Nourish Your Creative Spirit
“If you go too fast, you miss what’s special about anywhere.”
Ballyhoura provides the perfect base to enjoy a short visit or longer stay, exploring and experiencing creativity and fine skills of our local art, craft and artisan producers. Along with treasured memories why not bring home an original gift directly from the maker when you visit one.
Based in the Old Convent, Bruff, Co. Limerick, Eithne Hehir of Ballyhoura Ceramics creates functional and aesthetic porcelain vessels. All the pieces are lovingly hand made by using the traditional handcrafted method of throwing on the wheel creating a unique piece of porcelain. The rhythm of the wheel is replicated in each piece as they begin to echo the movement of the river and its calming effect. Their colours of turquoise, yellow, grey and deep blue/green, mirror its mood and motion. The glazes are made in the studio with the inside of each piece glazed, while the outside of the surface is unglazed. This results in a tactile surface and a sense of curiosity in each finished piece.
Eithne offers workshops and classes on request and her studio is worth a visit.
Living in Lough Gur, a unique place in the Irish cultural and historical landscape, Clair of Lough Gur Pottery has been intrigued by the time-honoured ceremonies that the ancient pots were a part of, and their carved surfaces inspired her techniques and surface patterns. She combines ancient methods with modern approaches.
The core essence of her work is always the same – "embellish your every day". Clair's hope is that her handcrafted pottery will play a part in the everyday ceremonies – that warm mug of rich coffee first thing in the morning, to that lovingly arranged vase of freshly cut flowers.
Lough Gur Pottery provides pottery workshops for adults & kids, seasonal camps & also takes private group bookings.
I love Getting Crafty with Rose promises to be enjoyable and rewarding, evoking a creative environment where people get crafting with willow weaving, fabric (batik, tie-dye, print and sewing) & using acrylic paint (on slate or large murals). Based in Carrickkittle, Co. Limerick Rose takes bookings for classes and workshops on the appointment basis.
To get to know the community spirit why not to join local Kilfinane Arts, Crafts and Traditional Skills Group on Thursday evenings at Teach na Cille in Kilfinane. They make art and craft together and always welcome newcomers to join them. Local craft group is the best way to get to know the people of Ballyhoura and enjoy every-day chat.
Why not to hit one of the Cottage Markets, where you can meet some of Ballyhoura local craft makers selling their products. Along with treasured memories, you will also have an original gift directly from the maker.
Kildorrery Cottage Market is open every second Saturday from 11 am -1 pm and has a great mixture of stalls selling jams, chutneys, organic veg, cheese, smoked food, garden furniture, homemade wooden goods, crochet, jewellery. Come down for a cup of tea, a chat, grab some food, children’s games and competitions and enjoy the atmosphere.
Kilmallock Cottage Market also runs on Saturday's from 11am-2pm and it is a friendly local market in the heart of the Kilmallock community. The market has an impressive and eclectic variety of homemade, homegrown and handcrafted items on sale, produced locally with love and care.
A Sunday Treat at Caherline Cottage Market in Caherline Old School runs every second Sunday 10:30am - 12:45am. Visit this beautiful venue (established in 1898) and enjoy tempting treats and unique handmade crafts by talented local designers.
Great ARTitude Gallery is an art gallery and artisan shop located in Doneraile, Co. Cork. Co-founded by artists and friends Mary St. Leger and Sandra Sheehan, Great ARTitude aims to showcase and promote local Cork arts, specialist crafts and unique produce. This venture is very much a labour of love, as well as a work in progress! The journey promises to be a very interesting one and you are invited to be part of it. The Gallery also organises annual Doneraile Arts Festival.
Only 10min drive from Doneraile is Saint Georges Arts & Heritage Centre located in the former Church of Ireland in Mitchelstown and it is a unique focal point for theatrical, dramatic and musical activities including Irish song music and dance. Saint George’s is also being used as an exhibition space for creative arts, photography, sculpture and other arts-related activities.
Kilmallock’s Friars Gate Theatre and Art Gallery guarantees a good night’s entertainment, with a vibrant programme encompassing contemporary drama and theatre, film, dance, jazz and cabaret. The adjoining Art Gallery hosts monthly exhibitions by local, national and international artists, and is open by day. Operating since 1997, Friars’ Gate Theatre is a vibrant venue and arts centre dedicated to promoting equality and inclusion in the community by giving all people a forum for expression.
The Honey Fitz Theatre, originally Lough Gur National School gets its name from John Francis Fitzgerald who was Mayor of Boston and grandfather to President John F. Kennedy who was known as “Honey Fitz” because of his beautiful singing voice. The theatre was refurbished in 1994 by Jean Kennedy-Smith, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, and is now used as a theatre and community hall for set dancing and art classes. It is also used by the Lough Gur Dramatic Society to stage drama and also hosts the Lough Gur Storytelling Festival at Halloween for one week.
Ardpatrick is home to the talented Hillside Players, a local drama group who put on performances in January and February each year.
The Ballyhoura Garden Experience is the immensely successful collection of gardening focused visitor attractions, all just off the R512 in Co. Limerick.
The Ballyhoura Garden Experience encompasses three open gardens, Terra Nova in Dromin, Coolwater in Fedamore and Cahernorry Church & Garden in Ballyneety; three very attractive retail outlets, Just Roses in Kilfinane, Ahern Nurseries, Sherin’s Cross and Rockbarton Garden Centre; Accommodation & hospitality is provided by the Deebert House Hotel in Kilmallock.
A very satisfying day out indeed for those interested in gardening and all things horticultural.
Festivals & Events
In July come to the Kilfinane Hup na Houra Irish nights celebrating the history and life of the area, through music, song and dance. Kilfinane is also hosting the annual Joyce Brothers Music Festival and famous HearSay International Audio Arts Festival every second year.
Doneraile Arts Festival is a four-day festival that runs in the summer. Hosting a wider range of workshops, competitions, crafting and much more!
Hospital Arts & Culture Festival is an arts and culture festival with an emphasis on engaging local community, schools and young people. This is an annual festival of theatre, music, window art, speakers, writers, poets, school and club participation, aiming to empower the rural community of Hospital and its hinterland.