Bealtaine celebrates the arts and creativity as we age

Bealtaine is the festival which celebrates the arts and creativity as we age.

Mayo County Council Arts Service programme this year includes performances, workshops and tours and all events are free of charge. Here are some of this year’s highlights.

Harp performances at Mayo community nursing units

During May, acclaimed harpist Gráinne Hambly will visit a selection of pre-booked community nursing units in County Mayo, bringing the joy of music to those living in residential care nursing units including St. Brendan’s Mulranny, Castlebar Social Services Centre and St Fionnán’s Achill. Gráinne Hambly, from Mayo Abbey, is an internationally recognised exponent of the Irish harp.

Memories Project by artist Elaine Mears

If you could only keep one object that has sentimental value to you, what would you keep, and why? This visual arts piece is a culmination of the collection of memories from people in the county which have been infused into a tapestry for the senses. On Thursday, May 26 and Friday, May 27 you are invited to book a place for a group experience in the Linenhall Arts Centre of the event with the artist present. Tours run from 11.30am to 4pm. For booking information, contact the Linenhall Arts Centre (094 ) 902 3733 or email [email protected].

Shared Rituals with artist Mags Duffy

Artist Mags Duffy will work with retired Westport based individuals who, in their working lives, employed a range of skills as part of their daily work tasks including; a fisherman/maker of hazel lobster pots, a stone wall builder/mason and a dress maker/embroiderer. Mags Duffy is a visual artist based in Westport. She has a background in experimental textiles and a postgraduate qualification in arts education.

The Musician Mentoring Project

The Musician Mentoring Project sees Castlebar based composer, singer, musician and author, John Hoban working with Newport based flute player Tim McHugh. John and Tim will have several mentoring sessions together in May to mark Bealtaine.

Armchair Azure Tours

Armchair Azure Tours will take place in a selection of care nursing units. For those living with dementia, these virtual visual art tours are an accessible way of engaging with art online. Tours are guided by visual artist Norah Brennan, a trained dementia inclusive facilitator. Norah is an award-winning visual artist.

Fine art

Fine Art Tours have been arranged for the following care nursing units: St Attracta’s Nursing Unit, Charlestown; Sacred Heart Hospital, Castlebar; and Swinford Day Care Centre.

Hearth exhibition

The launch of the Hearth exhibition takes place in Achill Library, at 2.30pm on Tuesday, May 24. All are welcome and light refreshments will be served. The exhibition continues in the library until the end of June. Hearth is a project that brings art into the homes of older people. Artist Maggie Morrison made weekly visits to six participants in Achill in autumn/winter 2021. Come see the work created by the Achill participants.

Mayo Artsquad community taster art workshops

Mayo Artsquad are inviting older people to take part in some free taster art demonstrations in Mayo Artsquad, Castlebar on May 31 from 10.30am to 1pm. The team will be providing workshops in drawing, printing and clay. For booking information call 094 90 64666 or email [email protected].

If you would like further information, to book for an event or to receive a hard copy or a link to Mayo County Council Arts Service’s Bealtaine brochure get in touch on [email protected] or (094 ) 9064666 and (094 ) 9064367 or visit Mayo Arts Service via

Bealtaine is an initiative of Age and Opportunity and in Mayo the event is strategically funded by Mayo County Council and the Arts Council. Some of the above initiatives are in receipt of Creative Ireland funding and some are part of the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme.


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