Welcome to Cobh Readers and Writers.
An entire island of creativity waits for you.
The Cobh Readers and Writers Festival is an event that celebrates the cultural richness and creative spirit of the town of Cobh, Ireland. After a 3 year hiatus, the festival invites artists, musicians, writers, and other creative minds from around the world to participate in a four-day celebration of the arts. This year, the festival is dedicated to celebrating the life and work of Rory Gallagher, one of the most legendary guitarists and musicians of all time. Beginning on Thursday 20th of April, and running until Sunday 23rd, you’ll find a warm welcome in Cobh
Born in Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland, in 1948, Rory Gallagher is widely regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Known for his electrifying live performances, soulful vocals, and intricate guitar work, Gallagher gained international acclaim for his music and has been cited as a major influence by countless musicians, including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Brian May. Rory has a Cobh connection through his relatives the O’Mahoney family who reside at 19 West Beach. A place where Rory enjoyed many happy times.
At this year’s Cobh Readers and Writers Festival, attendees will have the opportunity to experience the magic of Gallagher’s music and learn more about his life and legacy through a series of performances, exhibitions, and discussions. Rory was a gifted story teller, which he brought to so many through his songwriting, and the author Ian Rankin wrote a novella based on Rory songs. As part of the festival a commemorative plaque to Rory shall be installed at 19 West Beach.
Some of the highlights of the 2023 festival include:
Photography exhibitions: In addition to music and film, literature, and the spoken word, the festival also showcases a special showing from the internationally renowned photographer Govert de Roos, featuring live shots of Rory Gallagher and portraits of other popular music stars of that era. These works celebrate Gallagher’s creativity and serve as a tribute to his enduring legacy. This exhibition was kindly opened by Eoin Gallagher, nephew of the late Rory Gallagher.
Live music performances and theatre: Throughout the festival, attendees can enjoy live performances by some of amazing musicians, all of whom have been influenced by Gallagher’s innovative approach to the guitar. Also on the Saturday, the wonderful Haulbowline Theatre Group shall present a selection of new short plays. Titled. “Lost and found..and lost again!”, it promises to be a special treat.
Film screenings and discussions: For those who want to learn more about Gallagher’s life and work, the festival includes a screening of Rory’s 1974 Irish Tour, and a discussion with Donal Gallagher. These events explore Gallagher’s musical journey, from his early days in Ireland to his rise to fame on the international stage.
Milton and the Cobh Connection: A special highlight for the festival will be talk on John Milton by Simon Avery. Considered one of the greatest and most influential Poets in the English language Milton’s influence is still reverberating on arts and culture today and he is credited with the invention of more English words than Shakespeare. His epic Poem Paradise Lost concerning the biblical story of the fall of man is his most famous creation and Cobh Readers and Writers Festival are delighted to to bring Simon Avery, a London based Milton expert to give a Talk on this enigmatic Poet and his greatest works. Simon has also found a Cobh connection to Milton.
Spoken word and poetry: The Cobh Readers and Writers International Poetry Competiton returns, with the winners to be announced during a poetry evening in The Mauritania, on the night of Saturday 22nd. Also, the renowned Cobh based artist John Adams, shall host an open mic on Sunday afternoon, in his home and studio, Coliemore – The Artists House. With music, song, storytelling, and the spoken word there will be something there for everyone.
Overall, the Cobh Readers and Writers Creative Arts Festival is a must-attend event for anyone who loves literature, music, art, and creativity. By celebrating the life and work of Rory Gallagher, the festival honors one of the greatest guitarists and musicians of all time and inspires a new generation of artists to follow in his footsteps.
So whether you’re a fan of Gallagher’s music, a budding musician, or simply someone who loves the arts, be sure to mark your calendar and join us at the Cobh Readers and Writers Creative Arts Festival this year. With its incredible line-up of performances, workshops, and exhibitions, it promises to be an unforgettable celebration of creativity and inspiration.
In the meantime, why not stay and explore our site, and take a closer look at the creative people who call our Great Island home.
There is room on this Great Island that we call home for endless creative possibilities. Cobh, sitting on one of the worlds greatest harbours, with its toes in the ocean, yet firmly anchored in history.
A strong community is one that celebrates its many parts. One which recognises each other differences, and yet still makes a commitment to each other to work for the benefit of all.
Every form of creativity is in essence about communication. The creator is trying to communicate through their own medium. All we have to do is take the time to listen, see, and feel.
“Welcome to Cobh Readers and Writers. We hope that you enjoy our website, and that you take the time to come visit us for our Festival in April 2023”
John Smith, Chairman.
Cobh Readers and Writers welcomes you to our Great Island.
We celebrate all the creative arts by hosting a four-day festival each year. Ran by an all-volunteer committee, this group’s aim is to promote the creatives arts in every way possible.
We are a not for profit community group, who seek to provide all festival events at no cost or as low a cost as possible to the public.
We believe that the creative arts should be accessible to all.
Get in Touch
Please get in touch with us via any of our social media platforms or via the email below.
We’d love to hear from you.
© Cobh Readers & Writers 2023
created by Great Island CM&T