A Wild Atlantic Women Weekend


Galway 2020 will celebrate International Women’s Day this weekend with our Wild Atlantic Women event series.

Echoing the #EachforEqual theme, the series will recognise the incredible achievements of women on a local, national and international level, shifting perceptions towards a more equal future.

Derry-native Susan McKay opens up the discussion with Derry Girls star Siobhan McSweeney (everyone’s favourite sarcastic nun) on Saturday. Siobhan tells us about her extensive career on stage and screen, on the changing social landscape of the North and the actor’s inspirational views on the world at large. The following morning, we’ll wake up with artist and poet Caroline Bergvall for Ragadawn, a unique, outdoor sunrise performance featuring soprano vocals from Ana Beard Fernández and compositions by the esteemed Gavin Bryars.

If this doesn’t wake you up, perhaps a walk in the Burren followed by a dip in the Atlantic will. Ruth Fitzmaurice, author of I Found My Tribe will lead a troupe of hardy perennials into the wild Atlantic waves as part of a Small Towns Big Ideas project from the Kinvara Pier to Peer Group. Fitzmaurice is one of many literary gems featured in the weekend event. A much anticipated appearance from The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood awaits at Leisureland on Sunday evening. Earlier in the day, Elaine Feeney will quiz rising literary star Jan Carson on her recent novel, The Fire Starters. The blazing tale (“exhilarating” as Roddy Doyle called it) won the prestigious EU Prize for Literature last year, bowling over critics with its magic realist take on modern-day Belfast.

Over at Engage Art Studios, artists Evelyn Glynn, Aine Phillips, Blaise Drummond, Ruby Wallis and Alison Lowey have created Home Truths, an exhibition inspired by women’s testimonies of court experiences. Having reported incidents of domestic abuse, many women encounter discouraging treatment at the hands of a disempowering legal system. Glynn’s sound installation interweaves their testimonies with commissioned work from the artists responding to the women’s stories. Home Truths will be on show from 8 to 14 March. The second part of this project will take place in Samhain to coincide with 16 days of action for human rights – culminating in International Day for Human Rights on 10 December 2020.

In the lead up to the Wild Atlantic Women weekend, Hope it Rains | Soineann nó Doineann’s Grain Loves Rain will invite Galway audiences to grow their own wearable field of baby greens. Turning our bad weather to good use, Hope it Rains makes Galway the place to be because it rains and blows (and it has done a lot of that, recently). The project’s mission is to change our relationship with weather, encouraging people of all ages to help make Galway weather-proof and climate resilient. Ukrainian artists PROSO have designed a wearable ecosystem on the go, perfect for a rainy climate. It’s not everyday you get to sport a rain-cape – join the artistic duo in Inis Oírr and Athenry from 6 to 17 March to sow the seeds and watch your babies grow. To find out how you can take part, contact Hope it Rains at



Image: Ragadawn image Isle of Skye 2018, Image Sophie Gerrard
Related Events