feet will itch to dance.

The whole family can get involved at the Connemara Bog Week Festival with the 5km family run, jog or walk which is a fundraiser for youth activities organised by Forum.  This will be followed by Family Fun Day in Letterfrack to ensure that all members of the family will have an unforgettable day in the heart of Connemara.  The first weekend will also be wrapped in mighty music with Luka Bloom, The Hernon Family with Don Stiffe, and The Screaming Bluecats.

As well as traditional music you will find great concerts in the beautiful Gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey providing an eclectic mix of music with Ellen Cranitch and friends and The Jimmy Fitz Trio. For more contemporary sounds pop into Veldon’s Bar where you will hear The Paul O’Driscoll Trio, My Fellow Sponges and The John Conneely Trio.

The ever popular and vibrant schools programme will take place throughout the week. As well as working in the classroom, world renowned ecologists will be taking the children under their wing on field trips, helping the children to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of their home.

The award winning Conamara Environmental Education & Cultural Centre was set up in 1984 by three local teachers. CEECC manage a series of events similar to Bog Week, and the centre has won a number of awards including the Premier Award for the Arts and Premier Award for Heritage in County Galway. Their work has been the subject of a number of documentaries on both national TV and Radio.

This annual event which takes place in the Quaker of village of Letterfrack from May 28th to June 5th, will have its usual electric mix of music, art, wildlife and sport.

“This festival provides a space in which the whole community young and old can express themselves in a variety of different ways” says Leo Hallissey festival director.

For additional information please visit: www.culturalconnemara.com

Please contact Pamela Finn in Think PR for additional information.