We are very excited with the opening of Portumna Castle and Gardens this weekend as the season begins. This is always a great place to visit, so full of history and lore and the guides there will really bring the place to life for you. The kitchen garden, which has painstakingly restored over the years is a lovely place to browse and see how vegetable gardens were managed in the past to supply all the vegetable needs of the ‘big house’.
This season sees a new coffee shop and exhibition space on the Castle Grounds. This is housed in the beautifully restored stables yards and we are sure it will become a great spot to visit!
Portumna’s Shorelines Arts Festival, Sept 17 to the 20th, now in its 8th year, is recognised as East Galway’s premier boutique arts festival. As well as nurturing local talent and providing a platform for performance and exhibition, Shorelines stages the best of Irish theatre, music, art, film and literature.Shorelines 2015 will feature readings by authors Joseph O’Connor and Paul Kingsnorth. They will be joined by poets Grace Wells, Louis dePaor and poet and writer John MacKenna and a feast of words is guaranteed. Grace and John will both facilitate writing workshops in poetry and prose.A special Yeats event to celebrate Yeats 150 will include a lecture from well known poet and scholar, Bernard O’Donoghue. You are also invited to nominate your Shorelines Yeats Poem for the Yeats 150 event. A selection of those nominated will be featured at the festival.For music fans, Shorelines plans to stage performances from renowned Mary Coughlan, the up and coming Lost Brothers. Local musicians and songwriters will feature too. Shorelines welcome RTE Radio 1 to the 2015 festival where a live recording of the much loved Sunday Miscellany is scheduled featuring voices and talents of local and not so local talent.Drama comes from Fishamble’s new show Underneath as well as Curlew’s show The Muse & Mister Yeats. Local drama group The Half-Day Thursday Group will stage Kent R. Brown’s Seduction of Chaos.For the family, events include a 2-day programme of Street Theatre from Circus Outside The Box, Creative Writing with Betsy Cornwell, The Barbara Kennedy Writing Awards, a Flea Circus from PigNut Productions, Face Painting, Story Telling and Little Gem Puppets.
Shorelines will also feature a Minecraft/Lego Workshop during the festival. And young singer/songwriters and musicians will take part in café sessions and recitals throughout the weekend as the festival enjoys giving emerging talent a platform to perform.The Gallery at the Workhouse will again host visiting and local artists at the Shorelines Arts Exhibition. Among the talks and demonstrations planned are talks with artist Aideen Monaghan and photographer Mark Granier and a bead making demonstration with Mags Mannion. Exhibitions from invited artists include, to date: Galway Print Studio, John Brennan, Aideen Monaghan, Mark Granier and Frank O’Sullivan.Heritage Boats of Ireland also plan to visit Portumna during Shorelines 2015. They will bring 30 heritage boats to Portumna’s Lough Derg, adding colour and atmosphere to the festival.Shorelines Shorts 2015 will feature a loop of short drama films on the theme of Childhood and a loop of documentaries on Changing Ireland. All are guaranteed to entertain and delight.
Other regular events include the annual Nicholas Treacy Recitation Competition, which will test the reciting skills of the entrants who must learn a recitation written prior to 1937.New programme additions include early morning sessions of Yoga, titled: Golden Apples of the Sun and a workshop onBotanical Art. Local archaeologist, Christy Cunniffe will launch a photo exhibition based on medieval carved heads. Portumna Vintage Club are planning a day at the Festival too. Finally, all of the businesses in the town are invited to decorate their windows to complement the festival.Check out our Facebook page for further updates: www.facebook.com/shorelinesartsfestival
Portumna Castle & Gardens, first formal garden, is now filled with colour and perfume.
These 17th Century variety of roses bloom only once a year between mid June and the end of July so now is the time to enjoy the full experience. While in the gardens be sure to visit the lovely walled kitchen garden.
August will bring Heritage Week celebrations to the castle and gardens. The Portumna Players have already begun rehearsal for their annual ‘Drama’ at the Castle on the evening of Friday 28th. ‘Family Vintage Day’ on Sunday 23rd and FREE admission all day Sunday 30th.
Look for details on www.heritageweek.ie or on local papers, posters, newsletters and Portumna Castle Facebook page, closer to the date.
Open daily throughout the season, 9.30-6pm (last admission 5.15pm)
FREE guided tours with admission tickets, subject to guide availability.
FREE admission on the 1st Wednesday of each month.
Fun observational quiz for children of all ages, enter and win a Family Heritage Card. This will give the winner FREE access to all OPW sites throughout Ireland for one year.