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'EXTRA ORDINARY' added to Allingham 2019 Programme

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We’re delighted to announce that our good friends at Wildcard Distribution have offered us a screening of the hilarious ‘EXTRA ORDINARY’, starring Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward and Will Forte. The Irish comedy, written/directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, has been receiving both critical acclaim and audience praise since its release.

The film stars comedian/writer/actress Maeve Higgins (Naked Camera, Inside Amy Schumer), Barry Ward (Jimmy’s Hall, MAZE), Will Forte (Nebraska, Run & Jump, Last Man on Earth), and Claudia O’Doherty (Trainwreck, Love, Inside Amy Schumer) and tells the story of Rose, a sweet and lonely small town driving instructor who must use her supernatural ‘talent’ to save the daughter of a local man from a washed up rock-star looking to use her in a satanic ritual that will reignite his fame.

The quirky and irreverent Irish comedy has won praise from critics and audiences alike. The Sunday Times called it ‘A standout Irish film’, which is ‘special in its pure daftness; it's hard to resist falling under its quirky spell’. Variety’s critic noted that it is ‘Consistently funny in a pleasingly off-kilter way’.

A quick trawl of Twitter reviews shows Irish audiences appreciate the particular brand of humour:

‘EXTRA ORDINARY’ will be screened in the Abbey Arts Centre at 3.15pm on Sunday 10th, €5 entrance fee. See you there!

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Sandhouse Hotel Special Offer

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Visiting Ballyshannon for the Allingham Arts Festival this November? Festival partner and sponsor, the Sandhouse Hotel & Marine Spa, is offering fantastic rates for festival-goers: one night B&B for €65pps, or two nights B&B for €120pps.

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Special Offer at Dorrian's Hotel

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Visiting Ballyshannon for the Allingham Arts Festival this November? Dorrian’s Imperial Hotel in the heart of the town are offering 2 Nights B&B with one dinner for €125 pps!!

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Olive Travers 'Sketching with Words' Workshop

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Join Olive Travers at the Allingham Festival for her 'Sketching With Words' writing workshop.

This fun workshop is an introduction to the concept of “Conscious Creativity”. It explores how we can express ourselves authentically by increasing our awareness of the world within and around us.

It is suitable for all levels of both writers and all those interested in nurturing their core creativity through any medium.

[Tea/Coffee and scones provided. Please wear comfortable footwear as weather permitting, the workshop will include a short walk in the outdoor beauty of nature.]

Writing Workshop: "Sketching with Words" with Olive Travers
-Saturday Nov. 9th, 10am-11.30am
-Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon

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Mc Hugh Changes History

Minister Joe Mc Hugh met secondary school students from Enniskillen and Ballyshannon at an Allingham Arts Festival cross-border schools event, where he had an influential conversation with one student about the downgrading of History as a subject in the Junior Cycle curriculum.

Minister Joe Mc Hugh met secondary school students from Enniskillen and Ballyshannon at an Allingham Arts Festival cross-border schools event, where he had an influential conversation with one student about the downgrading of History as a subject in the Junior Cycle curriculum.

We were delighted to hear that Minister for Education Joe Mc Hugh has decided to reintroduce History as a special status subject at Junior Cycle, and it was very exciting for us at the Allingham Festival to learn that last year's festival had a part to play in his decision!

Mr. McHugh is going against the advice of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), which maintains History should remain an optional subject in the Junior Cycle. Awarding it Special Status means it will be studied by all student in Junior Cycle, just like the core subjects English, Irish and Maths.

Yesterday morning on the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Ryan asked the Minister what made him change his mind on this matter and overturn the NCCA decision. Mr Mc Hugh explained that he had heard a great deal of opposition from all corners of society on the plan, and cited one particular conversation he had at one of our cross-border schools events last year.

"One of the biggest impacts was a young man from Enniskillen, St. Michael’s in Enniskillen, and we were at a cross border event in Ballyshannon one day and he came up to me and he says 'Excuse me Minister,' he was very polite, 'Would you mind me asking why are you downgrading the subject of history in the Junior Cycle?' so there was somebody who wasn’t involved directly in the curriculum but he got the importance of history."

Minister Mc Hugh had visited a Sligo IT Creative Writing Workshop held in Coláiste Cholmcille that morning, before meeting students from Ballyshannon and Enniskillen in the Abbey Arts Centre, who had come together for a talk by Niall Mac Monagle on Art & Poetry. Minister Mc Hugh casually chatted to students from both sides of the border, and took questions from the floor.

We're delighted that one of our events has had any sort of an impact on public policy, and helped bring History back to the Junior Cycle at a time of great upheaval in politics and society around the world...and it's worth pointing out that this came out of an Arts event.

Listen Back on the RTÉ Radio Player - interview begins at 1:55
https://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/share/radio1/21628109

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Festival Launch: Little John Nee, Oct. 19th

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ALLINGHAM FESTIVAL PRESENTS LITTLE JOHN NEE
The Thatch, Ballyshannon, Oct. 19th, 8pm, Free Event.

Don't miss this year's Allingham Festival Launch event with award-winning writer and actor Little John Nee as he performs a selection of songs and stories, comic and eccentric, and all very Donegal!!

Little John Nee is a playwright, performer and musician; a prolific creator of original work for theatre. He is a recipient of an Irish Times Theatre Award, a Helen Hayes Nominee (Washington DC), a Prix Italia Special Mention Award and in 2016 was elected to Aosdána.

Admission Free.

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Schools Competitions Now Open

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Our Primary & Secondary Schools Art, Poetry and Short Story Competitions are now open! Each year we receive many fantastic poems, stories and paintings from primary and secondary school students all around the country, North and South, and we expect this year will be no different.

The deadline is October 11th 2019. To enter, print off one of the application forms on our Competitions Page, or upload your story using the online form on the same page.

Best of luck!!!

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Meet the Judges!

The Allingham Festival Poetry & Flash Fiction competitions invite new work from emerging talent around the country and abroad. The winners will receive a prize of €300 in each category along with their award, and will be invited to read their work at our Literary Lunch event on Saturday November 9th in Ballyshannon.

This year’s judges will have their work cut out for them, from shortlisting dozens of entries in each category, to selecting the winners. In the Poetry category, we have two well-known and award-winning Donegal poets, Denise Blake and Annemarie Ní Churreáin. Annemarie will also host this year’s Wild Atlantic Writers session in the Dicey Reilly’s pub on November 8th as part of Allingham 2019. For the Flash Fiction competition, Jo Holmwood and Brian Leyden have the arduous task of identifying this year’s top stories. Read more about our judges below the fold.

There’s still time to enter, as the deadline is September 26th. To enter, upload your work here: www.allinghamfestival.com/upload-entry


Annemarie Ní Churreáin is a writer and poet from northwest Donegal who now lives in Dublin. In 2016 she was awarded a Next Generation Artists Award by President Michael D. Higgins on behalf of the Arts Council of Ireland. Annemarie has also received literary awards from Jack Kerouac House (Orlando), Akademie Schloss Solitude (Germany) and Hawthornden Castle (Scotland). She is a co-founder of the Upstart Arts Collective and a panelist on the Writers In Irish Prisons Scheme. Annemarie's debut poetry collection 'BLOODROOT (published by Doire Press 2017) was shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award for best first collection in Ireland in 2017. Annemarie will also host this year’s Wild Atlantic Writers session in Dicey Reilly’s pub, Ballyshannon, at 4pm on Friday November 8th as part of Allingham 2019.

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Brian Leyden is an Irish writer from Arigna, County Roscommon and currently living in County Sligo. He has published the best selling memoir The Home Place, the short story collection Departures, and the novel Death and Plenty. He won the RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus Award in 1988 for The Last Mining Village. He has written extensively about his home area for RTÉ's Sunday Miscellany and the Doc on One: No Meadows in Manhattan, Even the Walls Were Sweatin’ , The Closing of the Gaiety Cinema in Carrick-on-Shannon and Practical Rooms and Pre-Fabs. He co-wrote the original screenplay for the feature film Black Ice, which premiered at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.


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Denise Blake’s third collection, Invocation was published by Revival Press, Limerick Writers Centre. Her poem, And They All Lived Happily, was part of Poetry Ireland’s Poetry Day ‘19 promotion. She is a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany RTE Radio 1. Denise facilitates creative writing workshops. www.deniseblake.com


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Jo Holmwood writes fiction and plays. She has published in The Stinging Fly and The Cormorant and also published a collection of stories, Under the one roof, as part of the Spark residency in Leitrim, funded by the Arts Council. In 2016, she won Highly Commended from the prestigious Bridport Prize. She has also be shortlisted for the Bristol, Fish and Ms Lexia short story awards.


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