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Sense of the Sperrins 2012


An Creagán are delighted to host the first Sense of the Sperrins Festival from Thursday 11th October to Sunday 14th October 2012. The Festival is a celebration of the regions music, craft, culture and heritage, with something for all ages to enjoy. The Sperrins have a rich history steeped in music, culture, folklore and cottage crafts. For centuries people have inhabited the hills and valleys, side by side with their neighbours, enjoying the local craic and making their own entertainment. This way of life has generated some fine home grown talent and traditional skills that have endured the test of time.


The storytelling culture, where news was handed from one neighbour to another and down the generations lives on to this day through well-known raconteur Patsy O’Hagan. Patsy is a gifted country bard, who is keeping the art of yarning and versifying alive in rural Tyrone. He launches the festival on the Thursday evening in the true spirit of this celebration with a night of humour, rhyme and song. The baton will be handed over to Brendan Gormley on the Friday morning when he takes you on an entertaining tour of some local cultural sites – Peadar Joe Haughey’s homestead, Wellbrook Beetling Mill and Beaghmore Stone Circles. We’re all guilty of overlooking the importance of these landmark places because they are on our doorstep, so come along and get Brendan’s insight into the lives and lifestyles of the Sperrins’ past residents.

Live Music

The festival aims to take you back to the ceili nights and folk culture of the last century but with a modern twist. Whether you want to listen to music or improve your own performance, there will be something that appeals to everyone. Headline acts on the Friday and Saturday nights include Kila, Royseven and The Logues, with the Drunken Lullabies providing the soundtrack for a lively Sunday afternoon. The weekend winds up with a Ceili Music Session as usual everyone is welcome to play, sing, dance or just enjoy the session. Throughout the day on Saturday there will be opportunities to hone your own singing or music playing skills through a series of workshops, including banjo, mandolin, fiddle, tin whistle and also children’s singing classes with Rois Kelly-Lynch whose past pupils include Janet Devlin & Chloe Coyle. 

Traditional Crafts

The skills that used to part of everyday rural life have become sought after talents. On Friday afternoon seasoned turf cutter Packie Haughey will demonstrate the art of cutting turf with a spade. On Saturday we are inviting one of the country’s finest basket weavers, Allison Fitzgerald of Greenwood Baskets, to demonstrate the timeless skill of weaving and some of her work will be on sale as part of the Craft Fair and Food Market. You can also watch demonstrations of butter churning, bread making and we will be introducing a local brewer who is developing his own microbrewery in nearby Carrickmore – sample his traditional brew, made without the chemicals and flavourings of modern beers. The Craft Fair runs from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 13th October.

Charity Walk, Cycle and Run

On Sunday get out and about in the Sperrins and take part in one of the organised events. The 5.5k walk and run takes you around An Creagáns own forest trail while the 30 and 60 mile cycle routes take you further afield and deeper in to the Sperrin landscape. Proceeds go towards the Health @ An Creagan Programme which benefits the local community.

To see the full festival programme or find out more about An Creagán go to www.ancreagan.com or call An Creagán on (028) 80761112. You can also find us on facebook where you will find up to date comment about the weekends lineup.

For more information, click here.