Nothing sinister as Mullingar’s Left Hand Festival is going global
By Finian Coghlan
The Left Hand Festival, planned for Mullingar this August, has been chosen this week as one of a number of events to be featured in advertisements for The Gathering at Dublin Airport.
Before this week, it had already gained coverage in The Financial Times, The Washington Post, and from Tourism Ireland GB.
The 4-metre (14 feet) banners were erected this week to help promote some of the smaller events around Ireland this year as part of The Gathering to the 19 million people who use Dublin Airport on an annual basis.These include the bog snorkelling in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan; The Sea Sessions in Bundoran, Co Donegal; the TwinFest in Keash, Co Sligo; and the Red Head Convention in Crosshaven, Co Cork.
The organisers of The Gathering believe these mid-sized happenings require more of a publicity boost that such already internationally-renowned Irish institutions as TedFest, the Horse Show, the Rose of Tralee, Galway Arts Festival, Kilkenny Cat Laughs, and the Cork Jazz Festival might.
The Left Hand Festival is a quirky gathering taking place in Mullingar between August 9-13, and is the brainchild of Belvedere manager, Bartle Darcy.
This innovative event will involve inviting as many of the world’s 70 million left-handers as can fit into Mullingar for five days of fun, competition, and craic.
Historically, “lefties” have had a hard time, illuminated by the fact that the Latin words for left and right are sinister and dexter.
To help offer some redress, International Left Handers Day is on August 13 which, this year, will feature as the centrepiece of this Mullingar Gathering.
Mullingar is a highly appropriate venue for this festival, as its name in Irish translates as the crooked, or left-handed mill, whose founder - St Colman of Lynn - is being mooted as the future patron saint of left-handers. Historically discriminated against, and forced to conform to a right hand world, Mullingar will offer left-handed hotel bedrooms, a left-handed golf tournament, music events, famous lefties, and look to crown a Left Handed Champion of Ireland after a series of trials and tasks.
Mullingar can become the left-hand capital of the world where right hand people can also come to turn their life or fortunes around by completing a left-hand task at the Mill Wheel in Mullingar.
The Left Hand Festival organisers hope nothing goes right over the five days and have arranged for our left handed foreign (non-UK) visitors special permission to drive on the left hand side of the road for the five days.