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Arthur Greene – organ

St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend
Arthur Greene – organ

September 2022, date to be decided.
Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

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The Famous Moynihan Family

Thursday 18 August 2022, 8 pm, St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend
The Famous Moynihan Family
Diarmuid Moynihan – uilleann pipes, Patricia Moynihan – flute, Donncha Moynihan – guitar,Deirdre Moynihan – soprano & fiddle, Kieran Moynihan – flute, Fionnuala Moynihan – piano
Tickets €25, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

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Sharon Carthy –  mezzo soprano, Jonathan Ware – piano

Thursday 28 July 2022, 8 pm, St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend
Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

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Jerry Creedon and Friends

Thursday 21 July 2022, 8 pm, St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend
Jerry Creedon and Friends
Jerry Creedon – guitar, Eilis O’Sullivan – flute, Hugh McCarthy – cello

Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

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Dušica Mladenović – violin, Ian Wilson – piano

START OF THE 40TH ST. BARRAHANE’S CHURCH FESTIVAL OF MUSIC

Thursday 14 July 2022, 8 pm, St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend
Dušica Mladenović – violin, Ian Wilson – piano
Tickets €20, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

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Vanbrugh & Friends

Sunday 6 February 2022, 3 pm, Myross Wood House, Leap.
Tickets €15, online, at the door, at Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen or text/call 086 226 4797

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Presented by the National String Quartet Foundation and supported by the Arts Council, RTE and Cork County Council

The Vanbrugh & Friends
Keith Pascoe, violin
Marja Gaynor, violin
Simon Aspell, viola
Ed Creedon, viola
Christopher Marwood, cello

Wolfgang Mozart [1756-1791]
String Quintet in C major K.515 [1787]

Jean Françaix [1912-1997]
String Trio [1933]

Johannes Brahms [1833-1897]
String Quintet No.1 in F major Op.88 [1882]

The Vanbrugh and their guests present two of the greats from the string quintet repertoire, alongside Jean Françaix’s bewitching string trio. Adjectives have been heaped on Mozart’s C major quintet – effortless, elegant , sublime, majestic, joyful, bewitching… call it what you will, they are all testament to its timeless appeal.  And then the Brahms F major quintet, written a century later is all of these things and more. Written in the summer of 1882, it was a work that Brahms was particularly fond of, and from the gorgeous opening melody, through the exquisite slow movement, to the high octane finale, it is easy to see why.

THE VANBRUGH

The Vanbrugh has evolved from the work of the legendary Vanbrugh Quartet. Over three decades the quartet gave close to three thousand concerts, presenting the chamber music repertoire to audiences throughout Ireland, Europe, the Americas and the Far East. Commercial recordings include more than thirty CDs of repertoire, ranging from the complete Beethoven quartets to many contemporary Irish works. In 2016 the group was presented with the National Concert Hall’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their contribution to music in Ireland. For this concert the core members of the Vanbrugh, Keith Pascoe, Simon Aspell and Christopher Marwood, welcome two wonderful colleagues, violinist Marja Gaynor and violist Ed Creedon.

Marja Gaynor, violin

Marja Gaynor was born in Finland but has been based in Cork since 2005. She was awarded a 1st class honours MA at Cork School of Music, and continued her Baroque violin studies at The Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Pavlo Beznosiuk.

Marja is a member of the Irish Baroque Orchestra and Camerata Kilkenny. Both ensembles have released much-acclaimed recordings and toured nationally and internationally.  Marja is also a founder member of Giordani Quartet, Ireland’s only chamber group specialising in early Classical repertoire using period instruments.

Outside Ireland Marja works with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra and other leading European period orchestras, and is increasingly in demand as a leader, soloist and workshop facilitator. She was the Artistic Director of East Cork Early Music Festival 2013-2015, and has also been invited to act as guest curator for the Kaleidoscope Night concert series.

With her various areas of interest and expertise (Baroque, traditional music, and improvisation) Marja is much sought after as an arranger, studio musician and collaborator in all genres. Her proudest project to date was her critically acclaimed arrangement of Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas’ (Cork Opera House), and she also arranged and played the strings of ‘Falling Slowly’ for the movie ‘Once’, Oscar winner for best song in 2008.

Ed Creedon, viola

Ed Creedon enjoys a varied career as a viola player, performing chamber music, in recitals and as an orchestral musician. Recent performances include the National Concert Hall Chamber Music Gathering, tours throughout Ireland with the Lir String Quartet, tours to Finland, France and India with Camerata Ireland as well as solo performances with Camerata Ireland and Barry Douglas.

Chamber music highlights include performances with the Vanbrugh Quartet, as well as appearances with the Ficino Ensemble in Dublin, the Piatti Quartet in the U.K., at the Ortús Festival in Cork, and repeat invitations to the Clandeboye Festival in Belfast and the Killaloe Festival of Chamber Music. For four consecutive summers he took part in the West Cork Chamber Music Festival’s Young Musicians Programme.

Ed comes from Cork and studied with Constantin Zanidache and Simon Aspell at the Cork School of Music.

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St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend

St. Barrahane’s Church, Castletownshend, Co. Cork, Ireland.

In the Parish of Castlehaven.

History.

This parish first appears in the decretal epistle of Pope Innocent III (1199) as Glenberchin.

In the visitation book of 1615 it is called Glenbarahan.

The patron saint has been identified with Berehan, son of Man of Sil Ludach Laidhe.

The eastern gable of the original Church still stands in the old graveyard at Castlehaven, at the south-western end of the harbour.

Owing to a movement of the Protestant population eastwards to the village then forming, now called Castletownshend, a petition was sent in 1756 to the Lord Lieutenant and his Majesty’s Privy Council of Ireland asking permission to build a church more in the centre of the parish “owing to the danger of shipwreck suffered by the devout on their way to church in winter”.

This petition was granted the same year by the Lords Justice and Council of Ireland and a church was built on the existing site in 1761. An acre of land for the church and graveyard was sold to the parish by Richard Townsend for the nominal price of five shillings.

This Church cannot have been well built or maintained as there is an entry in the minute book of the Select Vestry, dated 19th April, 1824, which reads: “Resolved that from the ruinous state of the present Church it is absolutely expedient that a new one be built.” The present church was therefor built on the same site, in 1826, at a cost of £1,384. 12s3¾d.

On December 16th 1976 a service of thanksgiving was held for the 150 years of use of the present Church. At this sesquicentenary service, the sermon was preached by the then Primate of all Ireland, the Most Reverend Dr. G. O. Simms. There was a large congregation of many denominations.

Patronage.

The ancient patrons of the living were the chiefs of the O’Driscoll Clan. After the rebellion in1601 and subsequent flight to Spain it was granted alternately to the Bishop of Ross and the British Crown. This arrangement continued until the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1870.

Building.

The architect was James Pain, Provincial Architect.

The Church is built of stone from Horse Island. This is the larger island at the mouth of the harbour. For some unknown reason it was most clearly stated in the specification that no American timber was to be used anywhere in the Church. Originally it had the high box pews, each with its own door, that were normal at the period. These were replaced by the present pews in 1889.

Church Approaches.

There are fifty-two steps up to the Church, one for every Sunday of the year. The iron arches and handrail are of local craftsmanship, the former in the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Chavasse and the latter in memory of the Vice-Admiral Boyle Somerville, C.M.G. and Mrs. Somerville of the Point House.

Church Doors.

The outer Church doors, erected in 1950 and made of teak, are in memory of the Very Reverend Harry Becher, late Dean of Ross and Mrs. Becher. He was Rector of this Parish from 1891-1914. The inner doors erected in 1948 are of oak and are in memory of Major Henry Chavasse of Seafield.

The Porch.

Here is an oar from a ship’s boat of “SS Lusitania” sunk by enemy action in 1915, not far from the harbour. It stands here in memory of the many drowned passengers and crew who were brought into the harbour.

Windows.

The East Window:

This represents the Blessed Virgin and the Child Christ. On their right are the Three Kings with their gifts of gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. On the left are the Shepherds with St. Joseph in the background. The three Saints in the headlights are St. Brigid, one of the patron saints of Ireland, St. Fachtna, founder of the diocese of Ross, and St. Barrahane, patron saint of this parish. The window is by Harry Clarke of Dublin (1889-1931) one of the greatest glass craftsmen of modern times. It was substituted (by permission) for an earlier window that was erected in 1872 by Thomas Somerville, D.L. of Drishane House, in this parish, in memory of his wife, Henrietta Townsend of Castletownshend. The present window was given in the year 1915 by the grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Somerville to the memory of their grandparents.

Window in the South Wall of the Chancel:

Here is a small window of exceptional beauty also by Harry Clarke. It is in memory of Sir Egerton Coghill, Bart., of Glenbarrahane, himself a painter, and represents St. Luke the Apostle, patron of painters. Note the head of the Blessed Virgin sketched on the palette in the Saint’s hand. Round the central figure in miniature are the figures of St. John, St. Fidelis (name-day saint of Sir Egerton), St. Barrahane holding the Church and St. Cecilia seated at her organ.

The Eastern Window on the North Side:

This is a memorial to LT. Col. Thomas henry Somerville Drishane. It represents Archangels Gabriel ad Michael (the Messenger of the Lord and Captain of the Heavenly hosts respectively). The details of the wings, armour and vestments are worthy of note, especially the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The window is by Powell of London.

The Eastern Most window on the South Side

Is in memory of the Colonel’s wife Adelaide, born Coghill. It represents Hope and Charity and is also by Powell.

Second Window on the South Side:

This is a memorial to Sir Joscelyn Coghill, Bart., and to his eldest son, Lieu. Neville Coghill, V.C., who died saving the colours of his regiment, the first Battalion of the 24th Foot (which later became the South Wales Borderers), at the battle of Isandlwhana against the Zulu’s. The two figures are those of St. Patrick and St. George. Between them may be seen the Irish Sea. This is another Powell window.

Third Window on the South Side is in memory of Colonel Kendall Coghill, C.B. a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. On the left can be seen St. Louis (Louis IX, King of France), an ancestor of Colonel Coghill. Over the head of the Saint are the poor men who used to fed at his table and, in the headlight is the ship in which he sailed to the east to fight the infidels, and the angels who guarded his ship. On the right is St. Martin of Tours, patron of soldiers. He was met by a poor beggar asking for clothing. St. Martin promptly cut his cloak I two with his sword, giving half to the beggar who kneels in the foreground. In the headlight can be seen the flaming sword of St. Martin. The window is also by Harry Clarke.

The bronze chandeliers, also the stone tablet on the North Wall are in memory of Dr. E. Œ. Somerville, Litt. D. The latter was designed by W.H. Sharpington. Both were subscribed for by the Doctor’s many American admirers.

Dr. Somerville is buried on the bank at the east end of the Church. Her grave is marked by a rough country stone, which she had chosen herself. Her lifelong friend and collaborator, Violet Martin (Martin Ross) lies beside her.

A symposium of the life and work of Somerville and Ross was organised by the parish in 1984.

The Chancel.

The holy table is of oak and very ancient, the greater part being worked with an adze and not a plane. The reredos will repay examination. On the right are the soldiers sleeping outside the empty tomb. Below the retable are two men in prayer.

The Holy Table and reredos had previously been in the hall of Shanacourt, a house in the village. Their earlier history is unknown but some believe they came from the original Parish Church. The whole is of great antiquity and was presented to the Church in memory of Violet Martin, by her friend and cousin, Dr. E. Œ. Somerville.

The Cross on the Holy Table was presented in 1964 in memory of Capt. Henry Owen Dabridgecourt Becher. It was made by Egan of Cork. Previously Canon 36 of the Church of Ireland forbade a Cross in this position.

The Floor Mosaic was designed by Dr. E. Œ. Somerville. It is based on Celtic symbols and decorations and includes the fish (the primitive symbol of the holy name), and two representations of the Ardagh Chalice. It was laid in 1925 by Rust & Co. of England. Most of the gold mosaic had to be replaced in 1964.

The Baptistery.

This is on the north side of the Church. It was originally the private pew of the Townshends of the Castle and the present Vestry was their anteroom. The font cover is in memory of Mrs. Judith Isabel Chavasse of Seafield. It is a copy, made in Rosscarbery, of an ancient font cover in St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, Youghal. Around the baptistery are stalls, which bear the arms of some incumbents of the parish. Two boards bearing their names hang in the baptistery. The cushions were made by the ladies of the parish. The large marble memorial on the west wall is a history of the Townshend family. It was erected in 1903 by Mrs. Geraldine Henrietta Townshend Mundy. (N.B.  Since 1870 some branches of the Townsend family have spelt their name Townshend.)

The Organ Loft.

The Organ, which was built by Foster & Andrews of Hull in 1872 and installed at a cost of £168.0.6d., carries a plaque stating that Dr. E. Œ. Somerville acted as organist for seventy years, from 1875 to 1945. It was restored in 1957 in memory of Jane Townsend of the Red House.

June 1996.

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Leap

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Skibbereen

The thriving town of Skibbereen is the capital of West Cork, centre for all the agricultural, industrial and tourist activities of a wide region.

Skibbereen located on the bank of the River Ilen is the ‘hub’ of West Cork, it is the ideal base from which to discover the choice of beautiful fishing villages – all within 10-15 minutes’ drive. Mizen Head, Baltimore, Glandore, Union Hall, Ballydehob and Castletownshend – all quaint and remarkably unspoilt. There is also Carberys Hundred Isles, some of the islands such as Sherkin and Cape Clear just minutes by boat from Baltimore in West Cork.

Skibbereen is situated just 1hr 20 minutes from Cork or 2hrs from Kerry.
Skibbereen things to see and do:
Skibbereen Heritage Centre located in the restored Old Gasworks Building riverside in Skibbereen town is where you will find a number of interesting Exhibitions including, The Great Famine Commemoration Exhibition and The Lough Hyne Interpretative Centre.
Follow the Skibbereen Trail, a historical walking tour of old Skibbereen and visit sites which have direct links with the Great Famine. Include the West Cork Art Centre, a focus for many of the activities of local artists, craftspeople and writers who have come to live in this area.
In the immediate area, there is an 18-hole golf course, game and sea angling, coarse fishing, walking and cycling, scuba diving and sites of international archaeological interest. Experience on a boat trip some of West Cork’s now renowned sea life activity Dolphins, Whales and more, who seem to favour our Irish waters. Also nearby is Lough Hyne, Irelands first Marine Nature Reserve.

How to find Lough Hyne
Lough Hyne can be found just a 10 minute drive from Skibbereen town centre. Wonderful to explore in all weathers but particularly on a fine day. The area is popular for Kayaking, Snorkelling, exploring the Marine Life, swimming, forest, road walking and more. From Skibbereen town centre you will follow the N71, then 2nd exit at the roundabout following the R595 and at the next roundabout again take the 2nd exit and then the next left, slight right, left again at arrive at Lough Hyne West Cork.
Find out about the history, folklore and formation of this renowned natural phenomenon at Skibbereen Heritage Centre. But Skibbereen, the town, has more to offer. When the Irish Famine took its toll in the mid 1800’s, the town of Skibbereen was one of the worst affected in all of Ireland, a fact testified by the mass graves at Abbeystrewry, where almost 10,000 are buried. This era is remembered in The Great Famine Exhibition at Skibbereen Heritage Centre. There are also guided historical tours around Skibbereen so why not explore its history. Skibbereen Festivals include Skibbereen’s annual Carbery Agricultural Show in July. The West Cork Garden Trail is held annually throughout June and you can find local gardens to visit i.e. Pinetree Lodge Garden, Drishane House & Gardens Castletownshend and Glebe Gardens Baltimore.
Cycling in West Cork and the Skibbereen area
There are 3 main routes such as the 3 hour Atlantic Coastal Loop taking in many of West Corks beautiful headlands, the 3 house Baltimore Loop, and around the Lough Hyne area, and finally the Mount Kid Loop a 3 to 4 hour cycle taking in Roaringwater Bay, Mount Kid and back to Skibbereen. If you have not brought your own bicycle you can hire a bike in Skibbereen town and away you go. Cool off at the local Tragumna Beach for all those swimmers and paddlers. Drive up to Toe Head and take in some wonderful views.

Skibbereen’s Farmers Market held every Saturday morning in Skibbereen’s town centre is a delight, where you can purchase local produce such as fruit, vegetables and herbs, freshly baked breads and cakes, local West Cork Honey, cheeses (such as the well-known award winning Gubbeen Cheese) and organic meats, and locally caught fish, what could be better, and local crafts such as Bog Wood Sculptures, Hand Crafted Furniture from Irish Timber and Local Pottery.

With 26 pubs in the town and award winning restaurants scattered all around, there is also plenty to do in the evening. Skibbereen truly offers the visitor an a la carte menu, with something for everyone’s taste – great places to visit, superb shopping, boating, cycling, whale watching, rowing, not to mention the famous Olympian rowing local stars the O’Donovan brothers, excellent accommodation, a wide selection of Skibbereen pubs and restaurants and that relaxed atmosphere that has made West Cork famous throughout the world.
Local towns, villages and islands close to Skibbereen:
Ballydehob
Baltimore
Union Hall
Leap
Glandore
Castletownshend
Schull
Rosscarbery
Sherkin Island accessed by boat from Baltimore
Cape Clear Island accessed by boat from Baltimore
Heir Island accessed by boat from Castletownbere
Long Island accessed by boat from Schull

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Union Hall

Nearly hidden in its own harbour, this small port of Union Hall has always had a strong seafaring tradition and now provides a safe shelter for its own active fishing fleet as well as anchorage to pleasure boats, and calm water for skiing, diving and canoeing.

The new causeway leading into the village creates a natural lagoon and the sweep of homes and shops surrounding it lend a vision of brightly coloured ribbons on the water’s surface.

A left turn off the causeway leads to Keelbeg Pier. Depending on the season, angling and deep-sea fishing are popular and many return year after year to enjoy the bounty of the sport.

Boat hire for visiting some of the off shore Islands is available locally, and the entire village and surrounds offer choice for a leisurely stroll or a serious hike. Union Hall is a remarkably Irish village with its roots steeped in history. Archaeological remains dot the area. Castle ruins and forts can be searched out, and a Holy Well dedicated to St. Brigid remains a yearly pilgrimage made by many devotees on the first day of February.

Drombeg Stone Circle is only a short distance from Glandore. In latter times the village had its share of admirers, and in the 1700’s was lauded by the great patriot dean of Ireland, Jonathan Swift. More recently it was chosen by the director / producer Lord David Puttnam as the venue for one of his latest films “War of The Buttons.”

There are two provision shops, a craft shop, a knitwear shop, a bureau de change / post office, numerous B&B’s and an excellent hostel built in the old stone schoolhouse which also plays host to Sunday evening Traditional music sessions featuring some of Ireland’s top talents, tapas and wine. Good craic and entertainment are the norm at the local pubs and the Union Hall Festival is held yearly in June, featuring games and water sports of all kinds.

Union Hall is just one hour’s drive from Cork taking the N71 you will be driving through Innishannon, Ballinascarty, Clonakilty and Rosscarbery . Union Hall is a very peaceful town in West Cork, a great place to enjoy some walks such as a stroll along Tra Lan Beach Walk and a one hour walk in Rineen Wood Walk. Enjoy the Beaches and Coves in Union Hall such as Keelbeg Strand and The Cusheen out by the Reen Pier, and the beach at Carrigillihy.

While you are staying in Union Hall why not enjoy a visit to Skibbereen and the beautiful area of Lough Hyne, travel on to Castletownshend of Somerville and Ross history, and on to the seaside town of Baltimore for some Whale and Dolphin watching and the lovely Ballydehob.

Likewise, a drive into Bantry town is just 40 minutes from Union Hall, where you can enjoy some shopping and a visit to Bantry House afterwards, or take in some of the wonderful walks in Bantry and its surrounding areas including the Sheep’s Head Peninsula walk, the Knocknaveagh and Vaughan’s Pass walk starting from Bantry town square and the Abbey and Rope Walk Loop. Union Hall offers lots of water based activities such as Kayaking, and Sailing.
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