Inside information & tips on what to see, do, eat, & special places to stay; Ireland, London & beyond!
Vibrant Ireland

Hot on the Irish Calendar: Battle ReEnactment, Markets, More!

Blue Raincoat Theatre Co_ A Brief Taste of Lightening at Tread Softly festival

Blue Raincoat Theatre Co A Brief Taste of Lightening. On at Tread Softly festival, Sligo

Wondering what’s on?

Flea markets, battle reenactment, art exhibits, paint-outs, craft talks, music, fashion & family fun–it’s all happening!

I’ve had some interesting events notices land in my email from all over Ireland, & I figured I better pass ’em on so you can sort out your calendars before its too late. Whether you’re looking for things to do when visiting Ireland over the next few weeks or are looking for a local day out, peruse & choose! 😀


To start off with, in Kilkenny you can enjoy exhibits of craft, and art:


EXHIBITION: Up From Earth Show NCG Grads 2014 'Up from Earth'

18July–3 August

An exhibition of ceramics from the students of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Ceramics Skills & Design Course, curated by Gus Mabelson. Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Ceramics Skills & Design Course is a unique two-year intensive programme designed to equip graduates with the practical skills to
 develop careers in the ceramics industry.

Located at the beautiful Island Mill, Thomastown, this extremely successful course has established an excellent reputation in the industry both nationally and internationally, and many of its graduates have gone on to establish international careers. The biennial graduation exhibition is an opportunity to spot stars of the future. Up From Earth will be launched by Jack Doherty, internationally renowned ceramicist, at 6.30pm on Friday 18 July.

LATE DATE: Meet the Makers

DCCoI Ceramics Course 2014 graduates with Tutor Gus Mableson

Thurs 24 July, 6.30pm

An informal evening of discussion and sharing with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s Ceramics Course Graduates, class of 2014. Each maker will chat through their practices and processes focusing on the works in the exhibition. Meet the makers and have a glass of wine.

National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny FREE

Felicity Clear

Drawings Plans Projections

June 14 – July 27, 2014

The Butler Gallery is delighted to present Drawings Plans Projections, an exhibition by Felicity Clear, which includes wall drawings, structures and animation.

Clear’s earlier work included precise large-scale drawings using graphite and acrylic on paper of high-rise modernist building schemes, suburban parking lots, and ghost cranes hovering over building sites with wide empty skies. These drawings were occasionally populated by trees but rarely ever with people.

Clear has made a shift in her practice in the past few years,and broadened out into more abstract ideas of structure, stability and failure. The recent drawings describe structures that are untenable, and ambiguous as to their beginning, middle and end. The process begins with the making of small-scale simple wooden structures that are intuitive and quickly constructed and reference architectural models. Studio lights cast two-way shadows of the models back onto paper, which are then drawn in pencil. Clear expands upon her process:

Felicity Clear at Butler GalleryWhen the structures are taken away there is a gap in perspectival logic, which makes the drawings difficult for the eye to interpret.  There is also a good deal of repetition in the work; repetitive pencil marks and repetition in the making of the models, where there is a potentially infinite supply of different solutions in a never-ending pursuit of an impossible or undeclared goal.

Clear has become interested in the use of projection to generate large wall drawings. This led her in a whole new direction, involving screen and moving image, and ultimately towards the use of animation to fulfil new ideas.  In a work entitled ‘Blueprints’, three structures revolve through space in a stop-go animation. In its making each element has been drawn, rubbed out and drawn again, moving slightly each time. Eventually the drawings form a loop and appear to be revolving again and again, with each individual drawing leaving a trace, referencing the handmade.

A large-scale drawing, ‘here’s the thing,’ flows down the wall and out onto the gallery floor leading the viewer inwards to consider its multiple drawing propositions. The varied structures, which have become more complicated and self-contained over time, cast myriad shadows back onto the drawing, distorting our perceptions. It is not clear where light ends and wall begins.

In Drawings Plans Projections, we survey Clear’s ideas at work and at play, punctuating the galleries with experimentation, whimsy and skill.

Felicity Clear is from Greystones, Co. Wicklow but lives and works in Dublin. After receiving a degree in Natural Science from Trinity College Dublin, she went on to study Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design from which she graduated in 1991. She received an MA in Visual Arts Practice in 2007 from Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design. Clear has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and has had solo exhibitions at the Rubicon Gallery and The Lab in Dublin, the Mermaid Arts Centre in Wicklow, the Galway Arts Centre, and The Drawing Project, Dún Laoghaire. She has also been included in group exhibitions at Limerick City Gallery, Crawford Art Gallery, Irish Museum Of Modern Art, National Gallery Of Ireland, Contemporary Arts Society London and the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum.Her work appears in many private and public collections including, the Arts Council Of Ireland, Goldman Sachs UK, KPMG, Office Of Public Works, Dublin Institute Of Technology, RTÈ, Tralee RTC, Allied Irish Bank, Irish Contemporary Arts Society and private collections.

Butler Gallery at The Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland

t: + 353 56 7761106  e:

flower carlow garden festival

Don’t forget to check out Kilkenny Arts festival, 8-17 August, too!

Staying in the sunny southeast, in county Carlow you can feed your flower fetish and enjoy gorgeous gardens at the Carlow Garden Festival– I’ve a whole post on it, with how to win tickets & other prizes, here.

And in county Wexford, there’s tons on too:


Art in the Open Festival  2014

Wexford will host Europe’s largest outdoor Art Festival as ‘Art in the Open’ takes place from July 28 until Aug 4.

Six spectacular ‘Paint-outs’ are the core of Art in the Open Festival where artists will take to some of the Southeasts most stunning scenery, charming villages and historic towns including Courtown, Graignamanagh, Enniscorthy, Ballyhack, Clonegal, and Wexford Town, where they will create a masterpiece of the vista.

Art In The Open. The festival culminates in a giant exhibition of all the pieces created, featuring 2,500 paintings exhibited in Wexford town. Festivalgoers can join the artists or observe the creative process, enjoy workshops, a quickdraw or a painter’s pint.

For further details see



Vinegar Hill Battle ReEnactment, Aug 1- 3

Witness history unfold this August Bank Holiday weekend and make tracks for Enniscorthy as the town hosts Ireland’s largest Battle Reenactment. Vinegar Hill is the venue for a free re-creation of the 1798 Battle of Vinegar Hill.

Experience life as an 18th Century redcoat, learn about the heroic pikemen of ’98, or see blacksmiths preparing for battle. Why not even enlist to take part and re-live a momentous scene from Irelands’ history books.Battle Vinegar Hill Battle Reenactment


Gorey Market House Festival – August Bank Holiday Weekend 2014 – July 31 to August 3.

The very best in music, fashion and family fun. North Wexford’s premier open air Festival is even bigger and better this year with Live outdoor music from Jack L, Corner Boy, White Chalk and Riptide Movement. Plus, exhibitions, tons of kids fun, market day, Ireland’s only open air street fashion extravaganza with Brendan Courtney and lots more.

It’s a festival for all the family over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. Check out the fun Jam ‘N’ Jam competition featuring three categories ‘Best Strawberry’, ‘Best Raspberry’ and ‘Best Unusual Combination.’ Irish food writer Biddy White Lennon will award a prize of €100 for the 1st place entries, €50 for 2nd place and a Jam making kit for 3rd place. The pot of jam dubbed ‘Best in Show’ will win the overall prize of €200.


Head to the wild & beautiful northwest and you can Tread Softly at the fabulous Yeats festival (dedicated post here,) or find some vintage treasures at the Sligo Flea Market:

Sligo Flea Market, 19 July

Are you hunting for something unique? A special dress for your upcoming Debs, or have a summer event coming up? Look no further as Sligo’s only indoor vintage, vinyl and craft market returns to The Model on 19 July for the second of a trio of markets taking place throughout the summer. Stallholders will be selling one of a kind vintage dresses from the 1950s to the 1970s, with costume jewellery to match!

sligo flea market 2The spacious, cool interior of the historic Model building is perfectly suited for comfortably browsing the stalls of vinyl records, local crafts and illustrators, bric a brac, costume jewellery and vintage clothing.

The market will be open to the public between 12-5pm, there is free Wi-Fi in the building, and after an afternoon of browsing and buying, visitors can unwind at The Model Café, located in the bright central atrium of The Model.

If you’d like to apply for a stall, we are currently accepting applications for our final summer market (23 August). Visit our Facebook page at

You can follow the activity of the Sligo Flea, from stallholders, live updates and all the latest news, on Facebook, instagram and twitter, and by using the hashtag #SligoFlea


In the lake studded county of Cavan, you can catch the Cavan Theatre Festival:

Cavan Theatre Festival will host a four day theatre festival from 17th to 20th July 2014. Officially launched at the Abbey Theatre, during the celebrations of World Theatre Day on 27th March, it will provide a new and ambitious platform for theatre artists both local and national to perform and network. Some Flood at Cavan Theatre festival

Cavan is a county buzzing with arts and culture, the Cavan Theatre Festival’s Kieron Smith (Artistic Director) and the Cavan Theatre Festival team are aiming to showcase some of the best plays produced nationwide.

Kilkenny’s Devious Theatre Company will be opening the festival with Some Flood. Terry and I saw this in Kilkenny and we quite enjoyed it– do go! You can download the full theatre festival program over on This is Cavan and check out the Cavan Theatre Festival’s Facebook page, too. (I found their website didn’t work well for me..)

And if all these fab events leave you in need of a refreshing break, well, I can tell you from experience that Cavan’s historic hotel & spa gem, Farnham Estate, will see you right! Enjoy filling your calendar with fun 😀

treatment room, Radisson Blu Farnham Estate Cavan

One of the treatment rooms, pic via Radisson Blu Farnham Estate Cavan.

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