Celebrate this year's Festival with Manchán Magan Mael Brigde Rita O Loughlin Siobhán Mac Mahon Dolores Whelan Roisin Cotter Dundalk Writers Group Maura Lennon Stephanie O’Hanlon Geraldine Whelan O'Meara
Please click below for Festival 2024 schedule.
Manchán Magan has written books on his travels in Africa, India and South
America. He writes occasionally for The Irish Times and presents the Almanac
of Ireland podcast for RTÉ. He has made dozens of documentaries on issues of
world culture for TG4, RTÉ, & Travel Channel. His books include Thirty-Two
Words For Field, Listen to the Land Speak, Tree Dogs, Banshee Fingers and
Other Words For Nature, and Wolf-Men and Water Hounds. With Antic-Ham,
he’s collaborated on two art books for Redfoxpress.
Mael Brigde presents ”This World and the Other – Magical Stories with the
Saint and the Goddess, Brigit.”
Mael Brigde is a devotee of Brigit, goddess and saint, and the founder of the
Daughters of the Flame, which has tended Brigit’s perpetual fire since La Fhéile
Bhríde 1993. She publishes a general interest Brigit blog, Brigit’s Sparkling
Flame, and a Brigit poetry blog, Stone on the Belly. (Submissions welcome.) Her
reviews of Brigit-related books are gathered in her paper, “A Long Sip at the
Well” (she is working on part two) and “The Mythical Pairing of Brig and Bres”
discusses Brigit as sovereignty goddess. They are available on Academia.edu.
Her courses and webinars on Brigit include “Journey with Brigit, Goddess of
Poetry,” an intensive online class that explores reading and writing poetry as a
sacred act, with a deep focus on the poet in Ireland.
Mael Brigde is the author of Sun Among Stars: A Brigit of Ireland Devotional, a
collection of contemplative poetry, essays and resources. She lives in
Rita O Loughlin
Rita O Loughlin from Portarlington has always been passionate about art,heritage and communities. Her love for Brigid and her cloak (Brat) and her firm belief in the magical healing power Brigid represents, were borne out over many years of upcycling and embroidering preloved scarves to gift to family and friends as Brat Bhrides. Rita has brought this award-winning initiative @mybratbhride to many festivals, schools and community centres the width and breadth of Ireland.
The aim of the project is to revive this ancient tradition of the Brat Bhride, a healing scarf left outside on a branch on the eve of Imbolc/Brigid’s day and imbued with Brigid’s energy as she passes over the land. It was then kept in a special place in the home so that it could be used for its healing power throughout the year.
Siobhán Mac Mahon
Siobhán Mac Mahon (MA Creative Writing) is an award-winning poet who has been writing and performing her poetry for over twenty years. Siobhán has collaborated extensively with other artists to create Spoken Word projects, combining poetry with music, dance and with film. Shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writing Poetry award 2018, She has been published both online and in print, most recently in a Bloodaxe/ Raving Beauties Anthology – Hallelujah for 50 Foot Women, the Irish Times and in Skylight 47.
Winner of WOMAD Festival poetry slam 2017 & The Ilkley Literature Open Mic. She has performed at: Sirius Arts Centre, O Bheal, The Wicklow Arts Festival, The Brigid of Faughart Festival, Mountshannon Arts Festival and the Dromineer and Nenagh Literary Festival, as well as at numerous locations in the UK, including the Southbank Centre, London.
Siobhán is also an experienced and skilled facilitator, who has many years of creating and delivering writing workshops in a wide range of communities and settings.
Dolores Whelan, founder of the Brigid of Faughart Festival, is an educator, author and spiritual guide within the spiritual and mythological tradition of Ireland. She is passionate about the protection of sacred landscapes and the celebration of ancient Celtic traditions.
Dolores has been involved with education all her adult life. For the past 30 years as an educator and spiritual guide in human and spiritual development. She is author of Ever Ancient, Ever New – Celtic Spirituality for the 21st Century (second edition 2011). She is a contributor to Celtic Threads (1999), The Quiet Quarter Anthology (2009) and Of Constant Heart (2010) and Brigit Sun of Womanhood (2013)
Roisin Cotter lives near Faughart and is a tutor in Organic Horticulture. Roisin has been part of the festival team for several years and leads the Cross & Crios Making Workshops with Maura Lennon.
Dundalk Writers Group
The Dundalk Writers Group are a group of aspiring writers and poets who meet bi-monthly to share their work in a supportive environment. From time to time, they also publish and organise events.
Maura Lennon was one of the founders of the Brigid of Faughart Festival in 2008 and is an expert maker of Brigid’s Crosses. Maura is a native of Faughart and has many wonderful stories of growing up around St. Brigid’s Shrine and the traditions which were widespread throughout the North Louth/South Armagh area to do with Brigid and the celebration of her feast day on 1st February each year. Maura is a font of knowledge about Faughart and has led many workshops in Cross & Crios Making over the years.
Stephanie O’Hanlon had her first experience of Circle Dance as a teenager. Since then, Stephanie has trained and worked in Dance, Ritual and Meditation. She is also a Reiki and Indian Head Massage practitioner.
She has trained and worked extensively with Martine Winnington, Switzerland, in the Bach Flower Remedy Dances. Stephanie sees dancing as a way of developing awareness of self, of connecting with others, with our environment and beyond. As well as giving workshops, Stephanie facilitates a regular Circle Dance Group in Dundalk once a month.
Geraldine Whelan O'Meara
Geraldine is an Intuitive Coach and Teacher whose work is Heart Centred and allows people to connect to the inner garden of their heart and the deepest part of themselves.