Banagher celebrates its 10th summer festival over the next two weekends (14th, 15th & 16th July & 22nd, 23rd July)

To get full details go to the That Beats Banagher website where events can be viewed under highlights and timetable. The highlights are in six categories: water-based events, traditional skills, heritage, and culture, health and wellness, discovering your roots genealogy conference, and family events. Events can also be viewed under a detailed timetable.

The first weekend, Friday 14th to Sunday 16th July, will be given over to a multiplicity of events. Highlights include The Battle of the Blacksmiths where up to 40 blacksmiths will come to Banagher on Saturday and Sunday under the banner Forged in Ireland. Each day the smiths will provide a series of demonstrations of various aspects of their craft. From 1 p.m. on Saturday, the Golden Anvil challenge will present the competitors with a series of fast-paced forging challenges. A more artistic competition will be held on Sunday where the craftsmen and women will respond to the theme of ‘Bridges’.

The Battle of the Blacksmiths is supported by Offaly Local Development Company’s “Legacy” training program, aimed at preserving traditional skills and ensuring they don’t get lost in time. This project is funded through the Leader Rural Development Programme by Offaly Local Development Company.

Time: Welcoming the public from 10 am
Location: The Barrack Yard, Banagher
What to expect: Craft Stalls from some of Ireland’s Most talented Artists, Blacksmiths, and Knifemakers.
Blacksmith Demonstrations and Competitions, an action-packed ‘Forged in Ireland Blacksmith Challenge’ and Iron Smelting Demonstrations
Enquiries: to
Competition Details
The Annual “Golden Anvil” Challenge 
Saturday 15th July
From 1 pm on Saturday 15th, there will be a series of fast-paced forging challenges. Testing the blacksmith’s forging skills, until one is crowned “Forged In Ireland Champion”
1st Prize €300 & €100 Angele Voucher
2nd Prize Crossans Hamper & €50 Angele Voucher
3rd Prize Ozo Tool €50 Angele Voucher
Plus Spot Prizes of €200 in Angele Vouchers and Tools From Farrier Supplies LTD
Artist Blacksmith Competition
The theme is “Bridges” how you interpret this is up to you. Bring your finished entry with you or forge it on the day. Your entry must be submitted, before 12 pm Sunday 16th, and should be accompanied by a short note explaining the piece. The winner announced at 5 pm on Sunday
1st prize Becma gas forge
2nd prize €200
3rd prize €100
Bladesmiths Challenge
Bring your blades ready to go!!!
The sharpest knife wins an ABCON Abrasive Belts Hamper
Best of show wins a Uk Knifemakers Supplies Hamper
Registration for Competition Closes 13th July
For enquiries or to enter email:
From decorative ironwork to fire welding and sculpture, you’ll witness the magic of this age-old craft up close and personal. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience something truly spectacular in Banagher in 2023!
More sparks will fly on Saturday night with the return of the spectacular fireworks display in Banagher Park on the west side of Banagher Bridge at dusk, roughly between 9 and 10 p.m.

The festival will open with a Martello Movie Night on Friday at 9 p.m. in Banagher Park. On Saturday a food and craft market will be held in the Library Square from noon to 5 p.m. Throughout the weekend there will be a huge selection of craft-based demonstrations and classes. Those into health and well-being should call to events in the Go-With-The-Flow area in Banagher Park. The first Shannon Valley Genetic Genealogy Conference will be held in The Crank House from 1 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.

The second weekend of the festival, Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July, will be devoted to celebrating Charlotte Brontë and her husband Arthur Bell Nicholls of Banagher. The programme includes three films,  a tapestry and stitchcraft exhibition, three talks, two poetry readings, and two heritage walks. Speakers and readers include Maebh O’Regan, Eileen Casey, Frances Browner, Joanne Wilcock, Michael O’Dowd, Kieran Keenaghan, and James Scully. All events will be held in or start from The Crank House on lower Main Street. The events are free but donations will be most welcome. For full details go to the That Beats Banagher festival website in the highlights under culture and heritage.

For more information and to book click HERE