Category: Community Events

Food & Craft market – Banagher square Saturday 14th May

Come along and sample the finest food and craft from the Banagher area and beyond. Following on from the hugely successful Christmas food and craft fair “That Beats Banagher” are delighted to see the return of this wonderful event! There will be something for everyone including local food, craft and a boat building exhibition.

From 12.00pm to 5.00pm in Banagher square.

Some of the talented makers are:

Cole Ceramics

Shannon Pens 

Mosiacs by Aodhán Ó’Broin

Photography by David Boylan

– Home Baking
– Preserves & Jams
– Slate Art
– Knitting
– Crocheting
– Jewellery
– Hand Painted Craft
– Timber Craft
– Home decor.
– Cards
– Gift Sets

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Live Music in the Square, Banagher – Friday 13th

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Michaela Keenaghan preforming ‘Wuthering Heights’

There will be a treat of homegrown live music in the square, Banagher on Friday 13th May.

Come along and join the fun from 7pm to 10pm.

All Welcome!



Performers include:

Little White Lies
1st & 2nd years Coláiste Na Sionna, Banagher
Michaela Keenaghan
Emmet Cox

MC for the evening:  Tadhg Cox

Aine Cox accompanied by Tadhg Cox

Aine Cox accompanied by Tadhg Cox

Crossbar Challenge

A challenge that requires upmost skill, technique and possibly some good luck!  That Beats Banagher are calling out for sporting enthusiasts of ages to come along to St Rynagh’s GAA on Saturday 14th May and compete in the inaugural That Beats Banagher – Crossbar Hurling Challenge.

Boys and girls, mums and dads, young and old take on an Offaly hurl and join our crossbar challenge. He or she who dares wins!

We are now inviting teams to register for this event which will take place from 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 14th May.

  • Teams –  3 per team
  • Cost – €10

There will be a prize giving at 3.15pm so don’t miss your opportunity to become That Beats Banagher – Inaugural Crossbar Challenge Winner 2016!
To book, register or find out more information please contact John Troy (087-7671273) or Paddy Scales (087-6228795) or register you teams HERE.  Alternatively you can come early of the day and register your team.  

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An exciting extra event will be added to the forthcoming That Beats Banagher Festival when renowned Bronte expert and Yorkshire guide  Mr. Johnnie Briggs will deliver a talk entitled The Story of the Bronte Family in Crank House at 6 p.m. on Sunday 15th May. This promises to be a colourful and entertaining presentation which will be embellished with extracts from letters, poems and novels written by the famous family. Everybody is welcome to this event which will conclude the festival weekend.


Haworth Churchyard from Anne Dinsdale's book  2015

Charlotte Bronte’s 200th – Guest Readers and Soloists

To celebrate ‘The Miscellany for Charlotte’ we were honoured to have a selection of guest readers and performers:


A welcome by The Reverend Patrick Towers and the Reverend Kenneth Kearon, Bishop of Limerick, Killaloe & Clonfert

Reader : Olivia Murray The Rocky Road to the Altar
Soloist : Josephine Martin Ode to Joy ( Beethoven )

Reader : Frances Browner Reader I Married Him
Soloist : Michaela Keenaghan Wuthering Heights

Reader : Cora Stronge Smith When thou sleepest, lulled in night (Charlotte Brontë)
Reader : James Scully Arthur’s Return to Banagher
Soloist : Josephine Martin Oft in the Stilly Night (Thomas Moore)

Reader : Eileen Casey Flow
Soloist : Áine Cox The Town I Left Behind

Soloist : Michaela Keenaghan The Cherished Children of 1916.

Festival Launch: George Smith
Unveiling of churchyard plaque – Reverend Kenneth Kearon, Bishop of Limerick, Killaloe & Clonfert
Laying of wreath on Arthurs Bells Memorial – Nicola DalyUnveiling of Charlotte’s Way plaque and Charlotte’s Way Celebration


That Beats Banagher 2016

To say the festival programme for “That Beats Banagher 2016” has something for everybody is no idle boast.

From hurling to food, from kayaking to crafting, from boating to Bronte readings it is all happening in one festival where the list of things to choose from certainly beats Banagher.

For those with a mind for writing fiction or creating there are writing workshops, comic-book classes, readings and recitals. If it’s a song or a tune that takes your fancy there is live music every day.

Those coming to Banagher to explore the majestic Shannon can do it in a kayak, on a wakeboard or on the local long boat, The Shionn Mara

Some might want to take to the field of play away from the water’s edge and St Rynagh’s GAA club is open for business with blitzes galore and games to suit the fit, the supple, the stiff and the sore.

The finer things in life are there too like Victorian High Tea or the chance to review a 19th century military parade. And what festival is complete without a blast of fireworks. On Saturday night the skies over the town will be ablaze with light and colour.

Yes there’s all of that and more from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15 at “That Beats Banagher 2016.”6 Info Signs - fragment 3 2


Call out for casting for a Pageant, to be held as part of   ‘That Beats Banagher’ Festival.

We are looking for young boys, ages 6 – 9 and aspiring actors aged 18 -25 years.

We are bringing a classical painting, ‘Military Manoeuvres’, to life by re-enacting  the scene as closely as possible. We will video the event with the aim of reproducing a contemporary ‘take’ on a scene which shows life as it was for many of our citizens before the events of 1916.

The painting was done in 1891, by the Irish artist Richard Moynan. It hangs in the National Gallery in Merrion Sq. Dublin. It is one of the most widely loved paintings by children when visiting the gallery.

It depicts a small group of local children who march in formation playing an assortment of homemade instruments, with a mischievous scamp, who  wears a real Battalion helmet defiantly,  leads  the group. The Royal Irish Soldier watches in dismay while his girlfriend tries to calm him down…

Contact Artist Patricia

Military Maneouvers

About the painting:

This painting illustrates a crowded street-scene depicting a group of children amusing themselves by pretending to be a regimental band. The title of the work is humorous and although Moynan shows the children’s ragged dress, he focuses mainly on the boys’ ability to have fun. Their toys include saucepan lids as cymbals, an upturned bucket serving as a drum, a biscuit tin, a coffee pot, a paper trumpet, a penny whistle and a wooden sword. Their leader carries a broom and wears a splendid brass helmet, which contrasts with his general apparel. This helmet was obviously ‘borrowed’  from some source. This attracts the attention of a passing soldier who happens to recognize the elaborate headgear as being a black-plumed band helmet from his own regiment, the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards and  steps threateningly towards him while passers-by stop and stare.


There are 15 children in the band, all individual in facial type and dress and although this picture contains over 30 figures, the scene appears to be naturalistic and spacious. The viewer’s eye-movement is guided by the interaction between the young ‘drum-major’ and the soldier, and is, in turn, reinforced by the anxious glances of the flower seller in the foreground. The painting depicts a very recognisable town scene. It is thought it may represent Leixlip, the town in which the artist was born. However there is no evidence of a church spire which features in the painting. It is more likely that the town was made up of a mixture of various towns as it was painted in his studio from various drawings Moynan did while preparing his studies. I choose Banagher as I  worked here with the  Faroige group in 2013 and I became very interested in the history of this brave little town.  It’s barrack walls still loom large across the street scape and  street looks ideally placed,  flanked by its twin spires.

The intention will be to stage a Pageant which will re-enact  the drama in its entirety with local actors and characters. I have already had a number of real enthusiasts from Faroige who are rearing to get started.

We will get the youngsters to make their instruments to be played as they march through the town watched by the adults. We will have the main protagonists stop strategically, in Tableau, at which time a video will be made of this moment in time.

It is hoped that afterwards the film will be edited  in the exact same scale as the original painting and have it hung in juxtaposition in the National Gallery. It will be a slow motion piece with the movements of each person barely perceptible. Hopefully there will be a breeze, or perhaps a dog will bark to bring the painting to life. Eventually this video will come back home and will be available for all to see.

If you would like to be part of this event, either as one of the players, or to give a hand in the preparations, particularly in helping with the costume production, sewing, fitting and instrument making elements, please contact Patricia Hurl.