Éigse na Brídeoige to make waves again

Tadhg Evans

Preparations are well underway in the south Kerry Gaeltacht of Uíbh Ráthach for its annual, bilingual festival "Éigse na Brídeoige", and organisers are as confident as ever that the event, now in its 26th year, will bring visitors from all over Ireland and beyond to the foot of the Iveragh peninsula.

This year's "Éigse" will run from February 2 to 4, and under its 2018 theme - "The Sea" - attendees travelling to the host parishes of Ballinskelligs, Caherdaniel, Dromid, Waterville and the Glen can expect a host of activities covering such matters as folklore, literature, underwater mapping, global warming, place-names, and music.

Events get underway at 11.30am on Friday, February 2, with the screening in Ballinskelligs' Halla Pobal of award-winning film for children, Amhrán na Mara/The Song of the Sea. The official opening takes place later that evening at 7.30pm, with Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich on hand to get matters underway at An Halla Pobal in Caherdaniel.

From there, highlights include the showcasing of the best of traditional singers from 10pm on the Friday in The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel, and the Saturday morning appearance at Ionad na Dromada of Criostóir Mac Cárthaigh, who will speak from 10am of the fishing communities of Uíbh Ráthach, and the nearby Gaeltacht regions of Corca Dhuibhne and Béarra. Valentia Coast Guard's John Draper will also be present to take visitors through a century of Maritime Rescue from the Valentia station.

A Saturday of discussion on marine-mapping, global warming, and marine biology from 2.30pm at Waterville's Sea Lodge Hotel will be followed at the same venue from 8pm by the Éigse Concert, while Raidió na Gaeltachta will be at 11am Mass the following morning in St Michael's, Ballinskelligs.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Fiona de Buis at either (087) 2931463 or fdebuis@eircom.net; the local Comhchoiste at (066) 9474888; or visiting www.eigsenabrideoige.com.