Cloughjordan Festival

This year’s Cloughjordan Festival is packed with over 60 events and something for nearly everyone and every budget. Once again, this year’s festival has been generously supported by North Tipperary County Council.

Thursday, 24 June features the Kids’ table quiz in St Kieran’s Hall. There are lots of great spot prizes to keep everyone motivated, and it costs only €1 to join in. At 10pm in the Railway Bar, the Festival Fundraising Pub Quiz takes place with a mix of general knowledge questions. A table costs €20, and all proceeds directly support the festival.

Friday, 25 June is a day of activity and generosity. From 3pm-4pm, teens can get a taste for kickboxing and kung fu for only €6 with Chinese boxing champion Patrick O’Connor. At 6.30pm, the action moves to Knockanacree wood where kids can become Nature Detectives. Bring crayons, markers, and curiosity to help you and your family on your search. Nature Detectives is free.

At 10pm, the Railway Bar hosts a musical fundraiser for Limerick Regional Hospital with Tavern’s Got Talent winner Conor O’Meara, Tipp Off, and Top Note. Entry is by donation, and all proceeds from the door and the raffle go to Limerick Regional Hospital.

Saturday, 26 June sees a hive of activity in Cloughjordan.

From 11am-4pm, all ages have the opportunity to learn pottery, weaving, and knitting on the Meadow on Main Street. Costs range between €5 and €12, and no booking is necessary. Why not drop by, get crafty, and hang on for the Bring and Share Community Picnic at 2pm?

People interested in environmental and economic issues won’t want to miss Sustainability Thinking: Thoughts on the Edge of Collapse by David Korowicz at 1pm in St. Kieran’s hall. In this free talk, physicist and systems thinker David Korowicz examines what happens when oil and credit stop flowing through our society. Korowicz will examine the proposed solutions to peak oil and explain why some options are better and wiser than others.

Continue exploring eco-friendly living with free tours of the ecovillage at 11am, 3pm, and 6pm this Saturday, or take part in two very exciting workshops: Building with Cob and Wildflowers in the Garden. Cob is a building material made of straw, clay, and sand, and engineer Eileen Flanagan is building a house in the ecovillage with this material. Her comprehensive workshop shows you how choose soil suitable for building and how to mix cob for building. You will have the opportunity to mix cob for one of the cob houses being built. You will also examine a cob bench and a cob oven. At the end of the 3-hour workshop, you will be ready to undertake your own cob project.

Wildflowers in the Garden with Dominic Waldron will show you how to encourage desirable wildflowers in your garden through selective weeding and techniques to encourage desirable flowers. This is a hands-on workshop that will take place in the ecovillage and is a must for gardeners. Both the wildflower and cob workshops will be repeated on Sunday, 27 June. To book places on these workshops, ring 087 0979087.

On yer bikes on Sunday, 27 June for the 20k/50k Cycle at 10.30am and the Family Cycle and Picnic. The 20k/50k Cycle leaves from Cloughjordan Cycles and returns to the ecovillage office where there will be changing facilities and snacks. This costs €10. The Family Cycle and Picnic departs from the Meadow at 3pm and will stop for a picnic overlooking Cloughjordan. This will be a fun event for all the family and is free. Don’t forget your picnic and cycling helmet!

Sunday at 4pm, extraordinary young musicians Liam Hannon and Aidan Duffy, slinging their guitars as Turbulance, play an acoustic gig in Sheelagh na Gig bookshop. The event is free and everyone who loves good music is welcome. Older music fans will also want to hear the O’Connell Sisters in the Railway Bar Sunday at 1opm.

Aspiring and experienced writers alike will not want to miss author Tracy Culleton’s workshop on The Craft of Novel Writing Sunday, 27 June from 11am-4pm. Tracy is a best-selling novelist and excellent teacher whose student find her teaching inspirational. Her workshop will help you get your creative juices flowing and help you with issues of plot and characterisation. In addition, the €40 fee includes a lovely light lunch and all materials. To book a place on the Craft of Novel Writing, ring 087 0979087.

The Cloughjordan Cine Club is hosting a selection of films throughout the festival. On Sunday at 8pm in the Parochial Hall, Food Inc explores the way the world’s food is produced, focusing on the highly mechanised agriculture of the United States. This film is a must-see for anyone who cares about food or the future of farming.

On Monday, 28 June, the first Cloughjordan Festival Summer School of Music kicks off. Featuring a week of lessons for beginners and intermediate students in button accordion, concertina, flute, fiddle, tin whistle, banjo and mandolin, piano/keyboard, flute, and tin whistle, the summer school ends with a flourish at the grúpa cheoil performance on Saturday, 3 July at 12.30pm that all students will be able to participate in. Tuition for the week is a very reasonable €70, and lessons take place from 10am-1pm. To book, ring Suzanne on 086 8105319.

Other week-long workshops include a pottery camp for kids with potter Thomas Wollen at the Black Studio, Main Street. Learn how to make pots and sculptures, apply glazes and colours, fire pots, and take home your art work at the end of the week. The pottery camp costs €80 per child for the week. To book, ring Thomas Wollen on 086 3104372.

Chef Sarah Baker is also offering a great range of stand-alone cookery classes for kids, teens, and adults including cookies and fruit smoothies and pizzas and homemade lemonade for kids, spring rolls and stir fries and wraps and pastas for teens, and a look at garden produce for adults. Spaces are limited, so book on 087 9690824 or visit

This year’s Children’s Art Competition asked primary school children to make cartoons about scarecrows, and the children have come up with beautifully creative tales. The exhibition will be launched and prizes presented Monday, 28 June at 7pm in the festival office and exhibition space on Main Street. The exhibition will also be open in the afternoons during the festival. After the launch and prize giving, be sure to get to the Cloughjordan Cine Club showing of award-winning kids’ film The Book of Kells in the Parochial Hall at 8.30pm. After the film, parents who love music won’t want to miss the Seisiún mór an Oíche Ghaelach in Grace’s Bar on Lower Main Street. But if you can’t make that, there will be a seisiún every night during the festival: Tuesday in The Corner House, Wednesday in The Clough Inn, and Thursday in the Railway Bar.

Tuesday, 29 June features kick boxing for 10-12 year olds, cookery, the music summer school, and pottery, and a unique story time with children’s author Nigel Quinlan at 3.30pm in Sheelagh na Gig bookshop. Nigel’s new story is for the under 13s, and there is a drawing competition based on the story.

There is a huge amount going on later in the week too! In particular, teens of an artistic bent won’t want to miss the drawing workshop Looking and Seeing with art teacher Trisha Curran on Wednesday at 2pm in the Methodist Hall for €6. As anyone who has ever made a drawing can tell you, looking and seeing are not exactly the same thing. This workshop is about how to find ways to trick your brain into really seeing what is in front of your eyes. All materials will be supplied.

And there is so much more in this year’s festival. For a complete programme, visit Remember, to book a place in the Summer School of Music, ring 086 8105319. To book other workshops, ring 087 0979087.


One Response to “Cloughjordan Festival”
  1. Jim O'Shea says:

    I’m sorry I missed your festival. Cloughjordan is a beautiful parish. For the first time in years my wife and I took our annual holidays in Ireland. We had a wonderful two weeks and the weather was good. It was also cheaper than a foreign holiday and much more comfortable for us. We have entered the ‘Golden Years’, alas.

    I would like to be informed of dates of next years festival.

    We live in Thurles.

    Up Tipp.

    Jim O’Shea