Connemara Bog Week, which opens on Sunday May 28th marks its 33rd anniversary this year, and has pulled out all the stops to provide a great programme celebrating the musical and literary tradition of the area as well as it’s rich environmental heritage. Other events for the family include cycles, fun runs and football games.
The event showcases a number of music and sean nós dance workshops along with an art exhibition in Connemara National Park. Muscians and a host of local players, singers and dancers will be entertaining visitors throughout the event.
Throughout the event, there will be sessions in pubs, hostels, hotels and schools, as well as music workshops covering a wide variety of instruments.
Those wishing to know more about the unique local landscape can enjoy bog walks with a local expert, 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. During the week, acclaimed ecologist Gordon D’Arcy will give a talk entitled ‘Connemara Explored’ in the Connemara National Park which will also play host to a poetry reading by Theo Dorgan, Moya Cannon and Michael Gorman as well as the launch of the Letterfrack Poetry Trail book on Sunday 4 June.
Historian and archaeologist Ned Kelly, former keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, will meanwhile bring archaeology to life during ‘Walking Connemara’ excursions as part of Bog Week. Other experts will include John O’Halloran, who has over 20 years’ experience in the field of unique travel, Dr Dave McGrath, marine biologist and former lecturer at the Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology and ecologist, herbalist and botanist Sinead Keane and musician Conor Keane, who 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 older members of the community in Rosleague Manor, with music from Marcus Hernon and Don Stiffe. 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 artist Bernie Dignam and the opening of the art exhibition which will feature the work of artists Angie Williams, David Keane and Tanya Doyne. The Kane Sisters and Cyril O’ Donoghue, Conor Keane and piper Blackie O’Connell will meanwhile bring music and madness to Molly’s Bar.
The whole family can get involved at the Conamara 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. The first weekend will also be wrapped in music with Luka Bloom, The Hernon Family with Don Stiffe, and The Screaming Bluecats.
As well as traditional music you will find concerts in the 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 the Veldon’s Bar will host The Paul O’Driscoll Trio, My Fellow Sponges and The John Conneely Trio.