First-rate programme of events lined up as Longford prepares for 20th annual Aisling Children Arts Festival

Aisling Arts Festival turns 20

Jessica Thompson


Jessica Thompson


First-rate programme of events lined up as Longford prepares for 20th annual Aisling Children Arts Festival

The Aisling Festival Committee with Breda Ruanne who launched the festival with Chairperson Marie Fennessy. Photo: Michelle Ghee.

It's been 20 years since a small committee in Longford got together to set up the very first Aisling Children's Arts Festival and look how far its come since then.

This year's festival runs from October 21 to 27, with a programme bursting with artistic, theatrical and musical events for children of all ages to enjoy - and most of it is completely free.

"This year, the Aisling Festival is celebrating 20 years," said Chairperson of the festival, Marie Fennessey.

"It's a major achievement for any festival to last that long, so well done to all the festival committees down through the years, who kept the festival going in good times and bad. We're delighted to have so many former committee members here tonight, so thank you all for coming."

The theme of the festival this year is 'Celebrating Our Community', and all of the events taking place between October 21 and 27 will reflect that.

"We're celebrating all the positive aspects of our community here in County Longford. There's so much talent here in County Longford - musical talent, dramatic talent, artistic talent and a wonderful community spirit. So let's celebrate it," said Ms Fennessy.

Entertainment at the launch was provided by Ballymahon musician, Katie Gallagher.

For a number of years, the Aisling Children's Arts Festival has teamed up with the Longford Leader to produce a beautiful supplement featuring articles written by young people from three secondary schools from around the county.

This year's supplement has been written by the Transition Year students of Ballymahon Vocational School, Mean Scoil Mhuire and Árdscoil Phádraig, and will be available in next week's Longford Leader.

Grab your copy to ensure you're up to date on all the events happening in Longford throughout the festival. You'll also read some great content on how Longford celebrates its community.

At last night's launch, this year's art competition winners were announced and presented with prizes kindly sponsored by Farrell & Coy.

The winners are as follows:

Special Category

Winner Katie Brogan, Mercy Convent, Ballymahon

Special Category

Winner Oran O’Hara, Aughnagarron NS

Special Category

Highly Commended Laura Hand, Mercy Convent, Ballymahon

Age 3 – 5

Winner Joanne McDonnell, Clondra NS

Runner Up Jamilla Schwab, St. Teresa’s NS, Killoe

Age 6 -8

Winner Taylyn Hoban, Scoil Mhuire NS, Newtownforbes

Runner-Up Sarah Murphy, Scoil Samhthann, Ballinalee

Age 9 – 11

Winner Kayla Weir, Melview NS

Runner Up Clíodhna Ní Mhaonaigh, St. Teresa’s NS, Killoe

Age 12 – 14

Winner Amy O’Donohoe, Lanesboro Community College

Runner Up Heather Naughton, Ballymahon Vocational School

Age 15 - 18

Winner Rebecca Banet, Mean Scoil Mhuire, Longford

Overall Winner

Emilia Holkovic, Melview NS – Age 6 – “The Fairy Garden At Aughnacliffe”