'Farewell to Every White Cascade', a Radio Play by Francis Harvey

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Harvey Farewell Final.jpg

A rehearsed reading of Francis Harvey's play 'Farewell to Every White Cascade' will take place in the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, on November 7th as the opening event of the Allingham Arts Festival. The reading will be recorded live on the night in the presence of an audience, complete with sound effects.

'Farewell to Every White Cascade' tells the story of how the building of the hydro electric station in Ballyshannon affected the lives of the members of one family. A very evocative piece of writing by a skilled writer, the play shows the conflicting emotions faced by people as the young Irish state struggled to find its feet in the 20th Century. The prize-winning play was written for radio, and was broadcast on RTÉ in the late 60s, as well as the BBC and many other radio stations around the world thereafter.

The players are Conor Carney, Ben Daly, Audrey Davitt and Terence McEneaney.  The producers are Trish Keane and Carl Duggan.

The production is part of the Allingham Festival's celebration of Harvey's life and work, which includes a panel event on the following Friday night.

This production has been sponsored by Garry & Ali Keane, and Trish and Peg Keane.

Tickets are on sale online and in A Novel Idea, Ballyshannon.

Early booking is advised.

PLEASE NOTE: as this event will be recorded live, strict rules will be in place for the audience to limit noise or any sound interference.

West Coast Jazz

Dicey Reilly's (map)

Ease yourself into the Allingham Festival with a night of jazz with the West Coast Jazz group in Dicey Reilly's on Wednesday night. 

Lorraine Walls (vocalist) formerly of Quarterdeck, Eddie McFarlane (guitars), Stephen Gallagher (bass), Michael Christie (drums & vocals), Richard Nelson (pedal steel guitar & vocals), Eddie Lynch (keyboards & vocals).

West Coast Jazz play easy listening jazz standards from the American songbook along with other contemporary songs by Randy Crawford, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Van Morrison and Burt Bacharach, to mention a few .


Exhibition: 'Disconnect' by Kokobeani

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

About disConnect


Inspired by the work of renowned Irish poet William Allingham, ‘disConnect’ showcases a modern interpretation of the poem ‘A Dream’. With the Allingham festival steeped in history and tradition, Kokobeani wanted to show something different by bringing one of Allingham’s works into the modern age. Themes of mortality and the supernatural are prevalent throughout ‘A Dream’; they wanted to present an alternative view on the piece: The death of traditional social interaction, and the takeover of new forms of communication. Using software-based photo manipulation techniques the artists gleaned light, glitches, and information from the very faces of the subjects, producing a strong focal point for each individual image.

About Kokobeani

Kokobeani are Matt McDowell and Laura Coyle, a creative duo based in Derry dedicated to breathing life into great ideas. Their goal is to transform interesting concepts into exceptional visuals, designed to engage, tell stories, and provoke thought.

Their creative process involves a combination of photography, computer-generated imagery, and graphic design to ensure only the best results for visual solutions. They strive to make their work both memorable and captivating, always.


Official Opening of Allingham 2018

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Allingham A.jpeg

Join us at 7.15pm for a wine reception in the Abbey Arts Centre to mark the Official Opening of the Allingham Arts Festival 2018.

Music by the Coláiste Cholmcille Ukelele Band.

8pm - Dennis Bradley presents the Allingham Lecture.

The Allingham Lecture: Dennis Bradley - 'The Impact of Brexit on Border Towns'

Abbey Arts Centre (map)


This year's Allingham Lecture will be delivered by Denis Bradley, former vice-chairman of  the Northern Ireland Policing Board, freelance journalist, film-maker and former priest.

The topic of the lecture will be ‘The Impact of Brexit on Border Towns’.

The Allingham Lecture will take place at the official opening of the Allingham Festival, Thursday November 8th 2018.

Open Mic at McIntyre's Saloon Bar

Mc Intyre's Saloon (map)


Join MC Tony Liston and musicians in Mc Intyre's Saloon for our Open Mic session, an informal and often irreverent gathering of revellers, writers, poets and singers. You'd better have your party piece ready!

Schools: Creative Writing with Sligo IT

Colaiste Cholmcille (map)


9th November 9.30-12.30

Delivered by BA Writing & Literature staff and students, IT Sligo

[Facilitators: Dr. Una Mannion, Dr. Rhona Trench, Niamh MacCabe and Julianna Holland]

This interactive workshop will be delivered in four groups of approximately 15 participants. The first hour and 45 minutes will consist of short, sharp activities, getting participants started on basic elements of storytelling: building worlds, using concrete detail, creating character, creating conflict, writing dialogue and using authentic and original language. Students will share these piece with each other. Participants will be given work packets with writing tips and space to complete exercises. After a break, all groups will meet together to present and discuss some samples of the work undertaken in the first session.


Creativity Workshop: A Sensory Exploration of your Creative Potential, led by Olive Travers

The Abbey Mill (map)

Olive Travers.jpg

Creativity Workshop: a Sensory Exploration of your Creative Potential

This fun workshop explores how we can harness our creativity through increasing our awareness of the richness of life around and within us. Suitable for all levels and all forms of creative expression. Weather permitting the outdoor natural beauty around the Abbey Mill Wheel will be part of the workshop. Participants are advised to wear warm outdoor clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

Schools Workshop: 'Imagining Matters' with Niall MacMonagle

Coláiste Cholmcille (map)


Niall Mac Monagle’s talk will focus on how and why we respond to art and literature. Particular paintings by Mark Joyce, Alice Maher and Ann Quinn will be viewed and discussed, and using many examples the poem, the short story, the novel and personal writing will be explored. Again and again the students will be invited to think about particular words, sentences, cadences and examples of writing by students and well-known authors will be up for discussion.

Niall MacMonagle is an editor, writer, critic and broadcasts frequently on RTE Radio 1. He writes a weekly art column for the Sunday Independent and has edited Real Cool, Outside In, Slow Time, Off the Wall, the Lifelines anthologies, The Open Door Book of Poetry, TEXT - A Transition Year English Reader, the Leaving Certificate textbook Poetry Now and Windharp Poems of Ireland since 1916. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UCD for services to literature.

For more info, email allinghamfest@gmail.com

Book Launch: 'Doctor on a Diet' by Dr. Paula Gilvarry

A Novel Idea (map)

Doctor Diet Gilvarry.jpeg

A diet for people who love food from the doctor and chef who lost 5 stone.

Dr Paula Gilvarry has always loved her food; in fact, she even ran a restaurant alongside being a GP. But when her increasing weight began to cause medical problems, she knew something had to change.

Cutting out delicious food wasn't an option, so instead she changed the type of food she ate, adapting all of her favourite recipes to suit her new weight-loss regime. And it worked.

Five stone lighter and a whole lot healthier and happier, Paula is ready to share her secrets. Her recipes are delicious, high in protein, low in carbs, and they even allow for a daily glass of wine! Doctor on a Diet is for anyone who wants to lose weight slowly and keep it off, without sacrificing taste or flavour.

Dr Paula Gilvarry is a medical doctor working in community medicine. Together with her husband, Damien Brennan, she previously ran the highly acclaimed Reveries, a restaurant at Rosses Point, where her innovative Irish cooking garnered national awards. She currently runs The Yeats Experience with Damien from her home at Broc House in Co. Sligo.


Poetry: Wild Atlantic Writings with Jessica Traynor

Dicey Reilly's (map)


Wild Atlantic Writings - Jessica Traynor and friends.

Readings by regional writers, led by Jessica Traynor.

Jessica Traynor has worked as Literary Manager for the Abbey Theatre, reading hundreds of plays by emerging and established playwrights. She teaches creative writing courses and mentors writers through Big Smoke Writing Factory, the Irish Writers Centre and IADT among others. She also works as a freelance dramaturg.

Her debut collection of poetry, Liffey Swim, was published by Dedalus Press in 2014 and was nominated for the Shine/Strong Award 2015. Her work has been published in anthologies and journals and broadcast regularly on RTÉ’s Arena. She was the 2014 recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary. She was named Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year in 2013 and won the 2011 Single Poem Competition at Listowel Writers’ Week. She was the 2010 recipient of a Dublin City Council Literature Bursary and in 2009, was chosen for the Poetry Ireland Introduction Series. She has contributed essays to We Are Dublin, Arena, and the Women of Letters Anthology (Penguin Australia). Her plays have been produced by Anu Productions.


The Francis Harvey Tribute

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Francis Harvey.jpg

The Francis Harvey Tribute, with wine reception from 7pm.

Reflections and reminiscences about the late Donegal poet and playwright from leading poets Moya Cannon and Theo Dorgan, journalist Gerry Moriarty, and Francis Harvey's daughter Attracta Harvey Kinsella. The evening will include a multimedia presentation “Celebrating Francis Harvey” by photographer Emer O'Shea, inspired by and featuring Harvey’s poem ‘Heron’ which won the 1998 Guardian and World Wildfund Life Poetry Competition.

Allingham Songwriting Contest Live Final

Dicey Reilly's (map)

Allingham+Songwriting+Contest 2018 Live Final.png

The finalists will battle it out in front of the judges at the Live Final in Dicey Reilly's Pub, Ballyshannon, on Friday November 9th from 10pm. This is always a great evening with music and performances of all styles.


Children's Art with Christine Fox

Coláiste Cholmcille (map)

Art Workshop 2017.png

Local artist , Christine Fox, returns with her ever popular Art Workshop for children. Enjoyment and learning in a child friendly atmosphere is the hallmark of Christine’s style. There is limited availability so early booking is advisable.

Ages 6-10.


Workshop: Social Media for Writers with Paul Mc Veigh

Abbey Arts Centre (map)


Author Paul McVeigh will lead a workshop on Social Media for Writers and Artists. The workshop will explore the ways that a creative individual can use social media to find work and to build an online presence as a writer. Paul's blog for writers (http://paulmcveigh.blogspot.com), which posts submission opportunities for journals and competitions, gets 40,000 hits a month and has had over one million visitors.

Born in Belfast, Paul McVeigh began his award-winning writing career as a playwright before moving to London. He is the Co-Founder of London Short Story Festival, of which, he was the Director and Curator for 2014 & ’15. He is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s premier short story salon.

The Good Son (2015) is his first novel and was shortlisted for The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize. He received The McCrea Literary Award in 2015 and the Polari Prize in 2016.

Paul McVeigh's workshop will be held in the Abbey Centre on Saturday morning, 10 Nov at 10:00 am.

Stephens' Family Archive Exhibition

Abbey Arts Centre (map)


A treasure trove of historical documents and newspapers, collected by the Stephens family, Ballyshannon.

Brickz 4 Kidz Lego Workshop

Colaiste Cholmcille (map)


Brickz 4 Kidz Lego Workshop

Places limited. €15 for 1 child, €10  each 2 or more. Book at bricks4kidz.ie/donegal or call 0863894833.

Ken Fox: 'Soft Border, Hard Border, No Border - Representations of the Irish border in contemporary cinema'

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Soft border, hard border, no border.

Representations of the Irish border in contemporary cinema

Dr Ken Fox, Principal Lecturer, School of Media, Art and Design, Canterbury Christ Church University

Ken Fox.jpg

This presentation analyses the regimes of vision and the functions served by the Irish border in contemporary cinema narratives as a way of reclaiming the border landscape as cinematic space and place. Surprisingly, given the range of films covering the period of the Troubles in Northern Ireland there appears to be a dearth of analysis about the role of the Irish border in contemporary films. The presentation focuses on the work of Shane Connaughton, screenwriter on ‘My Left Foot’ (Sheridan, 1989), author/screenwriter of border film ‘The Playboys’ (Mackinnon, 1992) and ‘The Run of the Country’ (Yates, 1995) shot in the 1990s, before the Belfast Agreement (1998). Both films provide a rich representation of how the border impacts on the lives of those who exist on either side of the divide. Since the Belfast Agreement and the disappearance of border posts and army barracks across the region movement has been transformed as have representations of crossing over as explored in the analysis of Johnny Gogan’s post Agreement films, ‘Mapmaker’ (2001) and ‘Black Ice’ (2013).

The presentation will be followed by a screening of Gogan’s ‘Mapmaker’ and a Q&A with the director at the end of the screening. No doubt the ongoing state of chaos that is Brexit will figure in the conversation.

Literary Lunch, Writing Awards & Denise Blake Book Launch

Nirvana (map)

Literary Lunch.jpg

Even writers have to eat! A sumptuous dining experience in Nirvana Restaurant, The Mall, Ballyshannon, followed by:

* Poetry and Flash Fiction Awards, presented by judges Paul McVeigh (Flash Fiction) and Theo Dorgan (Poetry)

* Donegal-based poet Denise Blake in conversation with Niall McMonagle

* Niall Mac Monagle launches Denise Blake’s third collection of poetry, ‘Invocation’.


Schools Art and Writing Awards

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Allingham A.jpeg

Primary School Awards: 12.30 - 1.25, Saturday November 10th

Secondary School Awards: 1.35 - 2.30, Saturday November 10th

A wonderfully uplifting event. In his own inimitable way, Conor Carney presents the prizes and introduces the winners as they read their winning entries. Meet Ireland’s future literary stars!

Craft Workshop: Local Hands - Little Hands - Big Hands

Dorrian's Hotel (map)

Fairy House Craft 2.jpg

Local Hands – Little Hands – Big Hands

Local Hands Logo.jpg

Kids, we had so much creative fun last year that the “Little Hands – Big Hands” workshop is back for the Allingham Festival 2018. So bring a big person… (Mum, Dad, Granny, Uncle Pat… whoever) and together we will get Arty and Crafty with things like wood, paint, wool and slate. We’ll make some cool art for you to take home.

The Local Hands Co-Op will create a mini Craft Village for these exciting workshops for kids and grown-ups to have some crafty fun together. Participants will move from one “Craft Station” to the next trying out some cool crafts that you can bring home. Your four workstations should take approx 1 hour in total…but you’re welcome to stay longer if you wish.

To book call Barry on 087 9649654.

Second Level School Writing Awards

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Childrens+Art+and+Lit+Awards Conor Carney.jpeg

A wonderfully uplifting event. In his own inimitable way, Conor Carney presents the prizes and introduces the winners as they read their winning entries. Meet Ireland’s future literary stars!

Screening: 'Black 47' + Q&A with Patrick & Rossa O'Neill

Abbey Arts Centre (map)


‘Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, ‘Black 47’ follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family. Despite experiencing the horrors of war, he is shocked by the famine's destruction of his homeland and the brutalization of his people and his family.’ (imdb.com)

The film will be followed by a Q&A with local brothers Patrick O’Neill, Managing Director of Wildcard Distribution and associate producer of Black 47, and the locations manager for the film, Rossa O’Neill.

Book Launch: 'The Code Breaker' by Marc Mc Menamin

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

McMenamin Book.jpg

Marc Mc Menamin, well-known local writer, broadcaster and historian, will launch his new book “Code Breaker: The untold story of Richard Hayes, the Dublin librarian who helped turn the tide of WWII” at this year’s Allingham Arts Festival. The book will be published by Gill Books on October 12th, and will be available to buy in A Novel Idea and all good bookshops.

The incredible true story of the librarian, the Nazi spy and Ireland’s secret role in turning the tide of World War II.

When unassuming librarian Richard Hayes, a gifted polymath and cryptographer, was drafted by Irish intelligence services to track the movements of a prolific Nazi spy, Hermann Görtz, Dublin became the unlikely venue for one of the most thrilling episodes in Irish history.

In a complex game of cat-and-mouse that would wind its way through the city and its suburbs, Code Breaker reveals how Richard Hayes cracked a code that helped turn the tide of World War II, and uncovers a secret history of the capital that has remained hidden in plain view for the past 70 years.

Marc McMenamin is a journalist and documentary maker. A specialist in exploring uncharted corners of Irish history, he is the maker of several acclaimed radio documentaries, including Good Cop/Bad Cop, exploring the life of controversial former NYPD officer Peter Daly, and Richard Hayes, Nazi Codebreaker.

Book Launch: “The Code Breaker”, by Marc McMenamin

History Ireland Hedge School

“The 1918 General Election:

Political Earthquake or ‘Same Old, Same Old’?’

Tommy Graham with guests, Brian Hanley, Brian Walker, Pauric Travers, Margaret O’Callaghan.

Tommy Graham Hedge School.jpg

Allingham Concert: The Donegal Youth Orchestra; Niamh Currid with Rory Corbett, James Mc Namee and Henry Pierce

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Donegal Youth Orchestra.jpg

The musical highlight of the year, the Allingham Concert presents the highly accomplished Donegal Youth Orchestra with conductor Vincent Kennedy. The Donegal Youth Orchestra consists of over 60 musicians from all around the county, including a few from Ballyshannon.

The orchestra has been very busy this year, topping the bill at the Festival of Youth Orchestra in the National Concert Hall in February, a performance on Arranmore Island earlier in the year, and celebrating ten years with conductor Vincent Kennedy at a special performance in Letterkenny. The Donegal Youth Orchestra is one of the 11 performing groups of the Donegal Music Education Partnership, which is part of the Donegal Education and Training Board and is supported by the Department of Education and Skills.

Niamh Currid.jpeg

Niamh Currid will be accompanied by Rory Corbett on banjo, James Mc Namee on fiddle and Henry Pierce on mandolin. This group of talented musicians will guarantee a great night’s music.

Niamh is no stranger to the Allingham Festival or Ballyshannon audiences, so we're delighted that she's making a return to the Abbey stage on Saturday night.

Niamh is a graduate of Cork School of music and also studied with the Royal Irish Academy of music also holds a diploma from Trinity College London. Niamh currently lives in Bundoran. She teaches music in various primary schools and gives private piano tuition. Niamh accompanies choirs, soloists and instrumentalists.

Niamh has been involved with Ballyshannon Musical Society as Musical Director for many years and has also Directed musicals for various schools both primary and secondary level. She has written piano pieces as underscores for original drama works and hopes to get them published one day!

Rhythms and Rhymes

The Thatch (map)


The music and poems of the Allingham family. Music by Caoimhín Mac Aoidh, Dáire Gallagher and Kelly Neilan. Readings by Mary Duggan.

Family Film: Disney's 'The Lion King'

Abbey Arts Centre (map)

Lion King Poster_.jpg

Come and enjoy the much-loved Disney family movie ‘The Lion King’ on the big screen in the Abbey Centre.

The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa, as King of the Pride Lands; however, after Simba's uncle Scar (Mufasa's jealous younger brother), murders Mufasa, Simba is manipulated into thinking he was responsible and flees into exile. Upon maturation living with two wastrels, Simba is given some valuable perspective from his childhood friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny and take his place in the Circle of Life as the rightful King.


Ballyshannon Remembers

Ballyshannon Remembers.jpg

Stories, songs and poems to remember all those involved in World War One, featuring Graham Laird, Kathleen Mc Fadden, Michael Mc Mullin, Trish Keane, Conan Sweeny, Sean Gibbons, Barry Sweeny & Caoimhín Mac Aodh.

Followed by the music of Bel Canto.