Kiltyclogher at night - photo by Joe Sheeln
A novel three-day music and arts festival is coming soon to Leitrim.
Stoney Woods festival now in its second year will take place in the village of Kiltyclogher from Friday, June 30 to July 2. Headlining acts this year include Declan O'Rourke, Mick Blake and Free Speaking Monkey.
But as Summer festivals goes Stoney Woods is unique around the country. Born in 2016 to ‘celebrate life and keep alive the memory of those gone before’ its roots lie firmly in a community's wish to come together for each other in a time of grief.
After a number of deaths in the Kiltyclogher area things came to a head. The people in the village decided to come together in the spirit of positivity.
“That’s what this is about, We decided to take on this grieving process and celebrate all the lives of those that passed, the mums and dads, our children, everybody,” explains Ciaran Rock one of the organisers of the festival.
From the heart that’s currently lit on a hill overlooking Kiltyclogher to the heart within, this festival is set to inspire. Handmade fabric bunting linked to loved ones decorate the village.
There’ll be plenty of opportunity for quality family time with treasure hunts and arts on Saturday and a street feast and carnival activities on the Sunday. Street and music sessions are timetabled during the weekend in marquees and local venues.
Throughout Stoney Woods there will be space set aside for reflection with readings from award winning poets including Sinead Morrissey and Monica Corish, candle lit vigils, meditation, grief workshops and an unveiling of a memorial stone for the Stoney Woods tree.
Sponsored charities supported by this year's festival include Stop Suicide, Ellie's retreat and Cancer Care West.
This unique festival has certainly put the heart back into community Irish festivals.