Cootehill Arts Festival 2017

Cootehill Arts Festival, first established in 1988, returns this year from 22 - 27 August with a fantastic programme that includes the world-renowned Footsbarn Theatre Company, a performance by Glen Hansard, and a special concert in memory of the crew of Rescue 116. 

With its unique blend of visual theatre, music and magic, Footsbarn Theatre Company, one of the world’s leading touring companies and renowned for their exciting adaptations of classics such as Shakespeare and Moliere, will be bringing their 400-seater circus big top to the festival this year. On the bill, will be two performances of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ on 23 and 24 August and two performances of a Moliere Farce on 26 and 27 August.

On Friday, 25 August, a Rescue 116 Memorial Concert, will be held in honour of the four brave Coast Guard crew members who lost their lives off the coast of Mayo in March. The festival organisers felt this would be a fitting tribute, as Captain Dara Fitzpatrick’s family hail from Cootehill. A special Memorial Programme is being printed with messages from Prince William – himself a rescue helicopter pilot – and from president Michael D. Higgins. The concert will be hosted by RTÉ's Ray D’Arcy, and performers will include Triona Marshall of The Chieftains, Martin Tourish, The Clew Bay Pipe Band, Janice Igoe, Declan O’Rourke, The Roscommon Solstice Choir, world champion Irish dancers, and other major stars yet to be announced. Money raised from this event is to be donated to the RNLI.

The festival also features a retrospective exhibition on the works of the late David Gallagher. David was born and raised in Camden, London and attended the Hornsey College of Art. He would later go on to teach in the Comprehensive School in Cootehill. The scope of David Gallagher’s work is wide in range and the exhibit will showcase some of his finest works, including sculpture, bronze and scrap metal, pottery, paintings and screen prints.

Throughout the week there will be many other events staged at venues around the town, including circus skills, art and theatre workshops, story-telling, poetry readings, photography exhibition and a Festival Miscellany. A special exhibition of paintings from The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, will be on display in the library throughout the Festival. Visitors to the town will notice scarecrows appearing all over the place as Cootehill’s Scarecrow Competition is running concurrently with the Festival. There are generous cash prizes for first, second and third places.

Read about the Scarecrow Poetry Competition here.

Read about street art events here.

Tickets for the Footsbarn shows and the Rescue 116 Memorial Concert are available now on

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Download the Cootehill Arts Festival Programme.

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