Nine-day festival keeps bogs at top of agenda

Only a small amount of blanket bog exists in the world and Ireland possesses eight per cent of the world’s blanket bog and is the most important country in Europe for this type of habitat. As a result, Conamara Bog Week will celebrate 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 Letterfrack.

Festival goers are invited to engage in 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, Moya Canon and Michael Gorman as well as the launch of the Letterfrack Poetry Trail book (Sunday June 4th ).

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 midweek 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.

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 Letterfrack from May 28 to June 5, will have its usual eclectic 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

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