And so the festival comes round again – year six, believe it or not! Over seven years ago when we started planning for the festival, we said that we wanted to engage the community in arts- and art-related activities and hoped that a base for the arts in Ranelagh could be achieved within 10 years. We are delighted that we now have a centre for the arts, right in the heart of the village at No. 26 Ranelagh. The totally volunteer-run Festival Committee has achieved this on a shoestring budget. It is the result of an amazing amount of hard work by a handful of people. I must mention in this respect our Literary Editor, Charles Crockatt, who, ably assisted by Assistant Artistic Director William Harvey, has transformed the space. I also most mention the generosity of all at Shelbourne Development for allowing us into No. 26. This is very much appreciated.
Attention-grabbers this year include The Ranelagh Arts Festival Snooker Challenge between our own Ken Doherty and Jimmy White. Ken Doherty is a great friend of the Festival. Some of you will recall the unveiling of Kate Horgan’s ‘poignant’ photograph of Ken, taken in Jason’s at the first Festival launch (the photograph now hangs in McSorley’s). We are honoured that ‘The Ranelagh Boy’ and his friend and colleague Jimmy ‘The Whirlwind’ White will be playing at this year’s festival.
The Festival opens on Culture Night, Friday 24 September and runs through to Sunday 3 October. As usual, there will be walks and talks, lectures, street performers and music gigs in bars and restaurants, all creating an atmosphere that is convivial for local residents and welcoming to visitors.