History buffs and culture vultures can look forward to a festival feast over the weekend!


FRIDAY to SUNDAY 21 – 23 JULY 2023

As part of the 10th That Beats Banagher Festival this year’s festival will include a weekend of events celebrating Charlotte Brontë and her husband Arthur Bell Nicholls and their connections with Banagher.

All events will be held in or commence from The Crank House in Lower Main Street, Banagher. The Crank House is a two-story, seven-bay Georgian-style building with a projecting round front.


6.30 p.m. Opening of an exhibition The Legacy of the Brontës in Banagher and showing of a related film by Maebh O’Regan. The exhibition shows through a variety of textile panels items connected with the Brontës and their association with Banagher. The work is a collaboration between the Banagher Crafting Group and Maebh O’Regan of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

7.20 p.m. Eileen Casey will read from her collections of poems Bog Treasure and Bogmen First and Last and speak of her love for the works of the Brontë sisters. Eileen is a highly acclaimed poet, winner of several literary awards and a maker of short films.

Click HERE to book


9.30 a.m. Film: Arthur and Charlotte, A Victorian Romance

Written by the James Scully and performed by the Martello Players. The performance was filmed in December 2019 by Maebh O’Regan and features John Kennedy, Brendan Dolan, Michael and Angela Flannery, Michelle Flannery all of Banagherand Tullamore musician Val Hughes.

10.30 a.m. Talk: Travelling with the Brontës by Joanne Wilcock

Joanne is a very keen Brontë fan and has studied the travels of the Brontë sisters and observed that they were much more widely travelled than is generally known.

Joanne lives in Affetside in Lancashire, just an hour from Haworth and this is her second visit to Banagher.

11.20 a.m. Coffee break

11.45 a.m. Talk: Frances Browner will speak on her possible relationship with the Bell family and Arthur Bell Nicholls in particular. She will also relate her appreciation of the Brontë sisters and read from her poetry which celebrates their lives.

Frances Browner grew up in Dublin, now resides in Wicklow, and is proud of her Offaly roots. She has contributed articles to the Tullamore Annual, and the Birr, and Banagher Reviews. She was also a speaker at That Beats Banagher 2016 and was a regular contributor to Readings from the Palette in Corrigan’s Corner House. Her fiction, memoirs, and poems have won awards, appeared in magazines, literary journals, and short story anthologies, and been broadcast on radio. A creative writing tutor with Dun Laoghaire ETB and Greystones Cancer Support, Frances launched a short story/memoir collection, You Could’ve Been Someone in 2015, and a poetry collection Roots & Wings in 2019.

12.30 p.m. Questions and discussion

12.45 p.m. Lunch

2.30 p.m. Walk: In the footsteps of Arthur & Charlotte

A gentle walk up the hill of Banagher with Michael O’Dowd, author of Charlotte Brontë: An Irish Odyssey, Heart is Knit to Him, The Honeymoon, (Pardus Media, 2021). Frances Browner will also accompany the walkers. The walk will include visits to the well-appointed guest house Charlotte’s Way (formerly Hill House), and Saint Paul’s Church.

Click HERE to book.


10 a.m. Film: The Discovery of the Brontë Family’s Portrait in Hill House, Banagher in 1914 by Maebh O’ Regan.

10.30 a.m. Talk: Banagher’s Literary Associations: Charlotte Brontë, Anthony Trollope and Sir Mathew De Renzy with James Scully and Kieran Keenaghan.

11.20 a.m. Discussion and Questions

11.40 a.m. Coffee Break

Midday Walk: Banagher’s West End

A gentle stroll to the River Shannon and across Banagher Bridge observing Banagher’s Napoleonic, literary and riverside heritage to finish about 1.30 p.m.

Click HERE to book.



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