High praise for Clifden: True republic of the arts

Fri, Sep 21, 2012, 01:00

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins last night launched the 35th Clifden Arts Festival by declaring the town “a true republic of the arts”.

Speaking at Clifden Community School, Mr Higgins praised its reputation as one of Ireland’s leading community arts festivals, saying that “by drawing on your own resources and determination, the people of Clifden are bringing positive change at a living, local level”.

However, he also paid tribute to its “uninhibited ambition” to bring strong national and international work to the Galway town.

“Each September many of you gather here to celebrate your creativity amongst like-minded people, to exchange ideas, progress your work and to support and encourage new and emerging talent,” he said. “For a brief moment this entire townland is transformed as a remarkable programme of events unfolds and Clifden becomes a true republic of the arts.”

This year’s festival includes concerts by the Dubliners, the Saw Doctors, De Danann, the Waterboys, Bill Whelan, and pianist Finghin Collins.

There will also be readings by poets Paul Durcan and Denis O’Driscoll, while the Irish Museum of Modern Art has collaborated in an exhibition of works by Jack B Yeats and Richard Long.

The highlight of the festival is likely to be the DruidMurphy programme, which will see performances of two Tom Murphy plays, Conversations on a Homecoming and Whistle in the Dark. Both of these critically acclaimed shows are sold out.