Tag Archives: Festival

Festival: displays continue in Bantry and Kealkil

The third annual Ellen Hutchins Festival took place in Bantry and the surrounding area as part of Heritage Week in August.

As a legacy from the Festival, there are now two permanent displays about Ellen. One is in the Tourist Office, Bantry, which is open on Fridays through the winter, and the other is in the magical wooden building at Future Forests, Kealkil. For more information about this one see the Ellen’s Treasures page in the menu above.



Festival now annual

The 2016 Ellen Hutchins Festival in and around Bantry was as successful as the 2015 award winning Festival, and the decision has been made to make the Festival an annual event. This decision was made with the support of the Bantry Development and Tourism Association.

Eileen O’Shea of the Association says that “Bantry Development & Tourism welcome this now annual festival. We are pleased to be associated with the Hutchins family in recognising the first Irish female botanist Ellen Hutchins (1785-1815) remember her achievements, and walk in her footsteps. The festival takes place during Heritage Week in late August. This event is growing and is now part of the Calendar of Events for West Cork.” Eileen added “We look forward to working with the Bantry Historical Society, the National Parks & Wildlife Service and the Hutchins family in promoting and taking part in this wonderful event to commemorate Ellen’s work in natural science.” Plans for the Festival in 2017 (19 to 27 August) will be posted here.

Some members of the Hutchins family still live near Bantry, and others visit regularly from the UK and Australia. Four great great grand nieces and nephews of Ellen gathered in the Bantry Credit Union to view the Ellen Hutchins exhibition, and met with Finbarr O’Shea, manager of the Bantry Credit Union, and Eileen O’Shea, Chairman of the Bantry Development and Tourism Association, to thank them for their support of the Festival.


Julian Haskard, Bill Hutchins, Madeline Hutchins, and Arethusa Greacen, all relatives of Ellen Hutchins, with Eileen O’Shea and Finbarr O’Shea in the Bantry Credit Union.

Festival underway in Bantry

Part of the exhibition in Bantry Credit Union

Part of the Ellen Exhibition in Bantry Credit Union

Botany is in focus in Bantry, West Cork until Sunday 28th August (Heritage Week) with walks, talks and exhibitions as part of the Ellen Hutchins Festival. Ellen was Ireland’s first female botanist and the young woman who put Bantry Bay firmly on the map as far as botany is concerned, and seaweeds in particular.

Seaweeds feature prominently in the exhibition of prints of Ellen’s drawings of seaweed and photographs of her specimens (dried plants on paper) which opened on Saturday 20th August. Unlike normal exhibitions, this one takes to the streets, and is in shop windows across Bantry town centre and in Bantry Credit Union, Bantry Library and the Tourist Office. There are also sites in Ballylickey and Glengarriff. See here for more information.

In the evening on Thursday 25th, at the Westlodge Hotel, Bantry, there is a talk and panel discussion on Ellen: her story, her botany and her art, and before this a Pop Up exhibition with some of Ellen’s letters and books, and materials relating to rediscovering her story. Click here for more.

If you fancy picking up a paint brush and being given expert guidance on how to draw plants, there is a one day botanical art workshop, run by award winning artist, Shevaun Doherty, in the gardens and stables at Bantry House on Friday 26th. Shevaun welcomes all levels of experience and none, and says that the day will be relaxing, enjoyable and above all fun.

On Saturday 27th, upstairs in Organico Cafe in Bantry, you can drop by and see Shevaun in action, in a demonstration of her botanical art. The demo runs from 10am to 12 noon. Members of the Hutchins family will be there with prints of Ellen’s drawings.

A few places are still available for the botanical art workshop, see here for booking details, and information on the other events within the Festival.