Archive for the ‘ charleville castle ’ Category

Rahan Comhaltas Presents – Faces of Culture and Creativity 2023 as part of Culture Night Offaly at Charleville Castle

Culture Night takes place on one night each year in September. Originating in Temple Bar, it has now extended to hundreds of venues that host free events which take place throughout the whole country in the majority of towns and cities in Ireland. Its purpose is to celebrate international creativity in this country, and also for each county, town and city to be aware of and appreciate its multicultural, talented citizens.

Venues in Tullamore, Co. Offaly also host a variety of Culture Night performances each year in various venues throughout the town through the Offaly County Council Arts Office.  Approximately 15  venues will open up their doors and showcase some of County Offaly’s best talent through poetry, theatre, craft, song, dance and comedy this year.  The Culture Night epicenter of the excitement this year is back once more with an amazing variety of international songs, dance and revelry!  They will open their doors, alongside other venues and organizers this year, and present a wonderful mix of cultural and creative talent as well as Rahan Comhaltas’ own trad song, dance, stories and craic!

Culture Night takes place this year on Friday, September 22nd.  Rahan presents ‘Faces of Culture and Creativity’- a variety show that will once again take place in the grand Ballroom of Charleville Castle.   At 6:30pm, a complimentary Hip Hop and Indian Dance Fusion taster class with Bubble Lock will take place before sitting down at 7:30pm for various performances from artists of a variety of cultural and creative backgrounds, Expect an opening of the festivities by Poet Roseanna Tyrell and Celeste Duckworth, followed by amazing performances by Rose Carey of The Celtic Blondes dancing  Irish Trad with a modern twist, Oriental Dance by The Red Embers dance troupe, and  finally a special set of Hip Hop and Indian Dance Fusion with troupe Bubble Lock Hip Hop, before making way for the wonderful talent and inspiring acts of Rahan Comhaltas.

Rahan Comhaltas bring to you the very best of their own Irish traditional culture with a show that both captivates the audience, welcoming participation – all are invited to join in on the Seisiún experience, taking to the floor as they wish … with a step, tune, song, or story which will bring the evening to a fantastic crescendo that will have you singing, participating and dancing along. Music, song, dance and storytelling await the lucky audience on this anticipated night!

Double your fun – experience amazing cultural talent in County Offaly’s Culture Centre of the Midlands, experiencing it in one of Ireland’s Neo-Gothic Architectural and Artistic Masterpieces – Charleville Castle once again.

Dance recital at 7:30pm is walk up (no bookings required) but for the Hip Hop/Indian Dance fusion taster class from 6:30-7:15pm requires advanced bookings due to limited spaces so book now at!

This event is supported by the Offaly County Council Arts Office and the Arts Council of Ireland


Open Tour Day for Heritage Week Tuesday, August 15th, 2023

Once a year for National Heritage Week Charleville Castle opens its doors free-of-charge to the public to explore its beauty, admire its unique architectural detail, discover the Ghosts of Charleville and uncover its role in Peace with Tibet and the Conquest of Everest.

Charleville Castle is a Grade 1 Historical Building, hailed as the masterpiece of the genius Francis Johnston – Ireland’s greatest architect. Although it remains privately owned it was snatched from near derelict ruin and taken into custody and care over 3 decades ago. Today the Volunteer Community, from all over the world, keep it protected and intact original and authentic and for the careful use and enjoyment of The People. The community-owned Charleville Castle Heritage Trust was formed in 1997 its story alone is remarkable and well worth hearing – and digesting. Why not bring a picnic? This is a very popular event so come early – no booking required – together we will all manage.

Tuesday 15 August 2023 Noon to 4 pm – Free Of Charge


The custodians of Charleville Castle, the community-owned Charleville Castle Heritage Trust (Company Limited by Guarantee) took charge of its upkeep, presentation to the public, community events facilitation and preservation and archiving in 1997 and has served consistently since, having built (1998 -2007), with assistance from the Heritage Council and Offaly County Council, a protective roof, in as far as was possible, to the original design and materials but including emergency valleys and gulley traps with extreme weather overflow protection. The Trust keeps the property insured, to rebuild standards, and in this context maintains a 24/7-365 rotation of voluntary Security, Safety and Fire Marshal (with Hoax call prevention systems) and oversight over the surrounding parkland walkways for public enjoyment as the People’s Castle.

Charleville Castle Tour Hours and Rates June-July 2023

The People’s Castle at Shakefest 2023

The Return of Shakefest – Cultural Oasis in the Midlands

Tullamore, Co. Offaly – This past weekend, Charleville Castle celebrated its physical return of Shakefest, the highly-anticipated world cultures festival after a three year online hiatus due to the pandemic. The festival took place this past weekend to absolute idyllic weather, where fantastic art, music and dance followed suit!.


Shakefest has been a staple of creativity and culture in the Midlands for 18 years. From its origins in 2006 as a small workshop and performance day for cultural dancers, Shakefest has grown into a vibrant family oriented weekend programme! Shakefest boasted a wonderful line-up of workshops, performers, and artists in focus, and was an unforgettable experience for attendees.


The cultural craic on Friday, May 27th started with a fun and dynamic drum circle experience with David Day of Jabba Jabba Jembe in the castle forecourt for all ages, under the bright and warming sun, listening to the heady and rhythmic sound of multiple drums all being beat at once, signifying an amazing way to start the summer.


Terri Dale-Kearney, Programme Director, was thrilled with the turn out, excited to see all performers, instructors, participants and audience members in the great rooms of the castle celebrating cultural and creative diversity all together again. “It was a long and lonely three years but we kept the candle burning bright each year online and found new and innovative ways of reaching our local, national and even international audience” she said. “When we produced our Virtual Haflas and workshops online during the major threat of Covid, it was a unique but lonely time – our dancers would either have to perform or instruct from their own homes or nearby gardens, or under a controlled health and safety environment and social distancing, perform in the castle. The performances were absolutely enthralling to watch in person while filming for the online shows.  One in particular in 2021 when Tolu Makay performed a music video inside the dining room of Charleville Castle, but if only they all had the energy and enthusiasm of our dearly missed audience to feed off of!” 


This year the long overdue energy and excitement was high during the evening Ballroom Performances as the crowd cheered our performers such as Subhashini Goda performing Bharatanatyam and Indian Classical, Bubblelock Hip Hop, The Red Embers Bellydance and Salsa, teen dance sensation Ishani Acharya dancing Odissi, Aparna Shukla of Shubh Connections dancing Kathak, Rahan Comhaltas’ traditional Irish Music,Craic and Storytelling, and finally RDS Taylor Award Winner Finn Nichol and Soundscapes of Nature animated projection show, sometimes to standing ovations.  

Shakefest did not forget about their international online supporters who had also been there throughout Covid to support and to watch the acts and take part in workshops from afar, and Facebook Live streaming took place for most performances to keep the global involvement very much alive. 


Sunday still gave way to absolutely stunning weather, while those enjoyed sitting in the sun in the castle forecourt, others were treated to fun and dynamic Hip Hop lessons with Rama fro Bubblelock for all ages, as well as a dynamic and free-flowing abstract painting workshop for kids, an easy art form which allows creators to experiment with the effect of everyday objects through the paint.


The absolute most spectacular highlight of Shakefest was ‘The People’s Castle’ – an animated projection show by the talented Caroline Conway, a renowned artist from Birr, Co. Offaly. She created an illuminating animation projection show on the front of Charleville Castle as a magnificent visual crescendo to the night’s festivities. The animated stories  focused on the history, community and ethos of Charleville Castle Heritage Trust. The show featured Charleville Castle, built from 1801-1814 – its life, times, and journey from the past to the present and its community aspirations for the future and was attended by Offaly History Director Charlie Finlay, Member Kathleen Finlay and President Helen Bracken as well as Charleville Castle Heritage Trust Managing Trustee Dudley Stewart and Trustee Bridget Vance. The outdoor Castle Illumination show began at 10:30pm just as the last ray of sun fell, and volunteers, crew and attendants alike all danced away in front of the illuminated castle as the show played on.


Feeling thankful to be back together again under such a beautiful setting in the Culture Centre of the Midlands.  Here’s looking to 2024 – Shakefest’s 19th year!


Shakefest is supported by the Offaly County Council Arts Office.