THE 2018 ALLINGHAM FESTIVAL will bring a vibrant gathering of nationally-recognised writers, artists and filmmakers to Ballyshannon from 7-11 November. 

Festival highlights will include a tribute to the late Donegal poet Francis Harvey and a performance of his award-winning radio play “Farewell to Every White Cascade”, a powerful presentation on “The Impact of Brexit on Border Towns” by journalist / activist Denis Bradley, and a screening of the critically-acclaimed film “Black '47” plus insights from the creative team who produced it.

The Festival will host two special events in memory of the late Donegal poet Francis Harvey. On Wednesday evening 7 Nov, a troupe of actors, musicians, and a sound-effects specialist will perform Francis Harvey's radio play “Farewell to Every White Cascade,” a drama inspired by the social impact of the Ballyshannon dam. LIMITED SEATING, BOOKING ESSENTIAL

On Friday evening 9 Nov, a group of Frank Harvey's friends and admirers will join in a Tribute programme to the late poet and playwright, including poets Theo Dorgan and Moya Cannon, journalist Gerry Moriarty and members of the Harvey family. The Tribute will also feature “Celebrating Francis Harvey,” a multimedia presentation by local photographer Emer O'Shea. FREE EVENT. LIMITED SEATING, BOOKING ESSENTIAL

In a year of political uncertainty and speculation, Denis Bradley, journalist and former vice-chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, will provide perspective on “The Impact of Brexit on Border Towns” in the Allingham Lecture at 8:00 Thursday 8 Nov in the Abbey Centre. RTE's Tommie Gorman will introduce and host the event. FREE EVENT

Festival-goers and film buffs will enjoy Q&A with the producers of  “Black '47” after a screening of the film in the Abbey Arts & Cultural Centre on Saturday afternoon. 

OTHER NOTABLE GUESTS at the 2018 Allingham Festival:

Niall MacMonagle, editor of the popular Lifelines anthologies, will lead a student workshop on Friday and interview Donegal poet Denise Blake at the Literary Lunch on Saturday.

Novelist Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son, will lead a workshop on Social Media for Writers and Artists on Saturday at 10:00 am. 

Jessica Traynor, former Literary Manager for Dublin's Abbey Theatre and regular contributor to RTÉ radio, will lead a programme of “Wild Atlantic Writing” – readings by regional and national writers at 4:00 on Friday in Dicey Reilly's Pub.

Professor Ken Fox will moderate a programme on “Border Representation in Film” on Saturday, including a screening of the thriller “Mapmaker” and Q&A with director Johnny Gogan at 11:00 Saturday in the Abbey Centre

MUSIC: The live finals of the Allingham Songwriting Competition will take place at 10:00 pm on Friday in Dicey Reilly's Pub. The winner of the Songwriting Competition will also perform at the Allingham Concert. The ever-popular Allingham Concert in the Abbey Centre on Saturday evening will feature performances by the Donegal Youth Orchestra and by Niamh Currid and her band.

Rhythms and Rhymes, a new event highlighting poems and music of the Allingham family will feature at The Thatch, Sunday 11 Nov at 2:00. Musicians will include Caoimhin MacAoidh, Daire Gallagher and Kelly Neilan, with readings by Mary Duggan.


The Allingham Children's Art and Writing Award Ceremonies will take place in the Abbey Centre on Saturday, with Primary School awards at 12:30 and Second Level Awards at 1:30.

Awards for the Allingham Poetry and Flash Fiction Competitions for adults will be presented following the Literary Lunch in Nirvana Restaurant at noon. 

BOOK LAUNCHES at the 2018 Allingham Festival will include:

Doctor on a Diet, by Sligo's Dr Paula Gilvarry – in A Novel Idea, 3:00 pm on Friday, 9 Nov

Invocation, by Denise Blake – following the Literary Lunch and awards ceremony in Nirvana, 12:00 pm on Saturday, 10 Nov 

Code Breaker, by documentarian Marc McMenamin, in the Abbey Centre, 5:15 pm on Saturday, 10 Nov 


Olive Travers, a favourite contributor to Sunday Miscellany, will lead a workshop on “A Sensory Exploration of Your Creative Potential” in the picturesque Abbey Mill and nearby glen at 12:00 on Friday. Wellies advised.

Una Mannion, Chair of the new BA programme in Writing and Literature at Sligo IT, will lead a creative writing workshop for second-level students on Friday morning in Coláiste Colmcille. 

Bricks 4 Kidz – a Lego workshop for kids aged 8-12 – 11:00 Saturday at Coláiste Colmchille – RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED!

Children's Art Workshops with Christine Fox – 10:00 and 11:00 Saturday at Coláiste Colmchille – RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED!

Craft Workshops – Saturday afternoon, 10 Nov – Local Hands, Main Street, Ballyshannon 

Fab Lab workshops and demonstrations – leading-edge technology for entrepreneurs and artists – The Mall, Saturday 


The History Ireland Hedge School, with editor Tommy Graham and guests: “The 1918 General Election: Political Earthquake or 'Same Old, Same Old?'” – Abbey Centre, 6:00 Saturday

Gather Again – Recitations and music at The Thatch, Ballyshannon, 12:00 Sunday

Family Film: “The Lion King” – Sunday at 3:00 pm in the Abbey Centre, admission €1

Ballyshannon Remembers: Stories, songs and poems in memory of World War I – St Anne's Church, 7:00 Sunday

For full programme and updates see  HYPERLINK ""

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