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Heritage Week 2017 at Athlone Castle

Athlone Castle celebrates National Heritage Week with an extensive programme of events for all ages

National Heritage Week 2017 at Athlone Castle

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is encouraging members of the public to support the programmed celebrations for Heritage Week 2017 running from Saturday 19th – Sunday 27th August. This year’s theme; ‘It’s in our Nature’ is reflected in the various events programmed throughout the week suitable aimed at all ages and interests.

Events include; a Walk the Walls tour scheduled over several days will guide visitors around the external features of the castle where they will learn about the defensive development of the castle throughout the centuries. The tours will be delivered by Castle Volunteer and retired Army Veteran, Henry Brady on Sunday 20th August at 2pm and Friday 25th at 11am and on Tuesday 22nd August at 11am with Cultural Officer, Mary Bannon. Guided tours of the visitor centre and museum will also take place on Sat 19th, Mon 21st and Sat 26th August at 1pm.

Cultural Officer, Mary Bannon, will give an illustrated talk about Life 100 Years Ago at 3pm on Tuesday 22nd and it will take place in the Castle Keep. 

Manager, Carmel Duffy, invites you ‘to bring all the family along to storm the castle on our annual free day on Wednesday August 23rd. It is a great opportunity to visit Athlone Castle Free of Charge and discover the story of our castle, town and its people. We are open from 10am to 6pm with last admission at 5pm but make sure to come early as it’s always a very busy day’.

Professional storyteller Aideen McBride will be on site narrating her mystical tales in two storytelling sessions for all the family on Thursday 24th August. Midlands Astronomy Club will be back at Athlone Castle for a lecture and a twilight tour of the night sky from 8pm on Friday 25th August with their huge telescopes set-up in the castle courtyard to get the best possible views. This event is weather dependent but you are also advised to dress up snugly for the cooler night air.

Local group Poetry in the Park will complete the line-up off Heritage Week events at Athlone Castle with a performance of sonnets, prose, limericks and song in the courtyard.

Anyone interested in attending any of the castle’s events are advised to pre-book as spaces will be limited. Normal admission rates apply to all tours programmed for Heritage Week with no additional charge for the guided tour. Please note the programmed talk on ‘Follies’ scheduled for Saturday 19th August has been cancelled and will be rescheduled to a later date.

A full schedule of events with further details, times and booking information is available to view on Athlone Castle’s newly launched re-designed website: Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 0906442130 or

Heritage Week 2017 at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

Celebrate Heritage Week at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre 

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre invites you to explore the programme of activities scheduled for National Heritage Week from Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th August 2017. The Visitor Centre will host a number of events throughout the week suitable for all ages. 

National Heritage Week 2017 at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre

Henry Brady will return with his popular ‘Walk the Walls’ tour, a guided exploration of the castle’s many historical external defence features. Professional facilitator Aideen McBride will be onsite narrating her immersive, mystical tales in family storytelling sessions. 

Cultural Officer and chief tour guide Mary Bannon will talk about life in Athlone a century ago. 

The Midlands Astronomy Club will deliver a twilight tour of the night sky assisted by their high powered telescope and Poetry in the Park will fill the courtyard with sonnets, prose, limericks and song.

The annual ‘Storm the Castle’ free admission day will take place on Wednesday 23rd August and further scheduled guided tours will be available with paid admission at the weekends. 

A full schedule of events with further details, times and booking information is available to view on Athlone Castle’s newly launched re-designed website:

Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 0906442130 or

Atelier Programme at Abbey Road Artists' Studios


Abbey Road Artists’ Studios is delighted to announce the second of this year’s professional development opportunities, with the ATELIER PROGRAMME. A schedule of workshops and events is due to take place on: 29th & 30th July, 12th August and 9th September.

Abbey Road Artists’ Studios supports professional artists in a welcoming environment which facilitates peer interaction and artistic production.  This series of workshops which focus on seeking support funding for artists through awards, bursaries and grants will be facilitated by Maeve Mulrennan. Maeve is the Head of Visual Art and Education in Galway Arts Centre since 2006. She also lectures in Education Policy and Visual Art as part of the MA in Arts Policy and practice in NUI Galway and teaches with the NODE Centre for Curatorial Studies in Berlin.

The ATELIER VISUAL ARTISTS PROFESSIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME is a comprehensive series of courses designed to address the needs of artists at a practical level. This installment of the programme is designed to inform artists  about sourcing relevant funding streams, providing the practical tools of completing the budget section of grant applications and the opportunity to exchange information and ideas with their peers.

Visual Arts Coordinator Katriona Gillespie says:

"With support from Westmeath County Council via the Creative Ireland Initiative we are excited to launch the second installment of our 2017 Atelier Programme. The programme is open to artists in all disciplines — and artists can register for the entire series or customise workshop combinations that best suit their needs. The ATELIER PROGRAMME is designed to inform arts practitioners from an administration and practical point of view and is perfect for those wishing to fine tune their skills in a friendly informal setting."

Full course details and content can be viewed online at:

Requestes for further information and booking queries should be directed to Luan Gallery on: or by phone on 0906442154.

As the programme caters for a limited number of participants only, early pre-booking is essential.

Luan Gallery Education Programme for Primary and Secondary Schools

Luan Gallery is a purpose built art gallery space incorporating the renovated and extended 1897 Fr Mathew Hall. Delivering a varied exhibitions programme featuring work by both emerging and established artists from home and abroad, Luan Gallery acts as a resource for the entire community.

Many studies have shown that gallery visits enhance pupils’ learning experiences and at Luan Gallery we strive to ensure that pupils’ visits are enjoyable, relaxed, stimulating and educational. We are committed to encouraging pupils to engage with and think about visual art which in turn helps to develop new skills and confidence.

Primary Schools

We have developed numerous resource materials including activity worksheets, catalogues, tours and workshops each designed to support the meaningful delivery of qualitative art viewing experiences to students, in support of the school curriculum.

Secondary Schools

We have developed a number of resource materials including a Leaving Certificate Art Appreciation Workbook, catalogues, talks, tours and workshops each designed to support the meaningful delivery of the art curriculum to second level students.

For more information on our education programmes, download the booklets below.

Primary School booklet
Secondary School booklet
Primary Schools Education booklet 2016 Secondary Schools Education booklet 2016



Athlone Castle Visitor Centre experience enhanced with an outdoor chess set. This new feature is included in the admission price.

Minister of State Alan Kelly and former councillor Jim Henson enjoying a game of chess at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre


Photograph showing: Minister of State Alan Kelly and former councillor Jim Henson enjoying a game of Chess at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre.



'UNHEARD OF' art auction successfully raised funds for charities

Fine Art and Photography Society in A.I.T. and Luan Gallery organised an art auction on the 14th of March and raised much needed funds for Midlands Simon Community, South Westmeath Hospice, Special Olympics Ireland and A.I.T. Student Hardship Fund.

€825 was the amount raised and donated to those four charities.

We would like to thank everyone for their support and we hope to repeat it in the future!

presentation of the cheque

Ask the Artist - Episode 1 - Paul Quast DE_Cline

Artist talk & Q&A

Paul Quast in his current exhibition DE_Cline in Luan Gallery crosses art boundaries into the realms of engineering and physics. The artist skilfully employs the use of electromagnetic fields, optics, entropy and thermo-dynamics to create engaging, provocative and sometimes humorous installation based art pieces

Catherine Ivers in conversation with Paul Quast discovers the thought process behind the artwork

Followed by a Q&A session

Time: 13.00 – 14.00

Cost: free

All welcome

Places for this event are limited, pre booking is required on 090 6442154 For full programme details and further information, please contact

Athlone Castle seeking donations of clothing and accessories

We are seeking donations of clothing and accessories for a 'dress up' box in Athlone Castle. Please get in touch if you have anything to donate. Call us on 09064 42130 or email

 costumes for Athlone Castle

Midterm madness in Athlone Castle - kids go free

Looking for something to do during the mid-term? Why not visit Athlone Castle Visitor Centre?

We are running a fantastic offer from Sat 15th – Sun 23rd February. All under 15’s visiting will be free of charge and all other single admissions will be €4.

Athlone Castle is open Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm. Last admission at 4pm

Ireland’s most talented art students’ prize winning works to be showcased in Luan Gallery

Luan Gallery is delighted to present the fall 2013 exhibition programme which features prize winning works and selected entries from the RDS Student Art Awards. As a key part of the RDS Foundation Arts Programme, the  goal of the awards is to provide a platform that supports the transition from student to emerging artist.

From architectural paintings and a stuffed piglet, to drug abuse both prescribed and recreational and scientifically inspired drawings by a former veterinary surgeon; the work by this year’s award winners is certainly varied! This year’s winners include, Joe Scullion from the National College of Art and Design, who won the RDS Taylor Art Award with a prize of €5000, awarded since 1860 it is the longest running student art award in the world. Other prize winners include Michael Geddis, Laura Maloney, Peter Bradley, Clara Ryan, and Arlene McPadden.

Catherine Yorke, Arts Coordinator at Luan Gallery said:
‘RDS Student Art Awards provide an exhibition of variety that hasn’t been yet seen in Luan Gallery. Taxidermy animals, videos, prints, photographs, paintings will fill the space. It took a lot of effort to plan out the layout of the exhibition but with the kind support of a sponsor Milestone Electric we were able to ensure the technical requirements were met. We are also really pleased we can provide the opportunity to this emerging Irish talent to be viewed by a wider audience during the two months in the gallery. We support initiatives which recognise excellence in young emerging Irish artists and provide support to enable them to further their talent and artistic development. ’
As a new flurry of aspiring artists take up positions around the country and a new load of leaving cert students prepare their portfolios for entering colleges next year we are delighted to exhibit the RDS Students Art Awards Travelling Exhibition.

Watch this space for Culture Night activities on the 20th of September based on the exhibition.

Luan Gallery will host a drinks reception to celebrate the launch of the new exhibition on Friday 6th September at 18:00. Chairman of the RDS Committee of Arts, David Horkan, will open the show.

This show is supported by Milestone Euronics

Admission to the gallery is free for groups and individuals.  School or group tours and workshops can be arranged by contacting the gallery in advance on 090 6442154.
Luan Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday 11.00 – 17.00, Sunday 12.00 – 17.00 and is closed on Mondays.