News and Views


Professor Simms develops the arguments he began in his talk at our 2019 Festival in this article in the New Statesman  


The 2019 Festival is fast approaching, but we have put together some highlights from 2018, including contributions from Jeremy Irons, reading Michael Longley’s poem ‘Trench Foot’, Professor John Horne, Dr Ida Milne and Dr David Edwards.  


There will be plenty of excellent West Cork food and drink available at the Festival, with Chris Hedges providing food for Friday and Saturday evening and lunchtime on Saturday and Sunday, while Nicky Smythe of Skibbereen’s Antiquity Vegan Cafe & Bookshop will be doing coffee & snacks. There will also be a separate coffee stand […]


This year’s concert, curated by West Cork musician and writer Jessie Kennedy in collaboration with the West Cork History Festival, celebrates the work of Canon James Goodman. Canon Goodman was a renowned uilleann piper and musicologist, who spent much of his life in West Cork. Composer and violinist Justin Grounds will join Jessie for part […]


Short biographies of some of our 2019 speakers are listed below in alphabetical order.


For the day that’s in it, we’re looking forward to Ruth Dudley Edwards speaking at our 2019 Festival on attitudes to Northern Ireland in the Republic of Ireland. Ruth is a journalist, historian and writer – find out more about her via her website and see some of her recent articles there too, including for […]


We are delighted that Dan Mulhall, the Irish Ambassador to the USA, will return to speak at this year’s Festival, having spoken at our first Festival in 2017. His subject this year will be ‘Declaring Independence: America 1776, Ireland 1919?’ To listen back to his fantastic 2017 talk ‘War & Peace: two Irish writers in […]


Tickets for our fantastic Festival Field Trips to archaeological and historic sites around West Cork are selling fast. Find out more about them at this link Field Trips WCHF 2019 and buy your tickets on our Tickets page. These two photos are from our 2018 Field Trips, the first to Salem Castle and the second […]


104 years ago today, the Cunard liner Lusitania was sunk off the coast of Cork by a German submarine. The ship went down in only 18 minutes, and more than 1,100 people died, while around 760 survived. One of those who died, and whose body was never found, was the Irish art collector and dealer […]


We highly recommend the Mary Swanzy exhibition at the Crawford, which runs until 3 June. A fascinating and very talented artist who painted in a whole variety of styles including Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Symbolism and Surrealism – perhaps that is why she is not better known? Find out more here. Mary Swanzy’s Samoan Scene, painted […]


The West Cork History Festival featured in last week’s Southern Star – thanks to Brian Moore for the opportunity to talk to him about our plans for 2019.      


We are the Dark Night Ocean is the brilliant new album by Jessie Kennedy & Justin Grounds. Jessie is a great friend and supporter of the Festival. She gave a magical performance with Patsy Puttnam at our Festival concert in 2018 Festival and will be performing this year too. Lord Franklin, one of the songs […]


An interesting article in Saturday’s Irish Times by Festival contributor Ronan McGreevy about the centenaries ahead and how they will be commemorated. Be assured the 2019 Festival, and the ones beyond that, will take a clear-eyed view of many of these centenaries and the issues around them. At the 2018 Festival, we were very pleased […]


  This beautiful Nativity scene is part of one of the most richly decorated prayer books from the medieval period, now in the British Library in London and known as the Bedford Hours. It was given by Anne of Burgundy, Duchess of Bedford to her nephew, King Henry VI who was then eight years old. […]


Our opening speaker at the 2018 West Cork History Festival is Professor Alvin Jackson. In the centenary year of John Redmond’s death, Professor Jackson will speak on Redmond and Carson, the two men who are the subject of his recently published book Judging Redmond and Carson (Royal Irish Academy: 2018). Professor Jackson is a leading […]


On this day 100 years ago Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock was killed in action flying over the Western Front. Hear more about this extraordinary man as military aviation expert Guy Warner speaks at the 2018 WCHF about Mannock and other First World War airmen with Cork connections including Robert Smith-Barry and Lord Carbery. Mannock was one […]


This special concert for this year’s West Cork History Festival is a musical narrative created by Jessie Kennedy and Lady Patsy Puttnam. It is an original work inspired by three years in the life of Lady Mary Carbery, from the years 1898-1901 when she lived in Castlefreke. Lady Puttnam comments: “Lady Mary’s story told through […]


WEST CORK HISTORY FESTIVAL FIELD TRIPS AND WALKING TOUR 2018 DAY 1: THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 This field trip will take you from the Bronze Age (stone circle, rock art, solar alignments), through the Medieval (stone fort, tower house) up to more recent history (Harry Clarke and the Somervilles and Townshends, ecclesiastical history). It’s a taster, […]


As part of the Skibbereen Arts Festival, our friends at the Skibbereen Heritage Centre will run two guided walks over the weekend of 28th-30th July. Lough Hyne – archaeology, history and folklore – 28th July, 2pm A two hour walk around Lough Hyne with Terry Kearney. Meet at the base of Knockomagh Hill. Walking tour of […]


The West Cork History Festival – what is it and why do we do it? The West Cork History Festival is five years old in 2021. In it, we try to bring people who research and write about history together with a public audience of informed and interested people. The festival is still in its […]


The West Cork History Festival takes place in the grounds of Rosebank, formerly the dower house of the Liss Ard estate, less than a mile outside Skibbereen in West Cork. Our full address is: Rosebank Russagh Castletownshend Road Skibbereen County Cork P81 HF61 Ireland +353 (0)87 356 1871 westcorkhistoryfestival@gmail.com Food & Drink Excellent West Cork […]