French Mayo Festival 2016

A Taste of France along the Wild Atlantic Way

French Mayo Festival Logo

 French Mayo Festival set to make its mark on Mayo

This year, the very successful French Ballina and  Food Fleadh Ballina will be running side by side, as Mayo’s newest festival, the French Mayo Festival is launched. Billed as “A Taste of France along the Wild Atlantic Way”, the festival takes  place on August 26th-27th 2016, and aims to build on the unique historical connection enjoyed by Mayo with France. This connection dates back from the landing of General Humbert in Kilcummin and his march to Castlebar, but also encompasses strong connections with World War I.

The French town of Athis-Mons is twinned with Ballina, and the communities have enjoyed a close and warm relationship in recent years.

The French Mayo Festival will build on Ballina’s reputation for arts and culture through music, song and pageantry, and will also showcase the best of Mayo-sourced artisan ingredients to create a spectacular French-themed food event, with the historic Military Quarter at the heart of the festivities.

For the first time, all French Mayo events in the Military Barracks are set to take place under cover in what will be a really unique outdoor space in the West of Ireland, reminiscent of Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square.

French Mayo Festival Programme of Events 

Tuesday 23rd – Saturday 27th August

The 1798 Exhibition (The Seomra, Jackie Clarke Collection garden, Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm)

As part of the French Mayo Festival 2016, discover the aims of the United Irishmen and some of the key figures of the 1798 Rebellion. The 1798 Exhibition will be on display from Tuesday 23rd August until Saturday 27th August from 10am – 5pm. Free Admission and all welcome.

Ballina French Film Festival (Ballina Arts Centre, Tuesday – Thursday, 8.30pm)

Ballina Arts Centre presents Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “The Three Colors” trilogy,  ‘Three Colors: Blue’, ‘Three Colors: White’, and ‘Three Colors: Red’.

Blue, white, and red are the colours of the French flag, and the story of each film is loosely based on one of the three political ideals in the motto of the French Republic: liberty, equality, fraternity.

Friday August 26th:

Festival Opening (Humbert Memorial Monument  – ‘The Maid of Erin’, Humbert Street, 6.30pm)

 A short commemoration and wreath-laying ceremony to open the festival and welcome our guests from France, Mayo and around the world, followed by a parade to the Military Quarter

French-themed Pageant Spectacular & Atlantic Rhythm’s “Saoirse na hEireann (Ballina Military Barracks, 7.30pm)

Dramatic theatrical and musical re-enactment of the build-up to and landing of General Humbert on the shores of by Riverside Theatre Group and singers from Lavinia Gilmartin’s ‘Beyond the Barricade’.

Followed by a performance of Atlantic Rhythm’s “Saoirse na hEireann” – a traditional Irish cultural show based in 1916 in the west of Ireland and featuring no fewer than three world champion Irish dancers!

Full bar in operation.

Saturday August 27th:

Food Fleadh Ballina (Ballina Military Quarter, 10am – 5pm)

Sample the best of Mayo’s food offering with a distinctly French theme. Includes stalls from top local restaurants, artisan food producers, and live cookery demonstrations throughout the day. Featuring a demonstration from special guest, the Druid Chef, Rory Morahan, who connects the Irish people with their heritage through food. Live music and a great atmosphere!

Free children’s cookery classes run by chefs from GMIT culinary school take place at 1pm and 3pm (one-hour sessions). Places are limited so advance booking is essential – contact or phone 096 72800.

More information on Food Fleadh Ballina

Traditional Music Session Trail (Venues in Ballina Town Centre, 3 – 5pm)

Traditional musicians from around the county, fresh from Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Ennis will gather across a number of venues to partake in a trad session trail and showcase their musical talents. A number of Irish Dancing schools from the region will also feature. Schedule to be finalised on Tuesday 23rd. All musicians welcome to join in!

French Mayo Festival Big Gig (Ballina Military Quarter, 6.30pm – late)

The festival draws to a close with a big Ballina gig featuring The Stunning, Kila, and Jeannette Byrne.  The gig will take place under cover in the Military Barracks and is a massive night not to be missed as The Stunning return to Ballina over 20 years after the last visit.

Tickets €22.50 on sale now from

Full bar on site.

French Mayo the Stunning gig poster

Note: Festival Schedule of events subject to change – please keep an eye on Mayo North on Facebook for updates.

This festival is supported by Failte Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way.

WAWFAlogo-colourFailte Ireland

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: The Stunning to brew up a storm in Ballina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *