Glorious weekend

Darragh O’Driscoll, John Fleming and Con McCarthy enjoying oysters and Guinness at The Oratory, Cahersiveen
Darragh O’Driscoll, John Fleming and Con McCarthy enjoying oysters and Guinness at The Oratory, Cahersiveen

Kevin Hughes

WHILE other parts of Ireland were hit by torrential rain over the Bank Holiday weekend, the heavens looked kindly on south Kerry where the annual Cahersiveen Festival of Music and the Arts entertained and delighted the crowds who flocked to the town.

This year's edition, the 19th staging of the popular event, was widely considered the best to date as the south Kerry town rocked to the sounds of some of Ireland's finest bands.

There were bumper crowds throughout the weekend and as the Riptide Movement brought events to a close on Sunday night there were up to 2,000 music fans enjoying the party atmosphere.

Other headliners included The Stunning who brewed up a storm on Saturday and with Robert Mizzel taking to the stage on Friday night, complete with his trademark cowboy hat and waistcoat, all musical tastes were catered for over the three days.

"It was an absolutely brilliant weekend and people came from all over, from across Ireland and England and we even had visitors from Dubai," Committee Member Janette Uí Mhurchú said afterwards.

"We must have some connection with the weatherman as people were saying it was the only place in Ireland that was sunny throughout the weekend," Janette added.

One of the highlights was an open air céílí on Saturday afternoon with The moorings Céili Band while a popular busking competition meant that there were sessions on every corner as the weather merged with fine music to help draw in the crowds. "We had five categories in the busking competition and a huge turnout in each with singing, dancing and everything else in between," Janette added.

It all kicked off on a much more tranquil note with a walk up the scenic slopes of Cnocnatobar and 83 walkers made the trip to view the impressive sights over Dingle Bay.

Meanwhile, there was plenty of free entertainment for all the family as well with magic shows, fancy dress and an animal roadshow in the Fair Field. With football, soccer and cycling events organised, there wasn't a dull moment throughout the weekend.

And for those who couldn't make it to Cahersiveen, ex pats and emigrants tuned in to watch events as they happened thanks to a live webcam and regular updates on Facebook.

The celebrations flowed into Bank Holiday Monday and as the town slowly resumes normality there's little rest for the hard working committee behind the event.

"We want to thank everyone involved and all who came out to support us. We'll take a few days out and meet next week to look back on just how it went before beginning plans for next year's festival," Janette said.

If it's half as good as this year's event then festival-goers will certainly be in for a real treat.


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