May Sunday 2021

Celebrating the creativity, history, and ecology of Killeagh.


  • The Folly Project – learn to make chimes and garlands from recycled materials like tin cans and jar lids. Artist Aoife Banville will collect your creations and turn them into a folly – a structure built just to enjoy how it looks – as part of the Art Trail. Click here to learn more!


Click for more information & booking details:


  • Pop-Up Exhibition of work by local artists on May Sunday – May 2nd 2pm – 4pm
  • Rubbish Performance with Noelle O’Regan & Tom Campbell – Sunday May 2nd. Tom & Noelle are regular collaborators whose friendship and creative work brings them together for performances which are often based on comedy and clown. In 2020, the performed together on Britain’s Got Talent.
  • Spotlight Series: Greywood Arts – online talk presented by Social Impact Ireland Thursday May 6th
  • Virtual Q&A with the Artists – Tuesday May 6th.
  • Litter Pick – Sunday May 9th 10am – let’s look after our woodland.


The Art Trail Artists are Aoife Banville, Sarah Buckley, Natasha Bourke, Martha Cashman, Jaki Coffey, Richard Forrest, Rob Ireson, Danny McCarthy, and Rob Monaghan.

Joining us for the Pop-Up Exhibition are: Andrea Cashel, Beata Dagiel, Una Foley, Paudrig Lee, Bobby Klang, Diane Magee, Sinead ni Chionaola, Carole Redmond & Sentio Studios.



Glenbower Wood is situated on what used to be the estate of the De Cappell Brooke family in the village of Killeagh, in East Cork. In the 1830s, De Cappell Brooke began making improvements to his home as well as the land surrounding. After the improvements had been completed, De Cappell Brooke invited the entirety of the community to celebrate on the first Sunday in May. This became a yearly event known as May Sunday. It was the only day of the year on which the Wood was open to the public. The date also, perhaps not so coincidentally, coincides with ancient Druid “Fertility Rite” that would have been celebrated on the same date with hopes for a fruitful year and the Feast of Our Lady.

In the 1920s, the festival became very popular, spilling out of the Wood and onto the main street. It was a colourful event which featured music, dancing, food, and many other activities. Unfortunately, in 2001 the festival was unable to proceed due to Foot & Mouth disease. After a nearly 20-year hiatus, Greywood Arts revived some of the May Sunday traditions, placing the emphasis back on the festival’s origin in Glenbower Wood. In 2018, a reimagined version of the festivities celebrated local creativity, history and ecology through a programme devised in collaboration with artists and community groups, and supported by Cork County Council. Building on the success of the revived festival, the activities expanded in 2019 – and in 2020 the festival was once again cancelled – this time due to Covid-19. You can find the 2018 & 2019 programmes archived at

We are delighted to be back in 2021 with the May Sunday Art Trail – once again reimagining what it means to celebrate our locality – but in a safe and socially distant way.


We need volunteers to help with:

  • Installation of the art trail on Thursday April 29 and Friday April 30th.
  • Take down & clean up on Monday May 10th.
  • Art-Guardianship – we are creating a rota of volunteers to periodically walk the wood and check on the art .
  • Meet & Greet – help us have a festival staff presence on the opening and closing weekends, providing info and answering questions.