High Nellies take to Inniskeen Road

High Nellies take to Inniskeen Road
The Inniskeen Road July Evening Festival is a brand new festival to mark Ireland’s Gathering 2013. This event is a celebration of the life and work of Patrick Kavanagh one of Ireland’s foremost literary figures. The festival will take place in the poet’s native village of Inniskeen from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July and will be hosted by the Patrick Kavanagh Centre.

The Inniskeen Road July Evening Festival is a brand new festival to mark Ireland’s Gathering 2013. This event is a celebration of the life and work of Patrick Kavanagh one of Ireland’s foremost literary figures. The festival will take place in the poet’s native village of Inniskeen from Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July and will be hosted by the Patrick Kavanagh Centre.

The organising Committee extend an invitation to one and all, especially the Irish diaspora all over the world to join them in Inniskeen for this unique Gathering event of poetry, music, re-enactments of the poet’s work, walking and cycling tours of Kavanagh Country and much more. 

Patrick Kavanagh’s work is rooted in the landscape in a unique way. The festival takes its title from one of his best loved poems, ‘Inniskeen Road; July Evening’. Visitors will be able for the first time to visit many of the sites immortalised by the poet in his native place. They can hunker down in the shade of the orchard wall (‘Spraying the Potatoes’), they will be served tea in Billy Brennan’s barn (‘Inniskeen Road, July Evening’) and will cycle through Kavanagh country in 1920’s costume on high Nelly bicycles provided by the organisers.

The event will feature re-enactments and recitals by actors in period costume. Scenes will be ‘dressed’ as described by Kavanagh – the hedges of Shancoduff will once more become a library for poetry books. Horses and men will work the land using period-appropriate farm implements and techniques (a man may be seen ‘shouldering home a saddle harrow’ (‘Peace’). The Duffy’s and McCabe’s will once again go to war over the ‘half a rood of rock, a no-man’s land surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims’ (‘Epic’).

Events will conclude with a 1920’s-style dance in the Community Centre, on the road to which the sharp-eyed observer may encounter Kavanagh himself sitting on a bank watching the bicycles go by in twos and threes (‘Inniskeen Road, July evening’). They will be encouraging people to dress appropriately to the period, and will have costumes and make-up available to those who wish to enter the spirit of the occasion. This event will appeal to everyone.