There's not been much chance to post recently as we've been finalising our 2023 programme which can be viewed here - more details below.
We're looking forward to seeing you in August at our new location, the beautiful and historic Inish Beg estate between Skibbereen and Baltimore.
2023 FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
Please note, timings are approximate. We have two Festival venues at Inish Beg - the Octagon and the Boat House - and some sessions will run in parallel.
Friday evening (11 August) 6-10pm
Writer Glenn Patterson is our opening speaker for the 2023 Festival. He will discuss his latest book The Last Irish Question: Will Six in Twenty Six Ever Go ?
After his talk, Glenn will join a panel discussing how the Decade of Centenaries has been received across the island and beyond.
Saturday (12 August) 10am-6pm
Morning - Octagon
10am Professor Robert Gerwarth 'Europe’s Age of Civil Wars, 1917-1949'
11.15am Professor Caitríona Beaumont on her project 'Afterlives of Activist Women' looking at Ireland, Germany and Finland
12.30pm Dr Eve Morrison on 'Trauma, Democracy and the Irish Civil War'
Morning - Boathouse
11.15am Commandant Daniel Ayiotis 'Crests and Troughs: Preserving the Records of the Irish Revolution'
12.30pm Professor Heather Jones 'King George V and Ireland: Reform, Revolution and Royal Regret'
Afternoon - Octagon
2.30pm Dr Edward Burke on 'Echoes of the violence of the 1920s in the 1970s'
3.45pm Dr Nicholas McDowell 'The Poetry of Civil War: from Milton to Yeats'
5pm Paul Lay 'Three Irish men in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms'
Afternoon - Boat House
2.30pm Dominic Selwood on his book Anatomy of a Nation: A History of British Identity in 50 Documents
3.45pm Mike MacCarthy-Morrogh 'The hairy heel infiltrates west Cork: the MacCarthy Morroghs of Innis Beg in the 19th century'
Festival concert - Octagon - 8.30-10.00 pm
Part One - Hope On, Hope Ever
A musical journey including original works, inspired by the Franklin
Expedition & Irish Polar Explorers - the unsung heroes
Created and performed by Jessie Kennedy & Tess Leak,
with The Vespertine Quintet.
Part Two - The Ocean
A collection of songs chosen and performed by Jessie Kennedy and
guests. The set will revisit songs from the archives of some of Ireland’s
finest songwriters - Noel Brazil, Thom Moore, Sinead O’Connor and
Jimmy McCarthy - as well as other unique interpretations of beautiful
songs of sea and love.
Featuring special guests:
Billy Kennedy - guitar
Justin Grounds - viola and violin
Susan McManamon - piano
Sam O’Sullivan - percussion
Sunday (13 August) 10am-5pm
Morning - Octagon
11am Panel discussion looking at the Decade of Centenaries and how the commemorations were received by historians and non-historians, featuring many of our speakers from Saturday.
Afternoon - Octagon - approximate timings only
1.30pm Professor David Dickson 'Cork, the Caribbean & Complicity'
2.40pm Dr Kate Hodgson 'The Long Eighteenth Century, Munster connections and antagonisms'
4pm Dr Tara McConnell 'Prodigious Fine Dinners: Dining with Jonathan Swift'
5pm Dr Patricia McCarthy 'Ireland's love affair with Claret'
Professor Charles Ludington 'Irish Wine Merchants and the Invention of Modern Bordeaux Wine'
We also hope to organise a wine tasting featuring 'Wine Geese' wines on Sunday evening (6-8pm) - further details tbc.
Festival Field Trips 11, 12 & 13 August
We're doing things a little differently this year, working with local partners to bring you an exciting range of options for Friday 11 August, as well as early morning on Saturday and Sunday. We will explore the waters of Castlehaven with Atlantic Sea Kayaking; hear tales of adventure and heritage as we walk the cliffs of West Cork with Gormú; use the beautiful church of St Barrahane's to explore how local families have left their mark and important art; take a stroll through a West Cork village to discover its hidden histories; and - if you're brave - take an early morning swim and pilgrimage.
Friday 11 August
9am - Gormú Adventures Toe Head Clifftop Hike with history, mythology, placenames and plants. Includes tea/coffee and snack. Please book via Gormú's website at this link with the code WCHF23 and you will receive full instructions about where to meet for the hike with your ticket.
10am - Finola Finlay & Robert Harris of Roaringwater Journal take you on a tour of the beautiful and historic village of Castletownshend where you will encounter, amongst other things, Harry Clarke, the Somervilles and the Zulu Wars. Tickets can be bought via the Festival here. Meet at St Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend P81 AH51
10.30am - Eugene MacSweeney will lead a walking tour of historic Ballydehob plus a visit to Ballydehob Arts Museum. Meet at Ballydehob P81 V309
12 noon - join Gormú Adventures for Placenames and Their Amazing Stories at Sandycove, including a picnic lunch with local gourmet foods. Book via the Gormú website here (and use the code WCHF23) - full instructions will come with your ticket.
1pm - so much of West Cork's history is best seen from the water. Join Atlantic Sea Kayaking for a historical kayaking trip led by local historian, Vincent O'Neill. A snack will be included and please book via ASK's website here.
2pm - Finola Finlay & Robert Harris of Roaringwater Journal take you on a tour of the beautiful and historic village of Castletownshend where you will encounter, amongst other things, Harry Clarke, the Somervilles and the Zulu Wars. Tickets can be bought via the Festival here. Meet at St Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend P81 AH51
Saturday 12 August
7am - it'll be worth the early start for Gormú's Dawn Swim and Pilgrimage to Holy Well, Castlehaven. Includes breakfast, please book via the Gormú website here and you will receive full instructions with your ticket. Use the code WCHF23 when you book.
Sunday 13 August
7am - another chance to join Gormú's Dawn Swim and Pilgrimage to Holy Well, Castlehaven. Includes breakfast, please book via the Gormú website using the code WCHF23 and you will receive full instructions with your ticket.