All roads lead to BallaghDream Arts Festival this August

Members of BallaghDream Festival Committee pictured at Edmondstown House recently: Patsy McGarry, Neil Sheridan, Julie Sharkey, Tuesday Whitfield, Sean McGarry, Carol Conlon and Wes Pollington. Not present were Anne McGreal and David Ewings. Picture by Marek Petrovic

All roads lead to Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon later this year for the BallaghDream Arts Festival which takes place from August 5th to 13th.

Stop the clocks, turn off your phones, Big Maggie’s coming to town with William Shakespeare, writer Joseph O’Connor and pianist John O’Conor. Matt Molloy’s returning home, as is world champion Irish dancer Ronan Kelly, with Lúnasa in the Cathedral and Brolly in the soup. Again!

Paintings by leading West of Ireland artists will be on display at Mulligan’s Main Street, young bands will compete in Molly’s, an Ableton Live workshop will be held at Willowbrook, there’s Daithi and Elaine Mai at The Castle, buskers in the streets, Word a Day at Dillon’s Door, an art and poetry trail all over town, free arts/dance/wellness workshops for kids, and much more…sure where else would you be going?

Everyone needs a break. Let yours begin with Ballaghaderreen Players’ production of John B Keane’s monumental ‘Big Maggie’ at St Nathy’s College on August 5th and end the following Sunday with London’s Pilgrim Players version of Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in the open-air at Edmondstown House.

In between, renowned traditional Irish group Lúnasa interrupt an international tour to perform in Trad Night at St Nathy’s Cathedral with Ballaghaderreen man Matt Molloy and Sean Keane of The Chieftains who will be joined by another local man, dancer Ronan Kelly, as well as acclaimed fiddle players, sisters Cora and Breda Smyth who now returning to their mother’s home town.

Thursday, August 10th will be Classical Night at the Cathedral with Ireland’s leading pianist, John O’Conor, accompanied by cellist Ailbhe McDonagh, as well as Chloe Ewing and soprano friends.

Writer Joseph O’Connor will take part in Literary Night at St Nathy’s College, accompanied by St Nathy’s Cathedral Choir. He will be interviewed by a member of the Ballaghaderreen Book Club. The evening will include award-winning Galway poet Mary O’Malley performing and reading from her well-received collections.

On Friday 11th, GAA pundit, newspaper columnist and barrister, Joe Brolly, will be joined for a discussion on Championship 2023 and Connacht football at St Nathy’s auditorium by local GAA heroes John O’Mahony, Andy Moran and Seanie McDermott.

The Battle of the Bands final will be in Molly’s, Barrack Street on August 10th with Live Electronica from Daithi and Elaine Mai (supported by Death Milkshake) and, to help round things off on Sunday evening, August 13th, Noni Stapleton will explain how her boyfriend fell for a heifer, in ‘Charolais’.

Ticketing details and a full festival programme at: