News and Events

Bluegrass and Blacksmiths to Banish Blues at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park


“We are always working to enhance our customer experience and looking at events that will entertain and enlighten people. With this in mind on Sunday 23rd October we delighted to be hosting a special event at Bunratty Folk Park as part of the 2016 Bunratty Village Bluegrass Festival taking place over the weekend,” says John Ruddle, CEO, Shannon Heritage.

There will be eight scheduled one hour performances at the Folk Park by many of the bands taking part in the festival including ‘John Nyhan & Friends’,  and ‘Leo & Bill’. The event will showcase the talents of international headline artists like ‘Demolition’ the US based String Band.  ‘Cup O’Joe’, a young family trio from Armagh who are making a name for themselves on the international stage will also feature in concerts, along with the Cork family Band ‘Greenshine’.

A great festival atmosphere will be created with performances commence at 12 noon so arrive early and take in what promises to be a wonderful afternoon!

To compliment this Bunratty Folk Park will also hold a new event over that weekend when the Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association (IABA) in conjunction with Shannon Heritage will host their 2016 AGM and “Forge-In” at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park this 22nd and 23rd October.

This new event for Bunratty is aimed at showcasing the wonderful work of talented artists and metalworkers who produce intricate and highly decorative pieces which are of enduring quality and aesthetically pleasing.

“Blacksmithing and the village forge have always held a fascination for people— the intense heat, the exacting amount of physical labour, and the almost magical transformation of metal into beautiful and practical implements. We are delighted that the IABA has chosen Bunratty Folk Park, which we believe is a very apt setting in which to host their AGM.  While these very talented artists produce unique contemporary items, much of what they do takes inspiration from the past to produce fine restoration pieces. We are delighted to have the IABA showcase their talents at Bunratty Folk Park as it is the perfect backdrop to their creative endeavours. We look forward to welcoming them for what will be a unique and colourful event,” said Mr. Ruddle.

 ‘Forging Tools’ is the theme for the event which will see IABA member forge tools  using anything from chisels, tongs and hammers, or any other equipment that would have been used or seen in the original blacksmiths forges and used in rural farming communities throughout Ireland over a century ago. The setting for the event is in keeping with the 19th century themed Folk Park which recreates rural life in Ireland over 100 years ago and the finished implements will be kept on display in Bunratty Folk Park for all the visitors to enjoy.

The showcase event will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon until 5.00pm both days. Visitors to the Folk Park will get to see firsthand these farm tools being made and hear about the history of  the blacksmith profession in Ireland and how skills were nurtured and lovingly passed on from generation to generation.

Don’t miss this wonderful event featuring the work of both classical and contemporary decorative metal workers who produce large architectural commissions to small domestic items forged and made with skilled hands.

There will be no additional charge for these events, normal admission rates to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park will apply. Tickets for both events can be purchased on the day, or online at