Category: Festival

Banagher Remembers World War One Miscellany

Banagher presents a World War One Miscellany

As part of this year’s That Beats Banagher Festival some events have been organised which will remember Banagher in the time of World War One, (1914 – 1918). On Friday 21st July a miscellany of short new writings and associated music entitled Banagher Remembers World War One, will be held in St. Paul’s Church on the Hill, commencing at 7p.m. Admission is free but booking is required and can be made on line at or by ringing 087 134 8779.

The readings will be delivered by Stephen Callaghan, Cora Stronge Smith, James Scully, Jim Madden, Caitriona O’Meara and Doreen McGouran. Musical pieces strongly associated with World War One will be performed by the Tullamore Town Band under the baton of Mr,Lorcan Daly. Among the tunes selected are familiar songs from the period such as A Long Way to Tipperary, Pack Up Your Troubles and Roses of Picardy. Other works by Thomas Moore, Ivor Novello and Kenneth J.Alford will be also be performed. The evening will conclude with a rendition of The Last Post and Réveillé.

While the event is free those in attendance will be invited to make a donation towards the festival’s funds as they leave the church.

Immediately afterwards an Edwardian Tea party will be held in the Courtyard of Crank House, Lower Main Street where a lighter mood will be created by the acclaimed jazz musician Mr. Bob Batty. Participants are strongly encouraged to dress in period costume be it Victorian, Edwardian or Military with prizes being awarded to those best attired.


Sionn Mhara – Join the Crew

Banagher’s local long boat is back again this year offering you the opportunity to join the crew and take to the Shannon to enjoy the opportunity. The local long boat was launched at the time of the festival two years ago after being created by local community members. The option is now there to go out and be a part of the crew during the festival so utilise it while you can.

Creative Writing Workshop with Author Eileen Casey ‘Postcards to the Front’

Creative Writing Workshop with Eileen Casey

  • Date: Sunday 23rd July 2017
  • Times: 11.30pm to 2.00pm
  • Venue:  Charlotte’s Way, Banagher
  • Fee: €10.00 (To be paid on the day)

In an age where correspondence is chiefly characterised by text messaging, this workshop seeks to rediscover the joys of other forms of communication. During WWI, such forms were particularly significant as a means of keeping alive the memory of loved ones.

The Bamforth Song Series Postcards, for example, were a popular way for those at home to correspond with their loved ones at the Front. The workshop will feature a set of six such postcards which formed part of a correspondence between sweethearts in 1914 and although the messages are short, they are extremely poignant.

Participants are invited to explore the impact of such forms and how these little gems have an enduring resonance in contemporary times. Letters and diaries as valuable writing formats and inspirational treasures will also be included.

Facilitator Eileen Casey is a widely published poet, writer and journalist. A Hennessy Award winning Writer, she has published collections of poetry (New Island) and short fiction (Arlen House) and her work is anthologised by Faber & Faber, New Island, Arlen House, Dedalus Press, among others. She was a prize-winner with An Post Letter Writing Awards and Bealtaine’s Letter Writing Competition organised by the National Gallery, Dublin.

Pottery Workshops with Damian O Brien

We are delighted to have Damian O Brien back with us this year – you will have the opportunity to explore the basics of this traditional craft. The workshop will cover basic techniques of pottery and the participants will be encouraged to work on a small piece of work.

Duration – 2 hour workshop

  • Date: Saturday 22nd July 2017
  • Adults & Children over 8
  • Times:  12.30 – 2.30 & 3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Venue:  Banagher, Co Offaly
  • Fee: €10.00 (to be paid on the day)


  • Date: Sunday 23rd July 2017
  • Ages: Children over 5
  • Times:  12.30 – 2.30 & 3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Venue: Banagher, Co Offaly
  • Fee: €10.00 (to be paid on the day)

(includes materials) No previous pottery skills required.


Damian has been involved with the making of functional ware for the last twenty years. He has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East and Europe and experienced many different cultures. He is now based near the historic site of Clonmacnoise. His deep connection with the history and landscape of Westmeath influences the earthy, organic, physical shapes, of the mainly salt glazed, woodfired wares. Damian’s main interest lies in the physical process of the woodfire kiln. This, combined with the unpredictability of the finish lends his pots a highly individual and distinctive look.

Cartoon Capers with Alan Nolan – Kids Comic Workshop

Ever wanted to learn how to make your very own COMIC?

Join Alan for Cartoon Capers to learn how he became a cartoonist and create your own cartoon with him. We have two workshops designed to suit boys and girls from 5yrs of age. (booking essential)
Date – 21st July 2017
Time – 11.30am – 1.00pm Ages 5yrs to 9yrs
Time – 2.00pm – 3.30pm Ages 10yrs to 13yrs

Location – Crank House
Fee – €5.00pp (to be paid on the day)

To Book

Alan Nolan is the author and illustrator of The Big Break Detectives Casebook, the Murder Can Be Fatal Mysteries series of graphic novels and the humorous hurling novel Fintan’s Fifteen. His latest children’s illustrated novel, Conor’s Caveman is about a boy and girl who find a caveman frozen in a glacier in the Wicklow mountains, and is available now!

His next novel Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week, about a girl who accidentally becomes brain-swapped with a dog, will be released in August. Alan lives in Bray, County Wicklow with his wife and three sons and a cat called Chewie. Chewie is the only member of the family who doesn’t regularly steal any of Alan’s pencils.

“That Beats Banagher 2017” Announcement

To say that the festival for “”That Beats Banagher 2017” has something for everybody is no idle boast. If you’re interested in activities in crafts, sports or history we have something for you.

That Beats Banagher is a festival designed to celebrate all things Banagher. Banagher will host a special Miscellany and Edwardian Tea Party to commemorate and remember Banagher families involved in WW1. Come and dress in your best period outfit to be in with a chance to be awarded with a prize for the best dressed guest!

Those coming to Banagher to explore the majestic Shannon can enjoy a taster of open canadian canoeing, wake boarding or SUP – standup paddleboarding. There will also be an opportunity to join the crew on the local long boat “The Sionn Mara”. If dry land suits you more then we also have blitzes and games at St Rynaghs GAA, craft workshops and demonstrations and zorbing by the Shannon.

If you’d prefer something more relaxing we have writing workshops, comic-book classes, readings and recitals. There will also be live music every day.

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, July 21st  to Sunday, July 23rd  at “That Beats Banagher 2017.”