Guilds get into top gear for Bealtaine celebrations

ICA guilds across Ireland have an abundance of creative talent which finds expression in anything from decoupage to drama, book clubs to beaded jewellery making, creative writing to crochet.

So getting involved in Bealtaine — Ireland’s unique May festival that celebrates creativity as we age — is a natural for ICA ladies. Last year’s Bealtaine produced over 3,000 events nationwide and about 125,000 people participated in the festival. Bealtaine 2012, coordinated by Age & Opportunity, poses two questions: What kind of old do you want to be? What kind of world do you want to grow older in? If you haven’t yet got involved but would like to, there’s still time, with events running over the next few weeks.

* Ink — an exhibition of photos of older people with tattoos, taken by Aidan Kelly. The show celebrates diverse ways of ageing and challenges assumptions about tattoos and older people. The exhibition is at the Old Markethouse Arts Centre, Dungarvan from May 17 to Jun 27, with a workshop on May 23. At the workshop the artist will invite older people with tattoos to visit his temporary studio. They’ll get the opportunity to tell the story of their tattoo and have the tattoo photographed for possible inclusion in the next phase of the exhibition.

* Translunar Paradise — a multi-award-winning play by Theatre Ad Infinitum about love, loss and a life full of shared memories. It explores how a husband deals with the loss of his wife who attempts to help him from beyond the grave. After his wife passes away, William escapes into a paradise of fantasy and past memories, a place far from the reality of his grief. Returning from beyond the grave, Rose visits her widowed companion to perform one last act of love: to help him let go. Translunar Paradise is told entirely without words but through movement, haunting music and masks. The play is at the following venues: — Monday, May 21 in the Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo at 8pm. Cost: €15. Visit or phone 071-9161518 — Tuesday, May 22 in the Pavilion Theatre, Dublin at 8pm. Cost: €15/€12. Visit Phone 01-2312929 — Wednesday, May 23 in the White Memorial Theatre, Clonmel at 8pm. Cost: €15/€12. Visit Phone 052-6129339 — Thursday, May 24 in Cork Opera House at 8pm. Cost: €18. Visit Phone 021- 4270022 — Friday, May 25 in the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge at 8pm. Cost: €15/€12. Visit Phone 045-448319.

* Dawn chorus Why not get involved in Dawn Chorus that now sees waterfronts across Ireland animated by music on the last Sunday of every May. The first Dawn Chorus took place in 2009 on a beach in Donegal — last year there were 26 Dawn Choruses. The project sees active retirement groups join with local choirs to rehearse and produce magical performances.

Info:; email:; Tel: 01-8057709 or 1890-506060.


Kim Sheehan is an opera singer from Crosshaven, Co Cork, and is this year’s recipient of the Jane Anne Rothwell Award from Cork Midsummer Festival.A Question of Taste: Cork opera singer, Kim Sheehan

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