The second Conn O’Neill Festival will take place over two weekends in August and September 2019. It marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Conn, the last Gaelic Lord of east Belfast. His legacy endures in local place names and lore.
The festival, organised by the Turas project in east Belfast, includes talks, tours, exhibitions and a family fun day.
The programme is centred at the Skainos building, 239 Newtownards Road and includes:
Thursday August 29: Festival Launch. 7pm. Free. Skainos building
The festival opens with pipes and drums from Campbell College and a guest appearance from Conn himself. There will be a lecture on ‘Castlereagh and Conn, Past, Present and Future’ by Dr. Gordon McCoy and Mark Doherty.
Friday August 30: The Trial of Conn O’Neill. 7pm. Free. Skainos building
Conn is called from the grave to answer the charge that he betrayed Ulster. The audience become the jury after hearing the evidence. A free event by the Newpoint Players. Written by Anthony Russell.
Saturday August 31: Prince and Princess Family Fun Day. 11am – 2.pm Free. Skainos Square
A chance for princes and princesses to get their best costumes on. With hobby horses, a photo booth, bouncy castles, arts and crafts, balloon modeling and face painting.
Saturday September 14, The Conn O’Neill Bus Tour. Departs from Skainos at 11am. £11
See his inauguration site. Visit the location in the Castlereagh Hills where his stronghold stood. Travel to his resting place. Tales of intrigue, power and the end of an old order. Tour guide is Brian Ervine.
Saturday September 28. The Gaelic Bus Tour of East Belfast. Departs from Skainos at 11am. £11
The Belfast you never knew existed. The invisible boundaries between the old Gaelic lands of Ballymacarret and Ballyhackamore and other hidden histories.
Bus tour tickets from:
Turas is the Irish language and culture project based at Skainos on the Newtownards Road.
028 9045 8560
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