Clonsilla Heritage Festival – history and heritage, music and local biodiversity on Sat 16 and Sun 17 September

by Rose Barrett
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September will see the Clonsilla Heritage Festival run across multiple venues over the weekend of Saturday 16 and Sunday,  September 17.  And it promises a diverse mix of history and heritage, music, a visit to an eco farm, and of course, you can enjoy the wonderful beauty and biodiversity along the Royal Canal.

Starting on Saturday morning with a guided heritage walk will be hosted around Clonsilla and Porterstown, taking in the Royal Canal as part of the tour.  Following this, history buffs will head to Shackleton’s Gardens to listen to Craobh Slí Dhala trad band, while enjoying Clonsilla’s prettiest walled garden. 

Next, you can pop next door to Beechpark Eco Farm, to take a behind the scenes tour of the farm itself.  Michael will have the Farmshop and cafe open all day, for anyone looking for refreshments afterwards! 

Shackleton’s Mill, barge trips on the Royal Canal

The last event of the day is a series of heritage talks in Clonsilla Hall, on Clonsilla’s Industrial Heritage: namely the history of the Royal Canal and Shackleton’s Mill.  The heritage talks will be complemented with an exhibition, on the restoration of the canal, by the Royal Canal Amenities Group.

To follow the Royal Canal theme, skipper Jenny Wren, of Royal Canal Boat trips, will run one hour boat trips during the weekend, for people to enjoy their local waterway!

Little Caoimhe above is looking forward to the festival!

Sunday will see another series of walks and talks. A guided walk around Luttrellstown Lakes and Glen will be followed by more music, by Blanchardstown Brass Band, in Shackleton’s Gardens.  Afterwards, take a guided Wildflower Walk along the Royal Canal.

History talk on the infamous Clonsilla Horse Poisoning incident – at St Mary’s

The last event of the heritage festival is a special one.  In the beautiful surroundings of St Mary’s Church, listen to our two final heritage talks, on the Clonsilla Horse Poisoning Incident and one on the flora and fauna of Clonsilla.

“The Clonsilla Heritage Festival would not be possible without the support of the many talented people who have agreed to share their time and knowledge with us,” said a spokesperson on behalf of the organising committee.

“Many thanks go to Royal Canal Boat Trips, Beechpark Eco Farm, Rev Colin McConaghie of St Mary’s, Patrick Smith, Bernard Caldwell, Terry Flanagan, Carol Doyle, Peter Clarke, Joe Byrne, Frank O’Connor, the Royal Canal Amenities Group, Craobh Slí Dhala and the Blanchardstown Brass Band. Thanks also goes to Fingal County Council for their support for our heritage festival.

“As a new heritage society (est in 2023) the Clonsilla & Porterstown Heritage Society aims to celebrate the natural and built heritage of the wider Clonsilla area. With our monthly outings to local places of interest, a walk planned for Heritage Week (August), our 2-day Heritage Festival and Culture Night (September) and participation in Fingal’s Festival of History (October), there’s something for everyone to enjoy!”

Tickets at Eventbrite

Tickets for all walks & talks in the festival will be €5 per person  and tickets for the boat trips will be €10 per person.  Tickets will be available to book via Eventbrite . For more information, see the Clonsilla Festival Facebook page or  please contact [email protected]

Feature photo of the Royal Canal by Mossy Kinnahan

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