This month, the West Cork Islands Festival, a unique event taking place on all eight of offshore islands (Bere, Cape Clear, Dursey, Garnish, Whiddy, Heir, Long and Sherkin), takes place on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15. The Islands community council has worked hard to put together a programme that promises an action-packed weekend where you can learn all about the heritage and history of these magical Islands.
The West Cork Islands Festival was first launched in 2011 with the aim of showcasing the islands of West Cork, as not only somewhere to visit, but also to encourage people to relocate and set up home on the islands. Cork is one of only six counties in the country to have permanent island communities; seven are inhabited; Garnish Island is the only uninhabited one.
Visitors attending the festival are encouraged to ‘be an islander’ for the weekend. Reduced prices will be available on the ferries and at all events being staged on the islands, along with many free activities. A wide variety of activities and events will be on offer throughout the islands, including guided walks, historical talks, lace making, holistic treatments, art exhibitions, juggling workshops and water based activities. Evening events will include live music, sampling fresh local seafood in island restaurants, and enjoying the craic, and maybe a singsong in the local pubs.
Islanders themselves are organising and participating in many of the events throughout the weekend, and will be on hand to discuss their experiences of island life with visitors.
Check individual island pages for information on events, ferry and cable car times or see westcorkislands.com.