Comeragh to go wild for festival of fun

Locals and tourists alike will take a walk on the wild side this weekend as the culture, heritage and activities associated with one of Waterford’s most famous mountains returns.

Olivia O'Leary is joined by Lauren Kavanagh, 9, Lilly-Anne Fahey, 8, and Nicole Walsh, 7, to launch Comeraghs' Wild Festival. Picture: Patrick Browne

The annual Comeraghs’ Wild Festival celebrates all that is authentic and special about the rugged glaciated Comeragh Mountains on the border between Waterford and Tipperary.

Now in its fifth year, the growing festival — traditionally held in September — has been moved on the calendar to next weekend, July 14–16.

As part of a new extended programme, noted broadcaster and journalist Olivia O’Leary will recite poetry from Waterford’s Seán Dunne and others.

She will be joined by world-renowned uilleann piper David Power, who is teaming up with talented harpist Triona Marshall for the not-to-be-missed open-air concert and poetry recital in Mahon Falls on the opening night.

Looking ahead to the event, Ms O’Leary said: “We’re lucky in Ireland to have so many unspoiled and beautiful areas like the Comeraghs where people can walk and climb and enjoy the natural world.

“To celebrate all that in poetry and music against the background of the spectacular Mahon Falls is a real privilege.”

The extended programme also features Beach Art, a walk along the famous Lough Mara Loop walk, a ceili and barbecue, a free Alice in Wonderland-themed picnic, a free introduction to scrambling and rock climbing aimed at young adults, free storytelling at Lyre Heritage Centre with storyteller Eddie Lenihan, as well as a seaweed walk starting out from the Copper Coast Geopark Visitor Centre.

The festival will end on a high in Kilmacthomas with an open-air concert in the park featuring Gina and the Champions, who will be joined by Dale Haze for a one-off show. There will also be a concert on the Copper Coast on Sunday night with two bands, Dunaill, and the acoustic Americana band, Still House Down.

Richie Walsh, spokesman for Comeragh Wild Festival, said the three-day event provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the mountains to the world.

“We have some great communities, heritage, and traditions here in the Comeraghs,” he said. “It’s steeped in music, poetry, history, and dance traditions. That is what makes it a wonderful place with a whole range of things for people to enjoy.

“There are superb visitor opportunities here and the festival is all about promoting these.”


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