The Bealtaine Celebrations festival runs for the month of May promoting creativity in older people.

May festival celebrates creativity

A festival celebrating arts and creativity as we age is taking place throughout the month of May in Cork.

Earlier this month, Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Services launched its Bealtaine Celebrations festival, a month-long event providing opportunities for all older people to meaningfully express their creativity.

Festivities across the county include creative writing workshops in Dunmanway, Fermoy and Kinsale libraries, with the Men’s Storytelling Group also making a return to Dunmanway Library. Millstreet, Kanturk, and Mitchelstown libraries will host a variety of free arts and crafts for anyone who wishes to get a little creative during the Bealtine period.

Libraries in Bantry, Skibbereen, Mallow, and Fermoy will play host to the hugely successful ‘Down Memory Lane’ music café series featuring the wonderful Linda Kenny, entertainer-extraordinaire Maurice Healy, and special guest Seán Ó Sé, a brilliant raconteur and singer.

Festival goers can join historian Melissa Shiels for a once-off opportunity to learn how to dance in the ‘Regency’ style, made popular by recent adaptations, at the Bandon and Cobh libraries.

There will also be opportunities to share memories, insights, and connections to the land with historian Shannon Forde, appointed heritage specialist, as she leads Sustainable Heritage: Living in Harmony with the land, an interactive workshop at the Passage West and Carrigaline libraries where participants are welcome to bring relevant memorabilia that resonate with the theme of living in harmony with the land.

Announcing the Bealtaine programme, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn said: “There is a wide range of free events across the county, with something for everyone. Bealtaine is the perfect occasion to highlight the enormous contributions of older people within the county of Cork. It is also a chance to try something new, to visit your local library and to spend time with family, friends or to meet new people.” Last but not least, the LHQ Gallery of the Library Building at Cork County Hall will play host to ‘The Road Less Travelled’ exhibition by photographer Anna Groniecka, a Clonakilty-based artist who, over the last year, has photographed portraits of people from across the county who contribute to culture and community development, including librarian Nora Levis, Chair of the Cork County Older Peoples Council, Liz Downes, and founder of the Mallow Arts Festival, Tadhg Curtis.

For more information about Bealtine events in your local area, visit