That beats Banagher festival, 22-24 July 2022. From our correspondent James Scully

This year’s That Beats Banagher Festival will take place over next weekend Friday to Sunday, 22 to 24 July with a multiplicity of literary, heritage,  cultural and sporting events including a food and craft fair in the Bridge Barracks Yard at the West End on Saturday, 12 noon to 4.30 p.m. craft workshops, children’s events, water events, children’s outdoor cinema and other surprise events. We are a day early with the blog to help promote this interesting festival.

Book Launches 

The programme is particularly strong on literary events with the launch of two books on Charlotte Brontë’s honeymoon in Ireland, the first called Arthur & Charlotte, by Pauline Clooney (published by Merdog) and the second, Charlotte Brontë: An Irish Odyssey by Michael O’ Dowd (published by Pardus Media). Pauline & Michael recently spoke with much acclaim at the prestigious Bradford Literary Festival under the title No Net Ensnares Me: Charlotte Brontë Abroad. The event will be held at 6.30 p.m. on Friday 22nd July in the Long Room in The Crank House.

Film Premiére

This launch will be preceded by the premiére of a short film called The Legacy of the Brontës in Banagher, produced by Maebh O’Regan of NCAD. This short presentation will  feature local actors Cora Stronge-Smith, Saoirse Flynn and Brendan Dolan. The film which was shot on location in Charlotte’s Way, (formerly Hill House), Banagher and the National Portrait Gallery in London, tells the story of the famous “Pillar” portrait of the three Brontë sisters, Anne, Emily and Charlotte by their only brother Branwell created c.1834 and its sensational discovery in Hill House about eighty years later.

Craft Exhibition

An exhibition of tapestries and other handcrafts by the Banagher Craft Group also relating to the Brontë connection with Banagher will be opened to the public. The exhibition will remain on display all weekend in the Long Room in The Crank House.

Fanesker Martello Tower Open Saturday 12 To 4 P.M.

As part of their continuous generous support to TBB Festival, Wolfgang and Ursula Fisher are opening their Martello Tower on the west bank upstream of Banagher Bridge (County Galway side) on Saturday 23rd July, 12 noon to 4 p.m. Since taking ownership some years ago Wolfgang and Ursula have much improved access to and the appearance of the  historic structure. The tower is one of only two inland Martello Towers in Ireland and is quite a unique edifice.

Martello Tower WWI Mac Póilín 2017

That Beats Banagher Book Re-Launch

Patrick Flattery’s book That Beats Banagher!, published in 2012 but only becoming available now, will be introduced by the author himself on Saturday 23rd at 5 p.m. Patrick is travelling from Minnesota for the weekend and his  book relates to his nineteenth century ancestors in Banagher and Cloghan. The fast-moving novel tells the fascinating story of his great great grandfather, Robert Flattery and the Fenian Movement. The history of other members of the historic Flattery family is also related. Fictional local events are also described, taking some well-disguised liberties with local history and geography along the way.

Martello Tower Pop-Up Bookshop

All literary events will be held in the Long Room in The Crank House. Copies of all books will be on sale throughout the weekend from the ever popular Martello Tower Pop-up Bookshop which makes a timely return to the streets of Banagher for the festival. The shop will also have a stall at the Food & Craft Fair in the Bridge Barracks Yard in the West End of Banagher on Saturday from 12 noon to 4.30 p.m.

Sunday Events

On Sunday morning there will be a heritage related cycle from Banagher to Shannon Harbour and Clonony, via Cuba and Streamstown and the Harbour Cross. The cycle  starts at The Crank House car park at 11 a.m. and will finish about 1.30 p.m. back in Banagher. On Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Lynn Maloney (Coughlan) of Banagher and  Mary Madden of Portumna will speak of their self-publishing exploits during covid times and showcase their books in the Long Room in The Crank House

Closing

The festival will close with a bang during a visit to the award-winning fortification Fort Eliza on the Crank Road at 6 p.m. on Sunday. Don’t miss it! Well! That Bangs Banagher! and Banagher Bangs the Devil!!!

We continue our blogs on the burning of Tullamore jail, barracks and the documents in the courthouse in August. If you have an article to contribute contract us, info@offalyhistory.com