Vales Around Cloughlea Festival

Kilbride & Lakeside Music Committee in collaboration with Glen Heste Pure Mile Group will present the first ever ‘Vales around Cloughlea Festival’ during the weekend of 9-11th November next. The Festival name is inspired by the title of a song composed by local bard Frank Farrelly in the 1940’s and aims to celebrate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the Manor Kilbride area. A series of musical and social events will take place including a guided walk, 3 concerts highlighting local songs and music and an exhibition of ‘Old Kilbride’. The Vales around Cloughlea Festival is made possible by Wicklow Co Council ‘Arts Organisations Support Scheme’ award, Wicklow Co Council’s ‘Creative Wicklow’ award and ongoing support from KWETB to Kilbride & Lakeside Music Committee.

On Friday 9th November at 2.45pm from Ballysmutten, Aidan Cruise will guide a walk through Ballyward Forest encompassing a large portion of the Cloughlea/Manor Kilbride area. This walk is suitable for all ages. Participants walk at their own risk.

On Friday evening 9th November at 7.30pm a Concert will take place at St John’s Church Cloughlea. The Eamon Sweeney trio will present music, songs and poetry pertaining to the Manor Kilbride area and Co Wicklow. The trio comprises Eamon Sweeney guitars, Cormac Breatnach flute/whistles and Jane Clarke poetry. A recently discovered poem ‘The Piper from Blessingtown’ by P.J. McCall and a beautiful tune ‘The Mountain Stream’ composed by Vincent Broderick at Ballysmutten bridge in the 1970’s will feature, along with many other gems.

On Saturday 10th November an ‘Old Kilbride’ exhibition will be held in Manor Kilbride Community Hall from 2pm -6pm. Photographs, artefacts and memorabilia from the early 1900’s up to the present day will be on view including a display of local history projects from senior students of Manor Kilbride N.S. Alongside the exhibition there will be traditional music led by Margaret Eustace Doherty & Sean Healy. Refreshments served.

On Saturday 10th November at 7.30pm there will be a Concert in St Brigid’s Church Manor Kilbride. West Wicklow Voices choir with conductor Conor O’Reilly will present Songs and Music of the Manor Kilbride area and Co Wicklow. A charming song entitled ‘The Hills of West Wicklow’ written by Jimmy Whelan in the 1970’s will be premiered at this concert.

On Sunday afternoon 11th November at 2.30pm at the Church of Our Lady Blessington, there will be a concert to showcase the modern musical activities of local youth.  Kilbride & Lakeside Youth Music in collaboration with Headford Music Works Co. Galway under the banner of East Meets West Orchestra will present a programme of light classical and fun music. The orchestra will be conducted by Colm O’Hara (Manor Kilbride) and Sorcha Walshe (Headford). Kevin O’Hara will be guest soloist on French Horn.

Admission charge to concerts is €5.

If you would like any further details regarding the guided walk, the exhibition or the concerts please contact Maria O’Hara 087 9656257 or e-mail

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