Cruthú Arts Festival weekend schedule

Wednesday July 19th

ReActor – Ballymahon Library – 8pm
Admission: €5 – pay on the door.

ReActor is a new and exciting project undertaken by the Cruthú Arts Festival where writers and directors come together to bring to life four previously unseen short plays. These directors have had just one month to put together these plays and while some are experienced others are very new to the scene. Come along and see the fruit of their efforts in the comfort of Ballymahon Community Library.

Thursday July 20th

ReActor – Granard Library – 8pm
Admission: €5 – pay on the door.

ReActor is a new and exciting project undertaken by the Cruthú Arts Festival where writers and directors come together to bring to life four previously unseen short plays. These directors have had just one month to put together these plays and while some are experienced others are very new to the scene. Come along and see the fruit of their efforts in the comfort of Granard Library.

Monday, July 24th

Launch of Windows Publication 2017 – Longford Library 7.30pm
Free Entry

Noel Monahan

Windows Publications editors Heather Brett and Noel Monahan are celebrating twenty-five years together – yes –  a quarter of a century promoting literature and the visual arts in Cavan and the neighbouring counties.

Authors & Artists Introductions Series 11 features the work of new voices and emerging talent in poetry and art. Over the past twenty-five years this series included the now established writers such as: Joe Woods, Nessa O’Mahony, Gerry Hull, Lorna Shaughnessy, Grace Wells and many more. The launch will take place during The Cruthú Arts Festival in Longford Library, on Monday 24th July at 7.30pm.

The evening will include readings from local writers in Longford and contributors to the book. Previous launches were held  in Cavan, Dublin, Derry and Galway.

Wednesday July 26th

Ambrose Donnelly Art Exhibition and Readings – Longford Library 7.30pm
Free Entry

Artist, Ambrose Donnelly, will exhibit his art work which is inspired by his mother, a lady who was born into the CastlePollard Mother and Baby Home. A number of writers from Longford county will then read writings inspired by the theme of Mother and Baby Homes.

Cruthú Arts Festival, in association with Longford Libraries, welcomes Ambrose Donnelly and family to the library for the launch of this unique art exhibition and readings.

Ongoing across the weekend

Pop-up Art Galleries

Photo by Shelley Corcoran

Once again, the pop-up units (or temporary galleries) will be making a return to this year’s Cruthu Arts Festival. The Galleries give artist of all genre and all levels within those genres, to display what believe to be their finest work.

The Galleries house TWO or MORE artist at different skill levels. This give amateur or intermediate artists an opportunity to work alongside more professional level artists, which we think, will allow them to learn and possibly, upskill. It should also be a great confidence booster for all involved.

We try to pair up artist with similar interests, so as there will be no conflicting styles.

Street Art

Photo by Shelly Corcoran

The Cruthú Festival brings street art back to Longford once more. ‘Initiated by acclaimed New York street artist Cern on a visit in 2013 ,the Cruthú programme for 2014 introduced urban art to the line up with a community art project involving over 100 young people from across the county produce pieces on the theme of identity which formed an installation on the Market Sq. during the festival and moved to a more permanent home afterwards at Centenary Sq, Cruthú 2015 saw Cern return to paint a mural at the back of the Market Sq.(based on the Tain) while smaller pieces were produced by Illjin,Kevin Bohan and Katrina Rupit. During Cruthú 2016 ,six large scale murals were added to the local street scape, when the artists above were joined by Emma Blake and Phil Atkinson.

Further new pieces will be added this year from artists Pat Taffe, D.M.C ,LeBas, J.M.K ,Kimx and Illjin.


JMKs work mixes old school fine art influences with street art and graffiti style. His work is eclectic and unpredictable, mixing realism with blasts of graphic flow, sometimes using a very monotone palette but other times going full colour. He can’t wait to bring his work to Longford this year.

D.M.C (Dermot Mc Conaughy)

D.M.C is a visual artist from Belfast  whos large scale works grace walls across Ireland. His work focus mainly on female portraits and the beauty that they behold. There is a certain melancholy within his work. He uses a mixture of realism and abstraction to colour the streets with his tales of miscommunication. Dermots work in public spaces aims to engage with the public.

Schools Sculpture


Schools Sculpture

Meán Scoil Mhuire, St Mel’s College, Lanesboro Community College, Ballymahon Mercy, Moyne Community School, Templemichael College and Cnoc Mhuire Granard have created sculptures all on contemporary themes and covered in their photographs. These impressive creations can be viewed on Ballymahon Street between Durkins and Specsavers.

Temporary Public Art Project

The project is based on the creation of temporary pieces of public art made from renewable materials. The art was created by voluntary community groups throughout County Longford under the stewardship of artist Phil Atkinson. The art works will be displayed throughout Longford Town for the duration of the Festival. Voluntary groups involved in the project included the EDI Centre, Acorn Family Centre, Edgeworthstown Development Ass., Lus na Greine and Rath Mhuire Centre.

Cafe Sessions

Enjoy fabulous Longford talent in the enjoyable setting of Longford Cafes! A cuppa, a treat and some sweet music!

Friday 28th July 5pm, Moments Cafe – Pub Fiction, acoustic session.

Friday 28th July 5pm, Fabiani – Paul Hennessy, Eimear Reynolds, Sean Rooney, Katie Gallagher, Tómas Skelly.

Saturday 29th July 5pm, Coffee house 45 – Sean Rooney, acoustic session.

Saturday 29th July 6:30pm, Torc – Painted Skies, acoustic session.

Thursday July 27th

Opening of Cruthú and Shane Cullen exhibition with music by Bianca Fachel. Engage exhibition space (old Providers) – 8pm.
Free Entry

The Wrestlers by Shane Cullen. Photograph by Declan Barnes

Cruthú are delighted to welcome home Longford born artst Shane Cullen with a retrospective show of his work spanning the past 30 years (Providers, Main St.)

Shane Cullen was born in Longford in 1957 and is currently living and working near the shores of Lough Arrow in County Sligo. His work has been widely exhibited in Europe, the United States and Canada.

In 1995 he represented Ireland at the 100th Venice Biennale and also at the inaugural Łodz Biennial in Poland 2004.  He has spent periods of residency in Hungary and France and in 1998 was awarded the P.S.1 Fellowship at the Museum for Contemporary Art in New York. In 1992 he founded the Council for the Preservation of Monuments to Martyrdom and Resistance and is an active member of the Culture and Conflict Group. In 2002 he presented a vast sculptural installation “The Agreement” based on a complete transcription of what is more commonly known as the Good Friday Agreement which toured widely throughout G.B. and Ireland.

This work has been included in ” Modern Ireland in 100 artworks” published in 2016 by the Irish Times and the R.I.A.

He has undertaken a number of permanently sited commissions in Leuven, Belgium, Qana,Southern Lebanon and Moore St, Dublin. He is currently working on a proposal to site a permanent commemorative monument to the Agreement of 1998 in Ireland and will present this in 2018″.

Music provided on the night by Bianca Fachel. Bianca Fachel is a singer-songwriter from Porto Alegre,
Brazil with 25 years of musical experience in her life. Started playing piano at age of 5 and singing her compositions at music festivals in her home city. She is a self-taught musician with many influences such as Chorinho, Samba, Tropicalismo, Afro-Beat, Jazz, Bossa Nova, Soul, Funk, Blues, Folk, Electronic, Classical and Celtic music. Bianca is currently living in Ireland and developing several projects, partnerships in music and her original songs.

Friday July 28th

Longford Nua App Launch, Connolly Barracks – 3pm
Free Entry
Longford Nua is a digital mapping project that enables citizens to gather information on the past, present and possible future of Longford town to unlock the potential of urban spaces and buildings and thus help in the social and physical regeneration of our town. The project uses a new
app developed by Space Engagers, an Irish social enterprise supported by Come along for the launch and see what it’s all about

Artist Rosemary Langtry Upstairs in the Market Bar – 3-4pm

Free Entry
A workshop that introduces Encaustic Painting (that uses hot wax). Age Group: Over 8s

Ask the Artist with DMC, Upstairs in the Market Bar – 4pm

Free Entry 
Talk by street artist DMC who will be working on a wall during the Cruthú Festival.

Eggsistentialism, Backstage Theatre – 8pm

Admission: €16/€14

Funny, tender and moving, Eggsistentialism is a comedic, autobiographical journey charting the madcap odyssey writer/performer Joanne Ryan embarked upon while trying to decide in her final fertile years whether or not to have a child. Family, fertility experts, fortune tellers, daytime radio and the darkest recesses of the internet all are consulted in the course of the show as she tries to figure out should
making a life for oneself involve making another? With a playful, inventive approach to both text and form, Eggsistentialism tackles serious subjects like the social and personal implications of procreation, overpopulation and the endemic gender inequalities in parenting and childcare with a compelling personal anchor and light, comedic touch.

The multimedia show combines live elements of comedy, autobiography and testimony with projection, animation, documentary, soundscaping and original composition to form a sophisticated, richly layered, provocative and engaging theatre narrative.
Slam Night – Music & Poetry – Upstairs in the Market Bar. 10pm – 11.30pm
Admission: €5 – pay on the door.

The stage is set – music acts and poets will join forces for a night of unforgettable entertainment in the intimate setting of the upstairs of the Market Bar. From 10pm to 11.30pm, MC Maggi McKenna will guide the crowd through a magical evening of music and spoken word. This is a night not to be missed!

Friday July 28th to Sunday July 30th

Square Eyes – Market Square Longford.
Free Entry

Square Eyes is an exciting project that harnesses the creative talent of second level student artists and musicians. Over the 3 days Square Eyes will take over the Market Square and host live music performances, the creation of 10 large mural works, children’s activities, and the display of recycled cardboard furniture – ALL MADE & PERFORMED BY LOCAL YOUNG PEOPLE.

Saturday July 29th

Teddy Bear Picnic storytelling with Mags – Longford Library 11am.
Free Entry

Come along to Longford Library and experience the fun and excitement of storytime with Mags McKenna.

Blog Writing Workshop with Rachel Masterson – Longford Library 10.30am – 1.30pm
Admission: €5 – pay on the door

Rachel Masterson is an award winning young entrepreneur, blogger and radio and TV presenter from Longford. Through her two blogs, Rach Writes Stuff and Ceol Caint, Rachel has gained an extensive portfolio and following which has led her to launching her own digital media agency, presenting a weekly radio show and managing local musician Sean Rooney.

During this three hour workshop, Rachel will go through everything you need to know to get you started on your blogging journey. The workshop will cover types of blogging platforms, how to define your blog and generate content ideas, promoting your blog on social media, growing your network and tips on video blogging.

Facebook – Rach Writes Stuff

Artist Angela Tuite – 12-2pm

Free Entry
A workshop that introduces the art of slate painting.

Artist David Newton – Ward’s Shop – 4pm
Free Entry
Artist David Newton’s free flowing workshop for all ages will ask event attendees to be creative. Collage will be the medium and communication with someone the goal. No art-crimping rules like composition, line, form and shadow will be discussed, imposed or enforced. The hope for creativity in this audience engagement is for the participant’s personal-perspectives to be honoured and the mystery of the materials-muse to be listened to.

Little Gem Puppets – 3pm

Free Entry

Little Gem Puppets will be performing a muppets style interactive, bilingual puppet show as part of our family fun day on the market square at 3pm.

ReActor – John Browne’s Pub, Longford, 7pm.
Admission: €5 – pay on the door.

ReActor is a new and exciting project undertaken by the Cruthú Arts Festival where writers and directors come together to bring to life four previously unseen short plays. These directors have had just one month to put together these plays and while some are experienced others are very new to the scene. Come along and see the fruit of their efforts in the intimacy of the Little Blue Room at John Browne’s Pub, Longford.

David Kitt with support from Katie Laffan – St John’s Church, 8pm

Admission €23.99

Buy tickets online

David Kitt: It’s been eight years since the release of David Kitt’s last album, 2009’s critically acclaimed The Nightsaver. In that time he has been focusing on his work as New Jackson with releases on esteemed labels such as Hivern Discs and Permanent Vacation as well as remixes for the likes of The XX and Mano le Tough, he has contributed to two albums by Nottingham’s finest Tindersticks, and worked as a session musician and producer for the likes of David Gray and Lisa O’Neill. His debut album as New Jackson, From Night to Night, was released in May 2017 by All City Records, who will also release his next album of David Kitt songs, Yous, in early 2018. Performing with Australian musician Margie Jean Lewis on violin and vocal, Kitt will perform a selection of songs from his extensive back catalogue as well as material from his forthcoming album

Facebook David Kitt

Katie Laffan: From a debut EP of lo-fi bedroom funk pop to last year’s subtle, affecting ‘Trophy’, Katie Laffan delights in taking influence from a wealth of genres. Along the way, she and her band played a series of prestigious shows – including Cork Jazz, Electric Picnic, K Fest, Canalaphonic, Body & Soul, Other Voices and Young Blood at the NCH alongside Hare Squead and Rusangano Family. Her latest single ‘Tastemaker’ sees her take another left turn, this time into the world of disco and pop – while never losing her uncanny skill for a sharp lyric and a memorable melody.

Facebook​ Katie Laffan

Katie Laffan – Word Up Collective

Reprisal – Eamonn Farrells Pub, 10:30pm

Cruthú presents – the rockier side to Cruthú

REPRISAL are a “Hard-Hitting, Energetic, Rockin’ trio from Longford Ireland.”

The band consist of three member which are Jonathan Reilly (Guitar/Vocals), Aidan Gray (Bass/Vocals) and Matthew Pyper (Drums). The lads have been on the go since 2014 and have been rockin’ it ever since. Reprisal will be taking part in this year’s Cruthú Arts Festival. They will be playing Saturday night at 22.30 In Eamons Bar, Earl St, Longford. You can also check them out at /

Sunday July 30th

Dhomhnach na bhFraochán on Brí Leith (Bilberry Sunday) – full schedule for this event below
Free Entry
In the ancient times of Midir and Etain people gathered on Brí Léith (Ardagh Mountain), home of the sidhe fairy people to collect bilberries for the High King’s Lughnasa feast in Tara. The tradition of Bilberry Sunday, the last Sunday of July, continued until the mid 1960s when the forest was planted on the hill and so bilberries were not as abundant. Creative Ardagh and Brendan Farrell of Ardagh Eco-Gardens got together to bring the tradition alive in July 2012 and every year there is a walk and a search for the ever elusive bilberries – we found some last year!! We traditionally end the walk with tea and scones and a talk. Over the years we have had Brendan give a talk on the native wild flowers and plants, Mrs Annie Byrne read her poetry, Lora O’Brien, author, talk on Irish spirituality and Paddy Farrell talk on divining. Cruthú Arts Festival got involved early on as the dates of the festival have generally coincided with this ancient tradition. In 2015 we launched the Midir and Etain anthology and this year we are launching the King at the Back of the Hill anthology. This year we are also delighted to have children’s author Esther Göbl Uí Nualláin read from her many children’s books, all written in our native language, Gaeilge. The Comhluadar group that Esther is involved in will hopefully be joining us for our bi-lingual festivities.

11am, Meeting at the GAA Pitch in Ardagh we walk up Brí Leith.

12.30pm /1pm, Scones and Tea at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre

1.30pm,  Readings from Esther Göbl Uí Nualláin followed by the launch of The King at the Back of the Hill anthology with readings by some of the contributors. We hope that Adel Coleman the archaeologist who brought the dig from the 1960’s to our attention will be launching the book.
Free Entry

Esther Göbl Uí Nualláin

Is de bhunús Ostarach/Éireannach í Esther Göbl Uí Nualláin. Tá cónaí uirthi i Longfort lena fear céile John agus a bpáistí Saorlaith, Diarmaid agus Cian. Tá a gclann á tógáil le Gaeilge acu.

Is múinteoir Gaeilge í Esther i Meán Scoil Mhuire i mbaile Longfoirt. Scríobhann sí dá páistí féin, agus is as sin a d’fhás a spéis i scríobh do dhaoine óga eile. Is é an cnuasach gearrscéalta Eachtraí Uchtaigh, an chéad leabhar óna peann. D’fhoilsigh MÓINÍN a céad úrscéal do dhaoine óga, mar atá Ruball Trioball, i mBealtaine 2010 agus ghnóthaigh an leabhar sin ‘Duais Leabhar na Bliana do Dhaoine Óga – Gradam Réics Carló 2010. Foilsíodh a dara úrscéal do dhaoine óga, Is Mise do Chara, agus is é Cleasaí an Coinín an saothar is déanaí óna peann.

Esther Göbl Uí Nualláin

Esther Göbl Uí Nualláin is of Austrian/Irish parentage. Born and bred in Longford, she still lives there with her husband, John, and their three children, Saorlaith, Diarmaid and Cian. They are rearing their family through Irish.

Esther is a teacher of Irish at the second level Meán Scoil Mhuire in Longford Town. She writes for her own children and, from this, grew her interest in writing for others. Eachtraí Uchtaigh, a collection of short stories, is her first publication for children. In 2010 MÓINÍN published Ruball Trioball – her first novel for 6-8 year-old readers – This novel was awarded the accolade of ‘2010 Book of the Year for Younger Readers/ Réics Carló Award’.

Also published is her children’s novel Is Mise do Chara and her latest work for younger readers Cleasaí an Coinín.

Family fun day on the Market Square 

Free Entry

Sunday, fun-day! The Market Square will come to life for all the families to enjoy Cruthú. The family fun day includes face painting, novelty balloons and a chance for the kiddies to get creative! (chalk on boards/ground).


Expressions Art Photography Exhibition – 3pm

Free Entry

By Gareth Smyth

Expressions International Portrait Art Photography Exhibition, in it’s third year is having an open air gallery, converting the streets of Longford into a gallery space. Finalists images will adorn lampposts and walls for everyone to enjoy. The awards ceremony will take place on the Market Square at 3pm on Sunday the 30th of July. Everyone welcome.

Luke Norton Millenry Demonstration – Ward’s Shop – 4pm

Free Entry 

Free Entry – While he didn’t ever think millinery would be something he would be interested in, Luke entered a school art and design competition in transition year and it all sparked from there on! Even when he made my first piece, he said he still never thought it would take off as much as it has done to date. He’s super excited about the demonstration on the Sunday! You can expect plenty of colour for the summer vibes and not forgetting the glam element we all want from a headpiece! More to follow!! He said he can’t wait to see everyone there out supporting their local community! His Facebook page is Luke Norton Millinery and you can follow him there to keep up to date with all my Millinery antics!

Midlands Ukulele Group on the Market Square – 5pm

Free Entry

In what can only be described as the most entertaining and fun live show around, join the Midlands Ukulele Group for some well-known tunes on the Market Square. They are set to bring the square to life with some old favourites. Dancing is encouraged.

Áine Cahill – St John’s Church with support TBC – 8pm 

Admission €20.50

Buy tickets online

Áine Cahill is a 21 year old singer-songwriter from County Cavan, Ireland. Inspired by current music of course, but combining with her love of classic Jazz from the 1950’s, Áine’s unique sound and writing style captivates the listener; her storytelling evoking emotion and vivid imagery, allowing the audience to escape into her world.

Over the last year or so, Áine has played venues throughout Ireland including The Academy, Vicar Street, Whelan’s, Cork Opera House and most recently, her sell-out headline show at The Grand Social, Dublin. U.K., the iconic Dublin Castle and her first headline in London at The Waiting Room, Shoreditch. She has supported several acts in Ireland: The Strypes, Jerry Fish, Picture This, Duke Special & The Henry Girls, etc..

In June 2016 Áine made her debut at Glastonbury, playing a small tent when she was spotted by the BBC and asked to play an acoustic performance live on their Glastonbury TV coverage. Reaction was overwhelming with ‘Aine Cahill’ trending on Twitter. Following the Glastonbury success, she played three stunning sets at Electric Picnic. She returned to Glastonbury this year and was named in the top three of the nine best live shows at Glastonbury.

‘Black Dahlia’ nominated by Hot Press for ‘Best Track’. Her Debut EP ‘Paper Crown’ was named #1 Unsigned EP by U&I Magazine.

‘This is a massive vocal talent clearly ready for a much bigger stage. Cahill is clearly getting somewhere, fast. Sometimes you dont need a massive production to make a big impact!’  – Una Mullally, The Irish Times

More to be announced.