The villages of West Cork love a party but Baltimore and the Islands have more festivals than anywhere else. So what better place than Casey's of Baltimore to get all the advice and information you need on things to do in West Cork and what each of the Baltimore and Islands festivals have to offer? There is plenty to be enjoyed, so whether its music, food, fishing, sailing, arts or literature, there is something for everyone and much to celebrate…as we look forward to The Gathering 2013
Baltimore Fiddle Fair 2013 Programme
During the Baltimore Fiddle Fair, – Small festival, big reputation - May 9th – 12th traditional Irish music fills Baltimore square and pubs.The Baltimore Fiddle Fair is a very unique festival. It consistently features a world-class line-up of national and international acts (worthy of any major city festival) yet present them in intimate settings in and around the beautiful seaside village of Baltimore in West Cork.
Please visit Baltimore Fiddle fair Video Film.
9pm Dún na Séad:
Candlelit Concert with John Carty and Arty McGlynn
9pm Fiddle Fair Marquee:
1pm Dún na Séad:
Liam Flanagan & Derek Hickey
3pm Glebe Gardens:
Reel It In'
John Doyle, Bruce Molsky & Casey Driessen
9pm Fiddle Fair Marquee:
Casey Driessen Singularity
Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole
1pm Dún na Séad:
Toner Quinn and Malachy Bourke
3pm Glebe Gardens:
The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc
Colm Mac Con Iomaire & Guests
9pm Fiddle Fair Marquee:
Una Palliser & Marco Hatlak
Thank you for the phenomenal response and support of the FiddleFair! You can further your support buy purchasing a full season pass for only €125 (a €25 savings!) and see ALL these incredible acts for one amazing price!
Since its humble beginnings in 1992 it has grown and developed to become perhaps Irelands best-loved small music festival and has a reputation for innovation and excellence that encourages many visitors to come back every year from UK, Europe, USA and from all over Ireland.
The combination of the truly exceptional talent on show, along with the stunning setting of our concerts and the friendliness of the local community means that many visitors return each year to sample the unique delights of this festival.
The Baltimore Fiddle Fair is a jewel in the crown of Irish festivals – taking place on the second weekend of May every year, it is looked upon as being the ‘kick start’ of the Irish festival season and the beginning of the Summer Season in Baltimore.
As usual there'll be a selection of top class workshops and numerous sessions going on all weekend.
Baltimore Seafood & Wooden Boat Festival
On 24 – 26th May Homage is paid to the bounty of the sea during the annual Baltimore Seafood Festival. There is a variety of events including Music, Song & Irish Dancing in the Baltimore square and then the tradition of boatbuilding industry in Baltimore, Ireland, is remembered at the Wooden Boat Festival on the same weekend.
O'Driscoll Clan & Midsummer Festival in Baltimore, West Cork
The facts and myths of the O'Driscoll clan are celebrated 28 – 30th June. The charming coastal village of Baltimore is situated on one of the most south-westerly points of Ireland, renowned for its attractive landscape, unspoiled coastlines and Carbery’s Hundred isles.
The O’Driscolls having been having their annual Clan Gathering in this part of West Cork for the past twenty three years. Their name has long being associated with the area and in 1961 there was a one-off gathering attended by more than 400 people from around the world. The gathering in its current format, held over the last weekend in June, has been held annually since 1986.
The schedule for the clan gathering is organised as a festival known as the “O’ Driscoll Clan Mid Summer festival”, showcasing the area’s natural beauty and involving the local community. The festival has a full programme throughout the weekend. The registration of Clan members takes place in “Dun Na Sead” Castle followed by a talk on O’ Driscoll heritage by a local historian. There are boat trips to the nearby islands of Heir, Sherkin and Cape Clear as well as a trip around Carbery’s Hundred Isles. Back in Baltimore there is a lot of traditional Open Air music and dancing on the square each evening and on the last day (Sunday) the Chieftain addresses the Clan. A new chieftain is elected every two years and is chosen by the past chieftains along with the local committee that organises the clan gathering.
On this day there is also entertainment and face painting for the children making it a real family day out?
Actually, there is no Square in Baltimore, but in the Irish way, that’s what the Harbour front is referred to by the locals.
The Clan Gathering, in many ways, is like a large Family Gathering. There’s that celebratory, party atmosphere of family and friends meeting up who don’t see each other too often, but who are aware of who’s who. There the exchange of stories about others not present this time. There’s a mix of ages. Some clan members bring their children with them. There’s singing, drinking, speeches, and dining.
The “O” part of the surname was often dropped and the spelling of Driscoll changed by many O’ Driscolls once they had emigrated so even if you you are just plain Driscoll or one of its other versions you will be welcomed into the clan. Everyone is considered a cousin.
But why would you want to travel many miles – from Australia, Canada, England, Scotland, The United States and Wales to meet lots of people who have the same name as you but are not closely related. Many feel it like being part of an extended family all returning home (to their roots) to meet up with each other. Somewhere back along the line all of the O’ Driscolls originated in the area. They get to feel a part of the local community. A lot of those attending are back for the umpteenth time and intend continuing to return. Many build their annual holiday around the gathering.
Baltimore itself has a permanent population of just over two hundred, although it grows every summer with visitors who cannot help but return and who are now very much part of local life.
Fishing and the Sea have always played an important in the history and economy of the village. Many of the ruined castles standing sentinel on lonely headlands are the ancient homes of the piratical O’ Driscoll clan, who once held sway over a thousand square miles of south-west Ireland.
Although the quiet harbour resemble the Aegean during the summer, in winter violent storms blast in from the Atlantic. However the harbour and village is protected from the worst of them by Carbery’s Hundred isles, including Sherkin Island and Cape Clear.
Because of its maritime tradition, Baltimore is well known as one of the best places in the country for water-sports, including sailing, windsurfing, sea angling and diving. You can even learn how to do these while visiting.
Spring arrives earlier here than almost anywhere else in Ireland, owing to our extreme southerly position and warming influence of the Gulf Stream. Sharp frosts are rare, snow almost unheard of, and as you will see from nearby gardens many shrubs grow well all year round and there is no month where you can’t find a flower somewhere for your enjoyment.
Local wildlife, including a number of rare birds, also enjoy our mild climate. Out at sea, perhaps on the way to picnic on an uninhabited island you’ll often spot Seals sunning themselves on wave washed rocks or Whales and Dolphins following your boat. With plenty of restaurants and pubs in the village and nearby locality there is no shortage of places to eat and drink. With so much to offer in the locality there is no better place to come for a relaxing holiday.
Baltimore Pirate Festival
21 June to 23rd June
Pirates of Baltimore:
The attack in June 1631 by Barbery corsairs was the worst-ever attack on the mainland of Ireland or Britain, also known as ‘the Sack of Baltimore’ - 107 slaves were taken and sold on the markets in Algiers. Recently an archaeological team discovered a pirate shipwreck, you can visit the pirate exhibit in Dún na Séad Castle and follow the history through the Heritage Walk, in books by local authors and artefacts & displays in local bars.
A weekend of events remembering in an entertaining and informative way one of the most remarkable events in Baltimore's colourful past – the attack by Algerian pirates in 1631 known as 'the Sack of Baltimore'. The festival includes attractions for all ages based around the theme of the Sack and the history of pirates and piracy.
There are races to be won at Sherkin Regatta, Baltimore Regatta (2 – 5th August).
Of all the attractions that Baltimore offers, sailing is possibly the best known, but sailing in Baltimore doesn't just mean expensive off-shore cruises, crewed by visiting yachtsmen. At the core of the sport are the numerous dinghy sailors who find the harbour and the islands an unbeatable source of relaxation and fun.
The true delight of sailing in Baltimore is to visit some of the many islands which dot the waters of Roaringwater Bay. A beautiful summer's day; a picnic in one of the coves between Baltimore and Schull; a voyage to Cape Clear or Heir. Heavenly!
If you're not a keen sailor, maybe try kayaking (sea or lake) or hire a boat with an engine to explore the harbour.
Cape Clear Storytelling Festival
Stories are told on Cape Clear in September
Baltimore West Cork Sea-angling Festival
There are fish to be caught during the Baltimore Sea-angling Festival Aug 22-25th 2013.
South West Ireland's longest-running deep sea angling competition is noted for exciting fishing and an atmosphere of friendly rivalry. It is open to all and usually attracts anglers from all over Ireland and abroad. A separate one-day shark fishing contest will be followed by a three-day bottom fishing competition for fish like conger, ling, pollack, cod, common skate, etc. Trophies and prizes will be presented at a prize-giving dinner on the last night. Anglers can enter for as many or as few days as they wish as there will also be daily cash prizes presented after fishing each day.
The fishing is catch-and-return with results determined on a points-per-fish basis so fish can be returned alive to the sea. In addition, sharks and skate caught will be tagged as part of the Central fisheries Board tagging programme for purposes of scientific research. The boats employed are all licensed and fully-equipped charter boats with qualified skippers.
Baltimore Walking Weekend
Saturday 29 th September
Lough Hyne & The Rapids – 1.15 pm
Meet at Lough Hyne wood car park for registration.
Walk to Glanafeen over private land to view the medieval
St. Bridget’s church and other historical sites, the research centre and the rapids.
Afterwards the walk will continue on the Lough Hyne loop where you will enjoy panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean.
Walk to Glanafeen: 1 hour approx – not suitable for buggies.
Lough Hyne loop walk: 1.5 hours approx - moderate / energetic walk on road over hill with steep incline.
Sunday 30 th September
Baltimore Heritage Walk – 11 am
Meet at Casey’s Hotel car park for registration. Heritage walk around Baltimore including visit to Tullagh, the old railway station and optional tour of Dún na Séad Castle (entrance fee €3 pp) and / or “tea & scone” afterwards in Casey’s €3.30 Walk approx 1.5 hours, suitable for all.
Cape Clear Island - 10.45 am
Meet on Baltimore Pier for registration / ferry trip to Cape departing at 11 (walk starts at 12noon outside An Siopa Beag, Cape Clear). Oileán Chléire is Ireland's southernmost inhabited Gaeltacht island. Famous for its wild romantic scenery, sparkling harbours, cliffs and bogs and lake, heather, gorse and wild flowers and
birdlife and wonderful views of a 14th century O’Driscoll castle, the islands in Roaringwater Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Fastnet Lighthouse.
Walk approx 2.5 hours, suitable for "all-terrain buggies" on rough terrain.
Return ferry at 4 pm. Ferry costs €16 pp, family 2 adults/2 children €40 & children €8
Please Note: All youngsters must be accompanied by an adult
Suitable clothing & footwear required. Sorry — no dogs allowed.
Information: 028-20134 or 028-20143
Suggested Donation per person per walk €5.00 Youngsters aged 10 to 15 €2.50
Children under 10 free
Disclaimer: participants are responsible for their own safety. No responsibility can be accepted by landowners or by the event organisers and leaders / sweepers for any loss, damage or injury sustained during the walks.