• A Creative Festival

    words, art, walks, food & music



    6th - 8th July


  • About the festival

    Allihies is the pearl of the Wild Atlantic Way. Nestled between rocky hills and the Atlantic sea the area is a treasure trove of hidden beaches, waterfalls, caves and ancient ruins. The light and energy has inspired many artists and writers for generations. We welcome you to our mini festival, Allihies Inspires.


    The festival is initiated by M.F. Whitney and Claire Anne Zwaartman, students from the M.A. in Creative Writing at UCC. The festival is run in conjunction with the Allihies Coastal Education Hub.

  • Tickets

    Booking essential for Workshops, Walks, and Seafood Supper

  • Programme

    Fiction Workshop with Claire Keegan & Lunch

    6th-8th July. 9.30am to 3.30pm Fri, Sat, Sun. Pluais Umha Restaurant.

    Claire Keegan, internationally acclaimed author and teacher of creative writing, will run a three day fiction workshop in Allihies. This weekend will concentrate on works-in-progress submitted by the participants. Winner of numerous literary prizes, including The Davy Byrnes and The Edge Hill, the Observer has called Keegans work ‘among the finest recently written in English’. An internationally renowned teacher of creative writing, her stories have been translated into 14 languages. Booking essential.

    Anita Brohail Poetry Reading & Festival opening

    Friday 6.00pm Copper Cafe

    Anita Brohail is a Poet, Singer and Songwriter from Cork City.

    Her poetry takes intuitive, visceral journeys through nature and memories.

    Based in Allihies, Beara Anita draws constant inspiration from the landscape of the Beara Peninsula.


    Website. http://www.anitabrohail.com

    Tim Goulding Artist Talk

    Friday 7pm Copper Cafe

    Tim has been working as a professional artist since 1964. Equally at home in abstract and representational modes, he tends to work in series usually for a year at a time. These have included abstract landscapes, still life, pop images, flowers, highly explicit 'plein air' landscapes, pointillist work, mandalas, reeds and reflections, islands, stone paintings, caves and mines, the four elements, nougat, scars, mountain fires, city walls, field divisions, jellyfish paintings, palm trunks, clouds and most recently the 'Unravel' series. Tim is a member of Aosdána.
    His approach to painting could be summed up in three words 'see and play'. Admission is free.

    Website www.TimGoulding.com 

    Facebook page www.facebook.com/TimGouldingArt

    Three Handed Poetry Reading

    Paula Meehan, Theo Dorgan, and Tony Curtis.

    Penn State Reading Programme. Friday 6th July. 8pm.

    Penn State & Trish Caffrey host a Summer reading series at The Schoolhouse Allihies. Readings have kindly been opened to the public, after the students have taken their places. Space is limited.

    Paula Meehan


    Paula Meehan was born in Dublin where she still lives. Her poetry has been translated into French, German, Galician, Italian, Japanese, Estonian, Spanish, Greek, Chinese, Polish and Irish. She has received the Butler Literary Award for Poetry presented by the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Marten Toonder Award for Literature, the Denis Devlin Award for Dharmakaya,published in 2000, The Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry 2015, and the PPI Award for Radio Drama. She has been Ireland Professor of Poetry, 2013 – 2016. Her public lectures from the Professorship, Imaginary Bonnets with Real Bees in Them, were published in 2016 by UCD Press. Geomantic, her latest collection of poems was published by Dedalus Press, Dublin, in November of 2016.


    Of her latest work, her seventh collection of poems,which received a Cholmondeley Award for Poetry, Anne Enright, Irish Laureate for Fiction has written "Each poem in Paula Meehan’s new collection, Geomantic, is perfectly pitched and weighed. It is a book to be savoured. Everything in it feels familiar and new. She is working at the height of her powers


    Theo Dorgan.

    Theo Dorgan was born in Cork in 1953; he now lives in Dublin.

    Poet, novelist, prose writer, editor and translator, he has also written scripts for film documentaries and worked as a presenter of literature programmes on radio and television for many years. Among bis awards are the Listowel Prize for Poetry, the O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry (USA) and the Irish Times/Poetry Now Award given for his collection NINE BRIGHT SHINERS. His latest collection, just published, is ORPHEUS (dedalus Press 2018). Theo Dorgan is a member of Aosdána.

    Tony Curtis

    Tony Curtis was born in Dublin in 1955, he studied literature at the University of Essex and Trinity College, Dublin. As well as being available for readings at Irish and International festivals Tony Curtis is an experienced facilitator of poetry and creative writing workshops with both adults and children and is a regular contributor at the Clifden Arts Festival.

    In 1993, his poem The Dowser and the Child won the Poetry Ireland/Friends Provident National Poetry Competition, while These Hills won the Book Stop Poetry Prize. He also edited As the Poet Said (1997), a selection of quotations from Dennis O'Driscoll's regular column in Poetry Ireland Review. In 2003 he was awarded the Varuna House Exchange Fellowship to Australia and is the 2018 recipient of the O' Shaugnessy Award. Tony Curtis is a member of Aosdána.

    Illustration Workshop with Sheena Dempsey

    Saturday 7th July, 11am Allihies Men's Shed.

    Sheena Dempsey

    Sheena Dempsey is a children's illustrator and author from Cork. She has illustrated for various writers and publishers including the multi-award winning Dave Pigeon books written by Swapna Haddow (published by Faber) and Billy Button Telegram Boy written by Sally Nicholls and published by Barrington Stoke, which was nominated for the CBI Book of The Year 2017. Yoga Babies, by Fearne Cotton was published in September 2017 by Andersen Press. Gringer the Whinger by Jane Landy (published by Golden Key) was awarded commendation at the Institute Designers Ireland Awards 2017.

    Sheena lives in London with her very spotty greyhound, Sandy, and her not-very-spotty partner, Mick. Booking advised.


    Gringer the Whinger Reading with Jane Landy

    Saturday 7th July, 11am Allihies Men's Shed.

    Jane is a debut author and one-time demented mother from Skerries, Co. Dublin. She lives there with her husband, dog and grown up children. This is her first foray into the world of children’s books. She had many an altercation with Gringer, back in the day.


    Join debut author Jane Landy and illustrator Sheena Dempsey for a reading, drawing workshop and signing!


    'Gringer the Whinger' is funny and touching in equal measure - Inis Magazine

    Allihies Copper Mine Walking Tour

    Meet at 3pm Saturday 7th July at 3pm

    ALLIHIES COPPER MINE TOUR Allihies. In 1812, life in Allihies on the remote Beara Peninsula changed utterly when a rich copper deposit was discovered which led to the biggest copper mining enterprise in Ireland. The evidence of this industry can be seen all around this picturesque village in the form of the large Cornish engine houses that housed the magnificent steam engines that made the mining possible. These steam engines constantly pumped out water to allow for deeper and deeper mining. They also drove the winding gear and lowered the miners into the depths of the mountains. In a festival exclusive – Allihies Copper Mine will conduct a guided tour of the surface area of the mine and the museum. Visit the impressive engine houses and see the remains of the powder houses and dressing floors. Glimpse into the gaping mouth at the head of the mine that swallowed the miners deep into the earth to recover this valuable element at great human cost. Hear the extraordinary story of exemplary engineering and learn of the hardships suffered by the miners.


    €12 per person. Booking essential. Maximum 25 people.   (If you are attending the Claire Keegan workshop and would like to attend the walk, we can adjust the start time on Saturday from 9am to 3pm) please let us know when booking. 

    M.A. Creative Writing Showcase

    4.30 pm, Allihies Hostel

    Diarmuid Hickey.

    Anita Daly.


    Bob Jackson reads from 'A Doctor's Sword.'

    Saturday 7th July, 5.30pm. Jimmy's Bar

    Bob Jackson lectures in Creative Media at the Institute of Technology, Tralee. He produced the feature documentary A Doctor’s Sword, which was released in Irish and UK Cinemas. Bob also works in music production, and lives in Cork city. Bob will read from his book A Doctor’s Sword – How an Irish Doctor Survived War, Captivity and the Atomic Bomb.

    Dr Aidan MacCarthy, from Castletownbere, led a daring life; at 28, he joined the RAF as WWII ravaged the skies over Britain, was evacuated from Dunkirk after outlasting three days of Nazi bombardment, and received the George’s Cross for running into a crashed plane to save the passengers inside.

    But it was when Dr MacCarthy volunteered to serve in Asia after Japan took Singapore that his story becomes incredible – captured in Java, the Cork man endured four years as a POW in Nagasaki, and then survived the atomic bomb that wiped out the city on August 9th, 1945.

    Local Seafood Sushi Supper Pop-Up @ Jimmys

    Saturday 7th July, 6pm

    A celebration of local seafood & sea vegetables.

    Come and spend a maritime evening at Jimmy's bar. Listen to the history of Jimmy's and stories of fishermen from days past.

    Tickets €20.00 - free cocktail included.

    Refunds in the event of cancellation only.

    Pre-booking is essential as food is prepared in advance. Vegetarian/Vegan options available please specify preference on booking.

    Penn State Readings at the Schoolhouse

    Saturday 7th July, 8pm

    Leanne O’Sullivan has published three collections with Bloodaxe Books. Her second collection Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009) draws on myths from her native West Cork and won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2010. In 2009, O’Sullivan was awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary and the Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Award for Irish Poetry in 2011. Her work has been included in various anthologies, including Selina Guinness’s The New Irish Poets (Bloodaxe Books, 2004) and Billy Collins’s Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry (Random House, 2003). She will read from her fourth collection A Quarter of an Hour.

    Sami Switch

    Saturday 7th July 10pm The Lighthouse Bar

    Sami Switch - the bravely original London based poet turned rapper - burst onto the scene in 2015 with the E.P 'Solace'. Produced by Ross O'D and legendary film composer Andy Gray, Solace tells the honest story of a young man fighting for his place in the world, and has been widely championed by both Complex and Clash magazines and The Independent newspaper amongst
    others. A mixture of rap, spoken word and soulful vocals it was the first release since his award winning poem 'Ocean of pain' went viral in 2013.

    Currently a resident of London studios, Sami prepares for his own new album whilst songwriting for other artists. He has built a cult following, selling out headline shows at Birthdays and The Old Queen's Head, London. Believing in music as his saviour, he works hard 'to give back' by mentoring young refugees with spoken word workshops and giving creative input into their projects with Phosphoros Theatre.


    Sami will be joined by Cameron Bloomfield a vivid pop talent, his work utilises glorious melody to express some remarkable, deeply held truths hewn from his personal life. Admission is free.

    Coffee morning with Bill Griffin, Artist talk

    Sunday 11am Copper Cafe

    Cork born in the late 1940’s, Bill as a self-taught artist moved to London and began painting in the mid-1960s. Now living on the Beara Peninsula with his partner Deirdre, the freedom embedded in his surroundings produces fantastical and wholly original paintings.

    Griffin possesses both a freedom of spirit and an ability to paint directly from his subconscious through his earthy fingertips. Having had over 22 solo exhibitions in the last 15 years, Bill’s work is widely collected. Admission is free. http://www.billgriffinart.com

    Pop-Up Bookshop in memory of Annie

    Pop-Up Bookshop in memory of Annie upstairs in the Copper Cafe 6th-8th July.

    Annie Goulding (d2017), was resident in the Old Reentrisk Schoolhouse , Allihies, from the 1960s. Multi-talented as a chef, weaver, photographer, she was also a great afficianado of literature, and amassed a wonderful collection of novels, many of which are included in this book sale.

    Open Music Session

    O' Neills Bar, Sunday 8th July from 6pm.

    The famous bright red pub can be seen worldwide, adorned across posters that promote Ireland and it’s famous welcome, and you’ll soon discover why …

    The family-run pub and restaurant in the heart of Allihies village offers a great welcome to locals and visitors alike. You won’t be here long before you get to enjoy live music, great conversation, or a sing-song in front of the fire. You’re more than welcome to join in with the singing and playing if the mood takes you!

    Meditative Walk with Nadette

    Sunday 8th July. Meet at 9am @Nadette’s Pop-Up Shop opposite the Copper Cafe

    Children's Short Story competition

    Judged by Claire Keegan Awards announced Saturday 1pm. after Illustration workshop at the Men's Shed.

    There are four categories to enter and the story can be about whatever they want to write about: funny, serious, scary or an adventure.

    * 10 yrs old and younger – up to 300 words (with an illustration or picture, if you want!)
    * 11-13 yrs old – up to 500 words
    * 14-16 yrs old– up to 750 words
    * 17 yrs old+ – up to 1000 words


    Please email story and age category and your name and address to allihiesinspires@gmail.com before 1st June, 2018. Winner announced on Saturday the 7th July after the children’s illustration workshop.

    Children's Illustration Competition

    Judged by Sheena Dempsey & Nadette Charlet. Awards announced Saturday 12.30pm. after Illustration workshop at the Men's Shed.

    There are four categories to enter

    * 10 yrs old and younger
    * 11-13 yrs old
    * 14-16 yrs old
    * 17 yrs old+


    Please drop your drawing to the Copper Cafe by 1st June 2018 write your age category and your name and address on the back. Winner will be announced on Saturday 7th July after the workshop.

    Children's Poetry competition

    Judged by Tony Curtis. Awards announced Saturday 12.30pm. after Illustration workshop at the Men's Shed.

    There are four categories to enter.

    * 10 yrs old and younger
    * 11-13 yrs old
    * 14-16 yrs old
    * 17 yrs old


    Please email poem and age category and your name and address to allihiesinspires@gmail.com before 1st June, 2018. Winner announced on Saturday the 7th July after the children’s illustration workshop.

    About Allihies Hub

    Allihies Hub is located upstairs in the Copper Mine Museum

    Coastal education and community centre catering to all learning groups. Also a business hub for independant and small businesses.


    We’ve identified the need for a coastal education and community centre. This multi-faceted facility will serve to enhance tourism as a seasonal drop-in centre. It will stimulate the local economy as an education facility (open all year long). All learning groups from primary to third level and including continuing adult education will be catered for. It will also serve as a business hub for independent and small businesses who require reliable internet and printing facilities. The centre will also dissuade the effects of social isolation prevalent on the Beara Peninsula as a local meeting place.

    Located on the South-Westerly limits of the Beara Peninsula, the small and charming village of Allihies ( ‘Na hAilichí , in Gaelic meaning “the cliff fields”), is renowned worldwide for its breathtaking views and complex geological formations.

    As you enter the locality, you see the landscape speckled with the remnants of large engine houses, remaining from the great mining activities of the 1800’s. These haunting landmarks, illuminate not only a booming copper industry, but also a perilous age, which took the lives of many a brave miner. https://aceh.ie/

  • Stay

    Explore accommodation around Allihies Village

    Allihies Seaview : +353 27 73004 Mary

    Beach View : +353 27 73105
    Coppermines Bed and Breakfast :+353 27 73171 Margaret
    Harbour View : +353 27 73139 Katy
    Veronicas Bed and Breakfast +353 27 73072 Veronica
    Seahaven Lodge: +353 27 73225 Eileen

    Self Catering:

    Allihies Seaview : +353 2773004 Mary
    Allihies Holiday Homes : +353 27 73888 Sheila
    Beara Holiday Homes : +353 27 70219 Ann
    Coppermines Villas : +353-86-2337151
    Strandview Holiday Homes : +353 87 9082331

    Harbour View : +353 27 73139 Katy

    Hostel & Camping:
    Allihies Village Hostel :+353 27 73107
    Allihies Camping: +353 86 812 1582

    Dzochen Beara https://www.dzogchenbeara.org/accommodation/


    There are also unique properties in the area featured on Air BnB