O’Molloy Clan Rally 2011

Firceall 12th August to 13th August 2011


The O’Molloy Association has a full weekend of events planned with something for everyone. You do not have to hold the Molloy name to participate. In this area of Firceall, most families have some Molloy connection as the O’Molloy ruled the area for centuries. A Mr Molloy founded the Distilleries in Tullamore that made Tullamore Dew famous. No clan would be complete without a Chieftain! The present Chieftain of the O’Molloy Clan is Frances Molloy Berry who resides in Durrow in the north of Firceall. We are calling all members and friends to come together once again to celebrate our heritage and forge and renew family links. A programme of events has been set out, which will include lectures by a guest speaker, and a tour of locations of particular connection to the O’Molloy clan.

The O’Molloys are descended from the famous Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of Ireland in the fifth century. Following the battle of Druim Deirg in the year 515, the descendants of Niall established control over extensive lands including Firceall, which stretched from north of Tullamore as far south as the edge of Birr. Ownership of these lands remained with the O’Molloy’s until the first half of the seventeenth century, when the area was subjected to the plantations of James I and Cromwell.

Firceall means ‘Men of the Churches’, due to the great number of ancient churches in the area such as Durrow, Drumcullen, Killyon, Kilcormac, Lynally and Rathline. Firceall was comprised of the baronies of Eglish, Ballyboy and Ballycowan. Surrounded by strong warlike septs such as the O’Carroll’s of Ely, the MacCoughlan’s of Delvin Eathra and the O’Connor’s of Offaly, the O’Molloy territory was the scene of regular conflict over the centuries with neighbour and Crown forces alike. The ruins of a number of important castles are found here, such as Broughal, Eglish, Ballindown, Dowras, Le Porte near Whigsborough, Kiltubrid, Rathmackilduffe (Rath), Ballyboy, Derrydolny, Rathline, Rathrobin, Garbally, Cully, Killooly and Pallas.


For more information please see the O’Molloy Clan Association website

Volunteers Needed for Castlepalooza Next Weekend!

Hey there Paloozateers and Castle lovers…

As you are aware, Castlepalooza is fast approaching and we are looking for volunteers (Paloozateers for the festival) to volunteer.   This year we will have 3 teams each working one shift a day and the rest of the time, free to enjoy the music and atmosphere that is Castlepalooza.
We will have dedicated Camping areas for Paloozateers and your shift will be clear and we aim to keep friends together so when you are off shift, you can stay together.
Can you get back to me to let me know if you are available and we can start planning…
Also, if you have any friends that want to come too, they will need to register at the link below,



SHAKEFEST – A CELEBRATION OF DANCE is a successful venture associated with Charleville Castle’s many creative and musical pursuits towards a gathering of local spirit. The 6th annual ShakeFest will take place once more on the last weekend in May (May 28-29th 2011) at Charleville Castle. This is a community run holistic fair day for families, international dance enthusiasts and anyone active!

Different types of dance and culture are easily available in larger communities and cities in Ireland, and in bringing such a variety ‘Shake – A Celebration of Dance’ helps link such creativity together at Charleville Castle, Tullamore.

Shake consists of an educational series of dance workshops starting from 12pm Saturday, May 28th and Sunday, May 29th along with an evening of cultural performances starting at 8pm on Saturday, May 29th. It is purposely orchestrated with a multicultural and international theme; in line with a new Ireland, that leads to an evening of a multicultural dance of excellence.

A full list of the classes and events at Shakefest is available from the Shakefest website and tickets are currently on sale through Brown Paper Tickets (A Fair Trade Ticketing Company)

Shake over the past years has grown from a day of Energy, Movement and Dance to a unique week-end of multicultural and international relaxation and holistic living – Come for the week-end – stay locally or camp around the castle – but also, if you prefer, just pop-in for your preferred course – this is a special time-out for everyone – every age – every taste – a community switching-on!

Shakefest began as a one day event which hosted up to 12 instructors of various cultural dance and art backgrounds, with a strong Middle Eastern Dance element to half of the workshops on offer. Creative Director Claire Tobin began Shakefest as a creative end of year project while attending college in Bray in 2006. It became an instant hit within her fellow student dance circles in Bray and Dublin, with over 100 attendants in its first year. Immediate potential was seen, and Charleville Castle was the perfect venue to promote its cultural and creative ethos.

Shakefest celebrated its 5th Birthday by providing more quality and varied dance, Burlesque and band performances in the Ballroom, the addition of an international guest instructor from Iraq who wowed the audience with her Iraqi Gypsy dance and taught us her experiences growing up in an Iraq. Assale Ibrahim was so enraptured with Charleville Castle and Shakefest’s ethos that she is returning with her own students from her current residence in Switzerland this year.

ALL of Shakefest’s proceeds go to The Charleville Castle Restoration Fund which aids in sustaining important intercultural volunteer training programmes, the 200 year old Neo-Gothic structure itself, and future fundraisers. This particular event sponsors operation RAISE THE ROOF – in which all proceeds will go towards the construction of a new roof on the castle chapel. Charleville Castle is an Independent Arts and Culture Center of the Irish Midlands and encourages arts, culture and dance mediums of all kinds.

Carducci String Quartet to play Charleville Castle

On Friday, May 20th the Carduccu Quartet will play Charleville Castle, Tullamore.

Recognised as one of today’s most exciting young string quartets, Carducci Quartet is comprised of Matthew Denton (violin), Michelle Fleming (violin), Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola) and Emma Denton (cello). Based in the UK, the quartet holds residencies at Trinity College of Music in London, Cardiff University and at the Cork School of Music. Winners of many competitions at home and abroad, the Anglo-Irish Carducci quartet has established an enthusiastic international following with over 90 concerts worldwide each year. In 2009-10 there were tours of Spain, Ireland, Colombia, Australia and the USA, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles . Other appearances include at Carnegie Hall, Washington Library of Congress, Tivoli Concert Hall, National Concert Hall, Dublin and the Verbier, West Cork and Wratislavia Cantans Festivals.

Promoted by Tullamore Gramophone Society in association with Offaly County Council Arts Office

The Cardicci Strong Quartet will play Charleville Castle on Friday the 20th of May. Ticket prices are €20 / €15 (students, at the door) and can be booked through the Tullamore Gramophone Society via phone: 057 934182

Charged Up for Change! Expo

Charged up for change logoCharleville Castle will have a stand at the Charged up for change! Expo this weekend, why not come along and meet some of our volunteers who will be able to give you information on events that are happening at Charleville Castle this year and what we’ve managed to achieve so far! A great way to meet the people that are involved with Charleville Castle.

Charged Up for Change! will be on May 14th and 15th, 1am – 6pm at Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar.

Charged Up For Change! at Bloomfield House Hotel highlights the work of individuals and groups making positive local and global change. Come enjoy a unique experience of art, music, science and technology, cuisine, activism, athletics, dance, and all the other countless ways people in Mullingar make a difference. The EXPO is May 14th and 15th, 2011, 11 AM-6 PM in Bloomfield House Hotel. The Expo will last from 11-6 with guest speakers and workshops.

The EXPO is organized by Westmeath Volunteer Centre with sponsorships from local businesses and donations from many local businesses. We’d like to thank all those involved in making this event happen and giving many people the opportunity to see how they can get involved in many of the activities in the local community, or how they might use their own imaginations to create social change in unusual ways.

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