ARRIVING with the onset of autumn, the Irish Festival in Finland is being staged for the 28th time, from 28 September until 7 October. Offering visitors the chance to indulge in various aspects of Irish culture, events are being held around the country in celebration.

Keeping with tradition, singer Mary Coughlan is headlining the festival for fifth time, with perfromacnes in the great Sigyn Hall in Turku on Saturday 5 October and Helsinki’s Savoy Theatre on Monday 7 October.

The festival also features Cormac Cannon and Breda Keville from the west of Ireland, performing in various cities around the country, joined by local master of Irish music, Samuli Karjalainen, for the majority of the dates.

Irish up north

Furthermore, in case you haven’t had your fill of Irishness, “The most Northern Irish Festival in the world”, The Irish Festival of Oulu, is being staged from 2 to 6 October. Offering a variety of poems, films and music, the festival once again offers a cracking line-up.

Internationally acclaimed traditional Irish instrumental outfit Lúnasa are joined on a musical bill during the week that includes up-and-comer Gráinne Holland, FullSet and the Máirtín O’Connor Band among others.

Irish Festival in Finland
28 September-7 October

The Irish Festival of Oulu
2 – 6 October

Jim Maginn’s photo exhibition The Light of Other Days will receive its world premiere at the Oulu City Library and Eamonn Keenan returns to the city deliver his third lively presentation on contemporary Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, Ireland’s greatest living poet John Montague offers a seminar on Contemporary Irish Poetry, also appearing with local musicians Anthony Johnson, Markus Lampela and Brent Ó Caiside, as they perform traditional Irish music alongside his prose.

If it’s theatre you are after, then keep an eye out for Joyced!, with Katie O’Kelly. Furthermore, director Seán Ó Cualáin will host a question and answer session after a screening of his film Men at Lunch. Also, if you still haven’t had your Gaellic fill, be sure to check out Irish Film Week, also being staged in the northern city from 26 September to 5 October.

James O’Sullivan