Published: 3rd May 2013

It was a full and lively house for the launch of the 10th Offaly Bealtaine Festival Programme at the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre last Monday.

Bealtaine Festival, (Age & Opportunities National Arts Festival during May), has actively engaged our young at heart, adventurous over 55s in Offaly for a decade. This year to mark the 10th anniversary the programme took a slightly more adventurous and unusual theme of ‘1963’ with events, exhibitions, concerts and projects that are aimed at encouraging and daring those in their 60s and beyond to revive their jive!

In addressing the ‘sprightly’ gathering at the launch Sinead O’Reilly Arts Officer said ‘1963 was a year I'd imagine was significant in Irish life, it was an exciting year to be growing up in for anyone in their teens and twenties, international influences were creeping in and possibilities were opening up. There are a couple of projects in this year’s programme which invite people to contribute to remembering that year, whether through a personal account or remembering something in your community.’

On launching the programme Councillor Peter Ormond, Cathaoirleach of Offaly County Council, stated “We have a duty of care in our society to treasure and value our older citizens. Your contributions to life in Offaly are still significant and relevant... this is your time, and this festival, through the arts, aims to rejuvenate creativity in retirement” Councillor Ormond continued by saying that the Bealtaine Festival “is one way that Offaly County Council can make a difference. Quality of life is so important to all of us, and the Arts can make a difference in how we enjoy participation in our communities, whether that is trying a new craft for the first time or the sharing of stories and music”.

For a full programme visit : www.offaly.ie/arts E-mail: arts@offalycoco.ie Tel: 05793 57400.

Offaly County Arts Office coordinates this programme of events along with the library services and Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, but this would not be possible if it were not for the help and continuing support of Offaly’s Active Retirement Groups.

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