• A Creative Festival

    words, art, walks, food & music



    Back in 2022!


  • About Our 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 have inspired many artists and writers for generations. We welcome you to our mini-festival, Allihies Inspires.


    The festival is run by volunteers Dee Collins and Claire Zwaartman, along with students Laura O' Mahony, and Mari Backman from the M.A. in Creative Writing (2020) at UCC. The festival is run in conjunction with the Allihies Coastal Education Hub, Volunteers: Richie Hodges, Natalie Treacher and Johnny Morrissey.


    The 2020 Festival is sponsored by Cork County Council, Macroom Buffalo Meats, O’ Neill’s Bar, The Lighthouse Bar, Jimmy’s, and University College Cork.


    With thanks to Richie Hodges of Balooz Media for creating such wonderful videos.

  • Ticketed Events

    Booking Essential for Workshops, Walk, and Seafood Supper

  • 2020 Programme

    Festival Opening. Cónal Creedon. Reading.

    Friday 3rd July, Allihies Copper Cafe. 6 pm sharp.

    Cónal Creedon is a novelist, playwright and documentary film maker. Cónal will read from his novel, Begotten Not Made.


    Begotten Not Made was selected as Book of The Year [Cultural Highlights of the Year – Irish Examiner]. His previous novel, Passion Play [1999] was cited as Best of the Year [BBC4 Arts Review].

    Conal’s Stage stage plays – received rave reviews from theatre critics at home and abroad. His plays have been awarded two Irish National Business To Arts Awards (2000), Best Director 1st Irish Theatre Awards New York (2009), Best Actor 1st Irish Theatre Awards New York (2013). Nominated for the Irish Times Theatre Awards (2000), and Best Playwright 1st Irish Theatre Awards New York (2013).

    His film documentaries were broadcast by RTÉ TV – and presented in numerous public screenings including at the Irish Pavilion in Shanghai China, during World Expo 2010. In 2010 he was shortlisted for the Focal International Documentary Awards, UK. London.

    Creedon’s radio drama has been broadcast on RTÉ, Lyric FM, BBC, BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. His work has achieved recognition in the One Voice Monologue Awards (BBC), The Francis McManus Awards (RTÉ), The PJ O’Connor Awards (RTÉ) and has represented Ireland in the BBC World Service World Play Radio Drama Competition. Cónal’s radio work has was listed by the Irish Times radio critics as Best Radio of the Year for 1994 and 1997.

    In 2017 – Cónal was appointed Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at University College Cork.


    Festival Opening. Carina McNally. Reading.

    Friday 3rd July, Copper Cafe. 6.00 pm sharp.

    Carina McNally’s fiction has been widely published in magazines and anthologies including Cyphers Literary Magazine and Woman’s Way. A commissioned writer of children’s short fiction for RTE Radio 1, she has been writing for Allihies pantomime group the Lehanmore Players for a number of years. As both a professional book reviewer and a freelance journalist, Carina is a regular contributor to the Irish Examiner, Southern Star newspaper and Books Ireland Magazine. Carina will read an extract from her new work.

    Three-Handed Poetry Reading.

    Date and Venue TBC



    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."

    Tony Curtis


    Tony Curtis was born in Dublin in 1955. He studied Literature at Essex University and Trinity College Dublin. An award-winning poet, Curtis has published ten warmly received collections. His most recent collections are Folk (Arc Publications 2011); Pony (Occasional Press 2013) with drawings and paintings by David Lilburn; Approximately in the Key of C (Arc Publications 2015). He has been awarded the Varuna House Exchange Fellowship to Australia and the Irish National Poetry Prize. In April 2018 The University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul Minnesota, awarded Curtis the 22nd Lawrence O’Shaughnessy Prize for poetry. He has read his poetry all over the world to great acclaim. In May of this year, his latest book This Flight Tonight - a book that celebrates the lives of Alcock & Brown and their incredible flight from a field in St. John's, Newfoundland, to a bog in the west of Ireland in June 1919. He is a member of Aosdána.

    Theo Dorgan


    Theo Dorgan is a poet, and also a non-fiction prose writer, novelist, editor, documentary screenwriter, essayist and translator. Among his recent publications are: JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (2014), a libretto commissioned by The Albert Hall; LIBERTY WALKS NAKED (2015), translations from the French of the Syrian poet Maram al-Masri; FOUNDATION STONE: Towards a Constitution for a 21st Century Republic (2013, essays, editor) and the novel MAKING WAY (2013). His most recent collections of poems are NINE BRIGHT SHINERS — awarded the Irish Times/Poetry Now Prize for best collection in 2015 — and ORPHEUS, published in 2018, both from Dedalus Press. He is a member of Aosdána.

    The Parachutes

    Friday Night Live @ O' Neills.

    Friday 3rd July. O' Neill's Bar. 10.00 pm to 12.00 am

    Denisa and Lily are back as part of The Parachutes. Cork's favourite cover band will keep the dancefloor rockin' all night long!


    Workshop: Adaptation of Prose for Radio by Cónal Creedon.

    Saturday, 4th July. Upstairs. O' Neill's. TIME TBC

    Cónal Creedon will present a writing for radio Master Class – Cónal will use as case studies his adptations of Guests Of The Nation by Frank O’Connor & The Tailor and Ansty by Eric Cross. [Both adaptations were commissioned by RTÉ Radio Drama]



    Cónal Creedon – [Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at UCC] – is a novelist, playwright and documentary film maker.

    He has written over 80 hours of original radio drama – broadcast on RTÉ, Lyric FM, BBC, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, ABC [Australia] and CBC [Canada]. He represented Ireland in the BBC World Service World Play Radio Drama Competition and has achieved recognition in the One Voice Monologue Awards (BBC), The Francis McManus Awards (RTÉ) and The PJ O’Connor Awards (RTÉ). Critical reviews of Cónal’s radio work include citations by the Irish Times radio critics: Best Radio of the Year for 1994 and 1997.

    Danny Denton. Reading.

    Saturday 4th July, Jimmy's Bar. 5 pm.

    Danny Denton is a writer from Cork, and editor of The Stinging Fly. His first novel, The Earlie King & The Kid In Yellow, was published by Granta Books in 2018, and nominated for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the Irish Book Awards. Among other publications, his work has also appeared in The Stinging Fly, Southword, Granta, Winter Papers, Tate, Etc, The Guardian, The Irish Times, Architecture Ireland &The Big Issue.


    Niall O' Sullivan. Reading

    Saturday 4th July, Jimmy's Bar. 5pm.

    Niall O Sullivan is a primary school teacher, artist and actor. Béara born and bred, Niall is involved with local drama groups Garnish Players and Peninsula Players, and Cork City-based Rolling Clouds Theatre Company. This has resulted in exposure to a variety of literature and subconsciously fed the urge to write. Inspired by the immediate environment and wild openness of his surroundings in Garnish. Currently studying for a Diploma in Illustrating Children's Book with the London Art College.

    Diarmuid Hickey. Reading

    Saturday 6th July, Jimmy's Bar. 5 pm.

    Diarmuid's territory is South Tipperary. He writes about the family, violence, and Irishness. There are echoes of John McGahern’s subject matter in his stories. Diarmuid’s work also experiments with form and language. His fiction has been published in Banshee and the Incubator. Diarmuid will read an extract of his new work.

    Dursey Island Guided Walk.

    Beara Baoi Tours.

    Saturday 4th July. Booking essential.

    Learn about Dursey Island amid its beauty and wildlife. Enjoy majestic views as you cross the channel between the mainland and the island on Ireland's only cable car. Visit the ancestral tomb of the vanished Gaelic aristocracy the O'Sullivan Bere's.


    Your guide, Carina from Garnish, is a member of the Beara Historical Society. A writer and storyteller, she conducts guided historical tours throughout the Beara Peninsula in South West Ireland. She aims to give the visitor an appreciation of the deep history, culture and dramatic beauty that is Beara. Her Mountain Skills qualifications are accredited by Mountaineering Ireland, and she operates under their ‘leave no trace’ policy. Carina is passionate about the layers of history woven into the landscape, and deeply appreciative of the magnificent environment that surrounds her. Her interests include the sustainability and protection of life in rural Ireland.


    Meeting point is the cable car - eircode p75wv78
    Please call or text 087 6461627 to reserve a place on this small group walking tour.

    For more information:


    Allihies Copper Mine Walking Tour

    Saturday 4th July 11 am to 1 pm. Meet at Nadette's Pop-Up Shop

    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.

    Pop-Up @ Jimmys TBC

    Saturday 4th July, Jimmy's Bar 6.30 pm

    Anita and Johnny

    Saturday 4th July. Backstage @ The Lighthouse. 9.30 pm

    Sami Switch & Friends

    Saturday 4th July. The Lighthouse Bar. 10.30 pm

    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 Thomas Jules; www.ThomasJules.com, Mitch Jones, and Effie.


    Admission is free.



    Pop-Up Bookshop in Memory of Annie Goulding

    Pop-Up Bookshop in memory of Annie Goulding. VENUE TBC

    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 aficionado of literature and amassed a wonderful collection of novels, many of which are included in this book sale.


    Funds raised go towards festival running costs.

    Open Music Session

    O' Neill's Bar, Sunday 5th July from 6 pm.

    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!

    Johnny & Ladina. Festival Closing Concert.

    Concert @ Jimmy's Bar. 9.30 pm sharp (1 hour duration) followed by an impromptu session.

    John Ahern, a singer and guitarist from Cork will be joined by Ladina Jeisy, a talented musician. Johnny will perform a mix of folk songs and traditional tunes.


    Rachel Parry

    We are delighted to announce Rachel Parry as the 2020 Allihies Inspires Artist-in-Residence,




    From the Irish Arts Review:

    'Nature is to be feared and respected in equal measure and it is here, in this richly contemplative space, that Rachel Parry makes her artwork.

    The Cambridge-born artist’s beautiful and beguiling sculptures, seamlessly synthesise the ebb and flow of nature’s rhythms and the vagaries of human existence. She harvests what has been washed up by the sea, blown in by the wind or written into our histories. The carcasses of birds, animal skins and aquatic life – both local and imported – are synonymous with much of what she has created since making Allihies her home in 1978.' Image: Irish Arts Review https://www.irishartsreview.com/eco-warrior/

    Art Inspires!

    3rd-5th July. FROM 11.00 - 18.00, in Joanna Kempen's Studio






    'Gort an Asail'

    Ballydonegan, Allihies.


    ALL WELCOME! Joanna offers morning art workshops on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

    Single Individual Workshop (one to one guidance) €45.00

    Small Group Workshop (max. four participants) €25.00 pp

    To reserve, booking essential on phone: 027-73929 mobile: 087-2171291

    Children's Short Story Competition. Theme: Island

    Awards Ceremony. Sunday 5th July. Allihies Playground. 6 pm.


    10 yrs old and younger
    11-13 yrs old

    14-16 yrs old



    Handwritten entries accepted and encouraged!

    Send entry by email to: AllihiesComp@gmail.com

    or Post to Allihies Mine Museum or Beara Resource Centre

    Please insert Name, Address and Age Category on each entry.

    No late entries accepted.

    Beara Residents only.


    Judging will take place in University College Cork

    Children's Illustration Competition

    Theme: Dreams

    Prize giving ceremony. Sunday 5th July. Allihies Playground. ​6 pm.


    10 yrs old and younger
    11-13 yrs old

    14-16 yrs old



    Please POST entries to the Allihies Mine Museum or Beara Resource Centre

    Please insert Name, Address and Age Category on the back of each entry.

    No late entries accepted.

    Beara Residents only.

    Results: Children's Poetry Competition

    Theme: Light

    Winners announced online. Prize giving ceremony. Sunday 7th July. Allihies Playground. 6 pm.


    10 yrs old and younger
    11-13 yrs old

    14-16 yrs old



    Handwritten entries accepted and encouraged!

    Send entry by email to: AllihiesComp@gmail.com

    or POST to Allihies Mine Museum or Beara Resource Centre

    Please insert Name, Address and Age Category on each entry.

    No late entries accepted.

    Beara Residents only.


    Judging will take place in University College Cork

    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/

    Festival Musicians

    Kate Higgins - Guitar and Song

    John Ahern - Classical Guitar

    Beth Hayes - Song

    Matthew O' Leary - Guitar and Song

    Kate, John and Matthew will perform individual pieces at The Allihies Inspires Opening Event and the Reading Series at Jimmys.

  • Stay

    Explore accommodation around Allihies Village

    Allihies Seaview : +353 27 73004 Mary

    Richie & Nadette's Cabin (Sleeps 4) 087 7420443 for more information see http://arkipod.com/home-pod-finished/

    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

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


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

  • Children's Competition

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