Athlone News

Symbolism in sculpture - Marie Foley, first ever sculptor to be featured in the series of talks in Luan Gallery

Discussion during Ask The Artist with Tom Climent
Discussion during Ask The Artist with Tom Climent

The fourth episode of 'Ask the Artist' will be held in Luan Gallery on Saturday 11th October and will feature one of the many artists whose works are currently on display in PASSAGE, a selection of works on loan from the Niland Collection. Marie Foley, a Kanturk born artist will be in conversation with Claire O'Brien, a freelance journalist and broadcaster who presents the arts programme Encore on Midlands 103.  

Marie studied Sculpture at the Crawford College of Art in Cork, Goldsmiths College in London and Cardiff College of Art and she was awarded an MA and a National Diploma in Art with Distinction. Her sculptures include elements which are carved in wood, modelled in porcelain and with additional hand-worked elements in metal, stone and glass. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Ireland, England, Wales, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Poland, Finland, Canada, USA and Japan. She was the first Irish artist to have a solo Exhibition in the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Monuments of a Dead Man by Marie Foley
Monuments of a Dead Man by Marie Foley

Emilia Krysztofiak, Administrative Assistant at Athlone Arts and Tourism said

'We are really looking forward to another episode of 'Ask the Artist'. The current exhibition PASSAGE presents a great variety of works by prolific Irish artists, from prints to paintings, photographs and sculpture. We are very lucky that Marie Foley, a well acclaimed sculptor agreed to take part in this episode. Her two pieces on show in the gallery are both of a symbolic nature. She uses found objects like feathers or wood and hand made forms like porcelain in a way that brings to mind the relationship between body and spirit. Once again I would encourage everyone to participate in this free discussion and use it as an opportunity to learn more about the artwork and the artist.'

To generate interest in this discussion Luan Gallery invites the public to send questions for the artists prior to the talk through twitter @AthArtHeritage.

The talk is open to the public, free of charge, with tea and coffee served. 'Ask the Artist' Episode 4 takes place on Saturday 11th October from 1pm to 2pm. No booking is required but places are limited.

Culture Night in Luan Gallery and Athlone Castle

Arts and cultural organisations around the country and overseas will once again open their doors until late in the evening with hundreds of free events to enjoy. Culture Night takes place on Friday 19th September this year and Athlone Castle will stay open until 8pm and Luan Gallery will welcome visitors until 7.30pm.
Athlone Castle will host two free outdoor performances, firstly by The Athlone Pipe Band from 6.45pm to 7.15pm followed by Athlone A Cappella who will perform at 7.30.  Admission to Athlone Castle will be free from 5.30pm – 8pm

Athlone Pipe Band

Manager of Athlone Arts & Tourism, Carmel Duffy said
"The Cultural Night programme for Luan Gallery and Athlone Castle is a fantastic opportunity for locals and visitors to experience the facilities and meet our artists in residence, staff and local community groups in a relaxed atmosphere particularly for those that have not yet had the opportunity to experience what we have to offer."

Luan Gallery will present an exhibition curated specifically for Culture Night featuring a selection of works by Abbey Road Artists’ Studios’ resident artists Rose Finerty, Rosemarie Langtry and Paul Timoney. The works ranging from acrylic and emulsion on wood, to encaustic and digital prints will be displayed in the Boardwalk Gallery.

Luan Gallery, Grace Road, Athlone

Of her work, Rosemarie Langtry said:
"My most recent work reflects my fascination with the roads that I travel every day: dipping or twisting, up hills and down hills; the bends, the turns and the corners; the bridges and crossroads; even the potholes. Everything changes with the seasons, and even day by day. You never see the same road again, however often you travel it. The light may fall differently or the leaves cast new shadows. And you never know who you are going to meet. Many of my paintings are of roads and others are about roads in the wider and more abstract sense. Roads go beyond the physical line and the tarmac. They remind me of the journey in life."

Special events for Culture Night at Luan Gallery will also include a ‘Poetry in the Park’ recital. The poetry group will perform readings from 6.30pm accompanied by gentle background harp and pipe music surrounded by the inspirational works of Louis Le Brocquy. Abbey Road Studio artists Paul Timoney and Rose Finerty will also participate and all are welcome to attend this free event.

Luan Gallery will also facilitate drop-in art making workshops for kids between 5pm and 7:30pm. This is a perfect opportunity for parents to enjoy the sophisticated entertainment provided by Poetry in the Park in the New Gallery while the kids are entertained in the workshop!

For more information on any of the above events contact Athlone Castle on 0906442130 and Luan Gallery on 0906442154.

Bressie finally get gold at HSE Community Games Launch

Bressie is pictured with Lily O’Connor, left and Lucy Connaughton, both from Mount Temple, Baylin, Co. Westmeath, at the launch of the HSE Community Games 2014.

Bressie is pictured with Lily O’Connor, left and Lucy Connaughton, both from Mount Temple, Baylin, Co. Westmeath, at the launch of the HSE Community Games 2014.
photo: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE

With  Athlone Castle as the setting, the HSE Community Games launched their 2014 Festival on 22nd July with the help of former participant and fitness ambassador Bressie (Niall Breslin).

Gerard Davenport, President of Community Games, presented Bressie with a Community Games Gold medal to reward him for all he has done over the years in encouraging people to be more active in their daily lives and also for helping to put the spotlight on mental health.

Mr Davenport said on the day that Community Games were looking forward to a spectacular festival in August and that all participants could look up to Bressie as a role model in promoting healthy living throughout their lives.

Speaking at the event Niall said:

“When I took part in the Community Games I loved the feeling of representing my local town and area and it always gave me such motivation to do well. I was a competitive young fella!”

He also gave some great tips to the young participants on how best to keep active:

“Find a sport you love. There are so many sports and just because your friends may love rugby or soccer you don't have to play it. Life is too short to do something you don't enjoy and when there is so much choice there is no reason to not give everything a shot.”

With such focus on finding the right balance in life, Niall spoke about the link between physical activity, eating well and feeling good about yourself.

“As you grow older this link becomes much clearer. Sport has a profound impact on your mental health and when you are happy in body and mind, you have more confidence and this all filters down into your private and professional life.”

“Sport has a profound impact on your mental health and when you are happy in body and mind, you have more confidence”

The HSE Community Games has teamed up this year with Healthy Ireland, the new national initiative that is promoting health and wellbeing throughout the country.  Dr. Cate Hartigan from the HSE today said, "We are delighted to support the Community Games in 2014, and to make it part of our Healthy Ireland programme. Encouraging more children, families and communities to be active, and to see the enormous benefits that this can bring, is one of the most important changes that we all want to see in Ireland. On top of that, the community participation and volunteerism that is an essential part of Community Games adds to our shared wellbeing in towns and villages nationwide.  Well done to everyone involved and we're looking forward to this year's festival."

This year has been a very busy year for the 600 areas involved in HSE Community Games - there will be over 8,000 children from all over Ireland participating over 2 weekends in August (15th to 17th and 22nd to 24th) in Athlone IT.

The HSE Community Games festival will take place  in Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, over 2 weekends in August:

National Festival Weekend 1: 15th – 17th August 2014

National Festival Weekend 2: 22nd – 24th August 2014

For a List of Events and the weekends they are on please visit the Community Games website

Ireland’s largest inflatable water park now Open at Baysports!

Waterpark at Baysports
Baysports is a water adventure centre on the shores of the majestic Lough Ree. Located only five minutes from Athlone on the N61 the purpose built centre is an ideal location for all types of outdoor fun activity.

The centre is constantly adding to its range of activities and equipment and this summer saw the launch of Ireland’s largest inflatable water park for even more water based adventure fun.  Covering an area of 1400sq meters this new floating water park is a major attraction in the region and provides hours of fun for both children and adults alike.

€10 under 15
€15 Adult
€45 Family (two Adults and up to three children)

Baysports, Hodson Bay Boat Training and Watersports Centre,
Hodson Bay, Athlone, Co. Roscommon.
Tel: 090 6494801

Destination Athlone launches new brand campaign to support local tourism drive

Kathleen Shine, Tanya Flynn, Grainne Cornally from the Destination Athlone Marketing Team
Kathleen Shine, Tanya Flynn, Grainne Cornally from the Destination Athlone Marketing Team celebrate the launch of new brand campaign to support local tourism drive to Athlone and lakelands.

Destination Athlone has launched a new creative advertising campaign to encourage visitors to consider Athlone, Lough Ree and the surrounding area for their summer break. Supported by a number of tourism offerings in the area including hotels, Westmeath County Council, as well asFailté Ireland, the campaign focuses on Athlone being at the very heart of Ireland and offering a wealth of quality experiences for both domestic and international visitors.

The nationwide advertising campaign, including print and radio ads, will run throughout the summer months to coincide with key holiday planning occasions.
A ‘brand book’ has also been developed as a guide for tourism businesses in the area to help them to maximise benefit from the overarching, Destination Athlone brand.
Grainne Cornally, of the Destination Athlone Marketing Team said, “Athlone and its environs offers visitors an impressive range of uniquely rewarding experiences. By working together as one coherent brand, all of us involved in the local tourism sector can deliver experiences that will compel visitors to return again and again, as well as encourage them to recommend the Athlone area to their family and friends. By working together and considering how our individual businesses, policies and communications can support the Destination Athlone brand, we have the potential to make our local area one of the top visitor locations in Ireland.”

Pat Keating, Athlone Municipal District Manager, Westmeath County Council said, “Westmeath County Council is delighted to work with various stakeholders in the town to develop Athlone as a quality tourist destination. We have undergone much work this year and now have a framework in place thanks to the support of Failte Ireland that will guide us in the business of tourism about what’s important for our visitors to understand, appreciate, enjoy and experience about this part of Ireland and the world. It has guided us in determining what we need to do collectively to ensure that the experience visitors have of Athlone is positive and compelling. Today’s launch of the 'Athlone at the Heart of It’ national media campaign and new destination website is the beginning of the telling of the story of Athlone to existing and hopefully many new visitors to Athlone & environs.”

The campaign invites those considering a staycation to ‘sail with the Vikings, kayak wild shores, hit a hole in one..climb high towers…be king of the castle, be queen of shops’ – reminding potential visitors about the rich array of experiences that awaits them including sports and culture, art and heritage, food and drink, beautiful scenery and a natural, unspoilt environment.

“Athlone and the surrounding area has so much to offer – both bustling urban and tranquil rural locations including rivers, lakes, bogs and beautiful woodland, all waiting to be explored. This campaign will remind those planning a staycation that when in Athlone they will be at the centre of everything from sports and recreation to a wealth of cultural and historical experiences – it’s an invitation to come and be ‘at the heart of it,’ ” added Tanya Flynn of the Destination Athlone Marketing Team.

Athlone, one of Ireland's 7 Prettiest Towns!

View of the Rivr Shannon, Athlone Castle, Church of Ss Peter and Paul and Town Bridge inn Athlone

Athlone was recently mentioned as one of Ireland’s prettiest towns by Frommer's

Sitting at the edge of the River Shannon, its streets curving around a sturdy, fortress-like castle, Athlone is a charmer…