Ballynahinch Castle has for decades been a place of inspiration and retreat for some of Ireland leading writers, poets and artists. Writers such as Margaret Atwood and Edna O’Brien, poets including Seamus Heaney, Peter Fallon and Michael Longley and artists such as Donald Teskey, Dorothy Cross and Cecil Maguire have all been regular guests at Ballynahinch.
Des Lally, assistant manager, with a keen and deep appreciation of the arts has, over his 30+ years at Ballynahinch Castle, become a close friend of this community and he together with Patrick have always felt that there existed an opportunity for Ballynahinch Castle to engage with these visitors in a way that would enhance the reputation of the hotel.
In 2006 the poet and publisher Peter Fallon approached Des and Patrick with an offer for Ballynahinch to publish a collection of new poems he had written while on retreat in a private house on the grounds. So started a series of collaborations with artists and writers who gave their work freely for the hotel to publish. Turning to the visual artists David Lilburn and Jim Savage who constitute Occasional Press we published our first book, “Ballynahinch Postcards, new poems by Peter Fallon in 2007. This proved to be a great success.
Following the success of Postcards we invited the wider community to contribute to an anthology the profits of which would be donated to Cancer Care West. The resulting “Captivating Brightness”, featuring a veritable Who’s Who of Irish cultural life was an immediate success and after paying all bills a donation of €10,000 was made to the charity.
And so we continued, with further visual arts and poetry collections being published each year. The same approach been taken each time the poet or artist gave their work without fee and the costs were split between Occasional Press and Ballynahinch Castle. The poetry projects were easier to deliver as the contributors rarely required to stay however Ballynahinch Castle always hosted the artists when they came to work. The diary for this work would be agreed around times of excess capacity in the hotel.
|Montenotte & Fountainstown by Dorothy Cross is published in collaboration with Ballynahinch Castle and Occasional Press. Two related books published in a slipcased, special hardback, limited edition of 150, which also includes a folio containing an original print made especially for this edition signed by the artist and in a slipcased, paperback, edition of 850 without print.|
Limited Edition €220.00
| Pony a collection of poems by Tony Curtis and images by David Lilburn. Pony is published by occasional press in collaboration with Ballynahinch Castle, 2013 in a limited edition of 130 hardback copies which include a signed original print by David Lilburn and Tony Curtis and 320 paperback copies. |
Limited Edition €65.00
|Connemara Folio is published by Occasional Press in collaboration with Ballynahinch Castle, August 2011. There are two editions: a paperback edition of five hundred and a limited edition of one hundred and fifty hardbacks, with an original hand painted intaglio print: 'Solitude' (location Roundstone Bog), signed by the artist |
Limited Edition €180.00