Ballina 2023: Year of the French Festival - Visit North Mayo

Ballina 2023: Year of the French Festival

Ballina 2023 is collaborating with the French Embassy, Mayo County Council (Ballina Municipal District) and In Humbert’s Footsteps to commemorate the ‘Year of the French‘, which marks 200 years since the death of General Humbert, and 225 years since his landing in Killala Bay.

A series of events will take place throughout the year, culminating in a weekend of festivities from August 18th -22nd in Ballina. This is part of a wider programme of events between Ireland and France, our closest EU neighbours, which celebrates the long-standing friendship between the two countries,

The Year 2023 will also celebrate 30 years of our twinning with Athis-Mons in Paris, France.

Programme of Events

Throughout:

EXHIBITION: ‘1798’, An exhibition featuring items from the 1798 voyage with a visual installation depicting the landing and legacy of General Humbert in Ireland.
Jackie Clarke Collection, free admission. 10am – 5pm, Friday 18 and Tuesday 22 August

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Friday, August 18:

6pm: French Lane renaming and Plaque Unveiling (Pearse St, beside McHale’s Solicitors)

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Saturday, August 19:

12pm – 6pm, Market Square Plaza, Ballina
Living History by In Humbert’s Footsteps – see the French, British and United Irishmen encampment in Ballina’s Market Square Plaza in this year’s event.

This is the largest living history event produced by In Humbert’s Footsteps this year, so be sure not to miss it! Members of the public are invited to participate by dressing up (See below).

3pm, the Jackie Clarke Collection Garden
Scéal Bródúil Mhaigh Eo – A Play by Tommy Cooke, telling the story of the impact of 1798 on Mayo (to include a rendition of La Marseillaise).

7.30pm, Ballina Arts Centre

Welcome reception

 8pm: Irish Premiére of short film ‘Nightfire’ by local director Topher Neville

A light-hearted short film in the style of Alfred Hitchcock
(Film was premiéred in 2021 at the Athis-Mons DiviPassion Film Festival)

followed by
Screening of RTÉ’s ‘The Year of the French’ (specially commissioned edit of all six episodes)
Filmed in Killala in 1981 and featuring many local residents as extras. Directed by Michael Garvey, adapted from a novel by Thomas Flanagan.

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Sunday, August 20:

10am: Kilcummin Harbour
Unveiling of plaque by Gráinne Uaile Sub Aqua Club
Attended by representatives from the French Navy

11am – 1pm, Market Square Plaza, Ballina
Living History by In Humbert’s Footsteps – see the French, British and United Irishmen set up camp in Ballina’s old market area.
(Members of the public are invited to participate by dressing up – see below)

12pm, Humbert St

Wreath-laying at the Humbert Memorial Monument
By Deputy French Ambassador to Ireland, Marianne Barkan Cowdy

1.30pm – 2.30pm, Pearse St

In Humbert’s Footsteps: Spectacular Napoleonic Battle Re-enactment, Pearse St
Featuring the blue-clad French, British Redcoats & Irish Rebel Pikemen.

4.30pm – 6pm, The Mary Robinson Centre

Seminar: ‘The legacy of 1798 and the French Landing in Ireland’
With Sylvie Kleiman, Ruan O’Donnell and Paddy Cullivan

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW

For full details of all this event, and of all events taking place as part of Ballina2023, please visit the event page on the Ballina 2023 website here.

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