May Sunday

Celebrating the creativity, history, and ecology of Killeagh.

This year, the May Sunday festival takes place from April 29th to May 2nd, at Glenbower Wood, Killeagh, East Cork. Find the full programme of events below.

The following events are available to book in advance:

Among the Trees Movement Workshop: Book here

Make a May Bush: Book here

Nature writing with E.R Murray: Book here

Soup and Songs Festival Fundraiser: Book here

Songwriting from Landscape with Maija Sophia: Book here

Scent Adventure Dog Walks with Dogsercise: Book here

If you are unable to book online, please email create@greywoodarts.org, or phone Jessica on (083) 8451750


The 2022 festival is supported by Youghal Credit Union, Cork County Council, The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and 19 local businesses: Ahern’s Centra, Celtic Furniture Enterprises, Colm Quinn Electrical, Flawless Beauty, Fitzgibbon’s Garage, Fogarty Bros., Imokilly Tavern, Keneally, Rochford & Associates., Kennedy’s Bar, Killeagh Medical, Killeagh Pharmacy, Long’s Pub, MK Auto Repair, Niall Guerin Construction, The Old Thatch, O’Neil’s Londis, Tom Kelly Victualler, Uncle Sams, Vibes Hair Salon. 


2021 Festival Page

2018 & 2019 Festival Archive at www.creativekilleagh.ie


HISTORY

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.

We are delighted to be back in 2022, once again reimagining what it means to celebrate our locality.