Lots to look forward to St Patrick’s weekend at Luan Gallery and Athlone Castle

Written by castle-keep

Athlone Castle and Visitor Centre will re-open to the public on the 16th of March just in time for St Patrick’s Day, after a period of closure since the 27th of February allowing the Office of Public Works to begin carrying out essential restoration work on the castle walls. Athlone Castle is offering all visitors a 10% discount on our admission prices for St. Patrick’s weekend. Guided Tours of the Castle Visitor Centre will take place at 1pm on Sunday 17th March. The castle guided tour is included in price of admission. Booking in advance is advised as there are limited spaces for the guided tour, first come first served.

For further information on St Patrick’s Day weekend events, contact Athlone Arts & Tourism on 0906442154 or e-mail info@athlonecastle.ie

Athlone Castle Conservation Works Notice

The Office of Public Works will undertake essential conservation works on the exterior walls of Athlone Castle from 27/02/2019 to 24/05/2019 inclusive.

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre and grounds will be closed to the public from 27/02/2019 to 15/03/2019 and from 13/05/2019 to 24/05/2019 inclusive to facilitate these works.

For Public Safety reasons it will be necessary to close the tunnel under the town bridge and adjacent pedestrian area for these periods also as shown hatched in orange on attached drawing entitled Requirements for Scaffold Erection

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre and grounds will be open to the public from 16/03/2019 to 14/05/2019 inclusive.
The tunnel under the town bridge and pedestrian access route will be open for this period as shown on the attached drawing entitled Requirements for Main Works

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Athlone Arts & Tourism

Free Talk at Athlone Castle Explores the History of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is delighted to host a special free talk titled “Jacob’s Biscuit Factory & Dublin: An Assorted History” by designer Wendy Williams. Wendy is an exhibition designer and has spent the last twenty-odd years making a show of everything from Neolithic battle axes to Patrick Pearse’s tea cup. Wendy is also the curator of the travelling exhibition Jacob’s Biscuit Factory & Dublin: An Assorted History, which is now on display at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre until October 21st, with the kind permission of Dublin City Library and Archive.  The exhibition was originally funded by the Dublin City Council Decade of Commemorations.

Wendy’s talk will discuss how in the first decades of the twentieth century, biscuits made by workers in the Bishop Street factory of W & R Jacob & Co. graced tables from Bombay to Buenos Aires. This talk looks at many aspects of Jacob’s one hundred and sixty year business legacy – from the origins of the names of the biscuits to welfare provisions for the people who made them.

The talk will take place at 3:00pm on Sunday 7th October. Admission to the talk is free, but places are limited – booking in advance is advised to avoid disappointment. Places for the talk can be booked by emailing info@athlonecastle.ie, or by phoning 090 6442130.

Normal Athlone Castle Visitor Centre admission rates apply when visiting the Jacobs travelling exhibition. The Castle is open from Tuesday until Sunday for the months of September and October. Athlone Castle Visitor Centre encourages everyone to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane & visit this tasty exhibition!

Celebrate Culture Night at Athlone Castle, Luan Gallery & Abbey Road Artist’s Studios!

Athlone Castle, Luan Gallery and Abbey Road Artists’ Studios are delighted to be offering a busy and exciting schedule of free events for Culture Night 2018 on Friday 21st September.

Culture Night visitors to Athlone Castle, will be treated to rousing performances in the castle courtyard by the Athlone Pipe Band at 6.15pm, and the Army Band of the 2nd Brigade at 7.15pm. These events are weather permitting, and are subject to change. There will be free entry to the Athlone Castle Visitor Centre from 5.30pm until 8pm (with last entry at 7.30pm). Visitors can also take the opportunity to view the temporary travelling exhibition “Jacob’s Biscuit Factory & Dublin: An Assorted History” on display in the Visitor Centre during this time.

Luan Gallery will host free guided tours by the artists of the gallery’s latest exhibitions; If Not for You by Eoin Francis McCormack and Living in a bubble by Susanne Wawra. These tours will take place from 6.15pm to 7.15pm. The gallery will also hold Drop-in Art Workshops for children aged 6 – 12 from 5.30pm to 7pm (with the last workshop at 6.15pm). Members of the Award Winning local community group “Poetry in the Park” will provide music and poetry in the gallery from 7.30pm to 8pm.

In Abbey Road Artists’ Studios, visitors will have the chance to experience Open Studios from 4.30pm to 7pm, which provides a unique behind-the-scenes view of the artists’ studios. The current resident artists of Abbey Road; Calvin Doyle, Leigh Francis, Lelia Henry, Eoin Francis McCormack invite you to their Culture Night exhibition entitled; Welcome to the neighbourhood’ which will be opened by Senator Gabrielle McFadden and all are welcome to attend the launch at 5.30pm.

Culture Night is a wonderful nationwide initiative that invites people to spend their evening exploring the best cultural offerings of their town. With museums, galleries and artists’ studios extending their opening hours all around the country, Culture Night is the perfect opportunity to visit sites that you may ordinarily miss out on due to your work schedule. Athlone Arts and Tourism look forward to welcoming the public to our celebration of culture!

A full schedule of events with further details and times is available to view on www.athloneartsandtourism.ie and www.athlonecastle.ie.

Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 090 6442130 and Luan Gallery on 090 6442154.

Art and the Vote – Schools Poster Competition

Attention all 5th & 6th Class Students in Westmeath!

Athlone Castle and Luan Gallery are celebrating the one hundred year anniversary of Irish women first winning the right to vote, and we would like to invite students to get involved!

Irish women’s suffrage campaign art competition

To commemorate the centenary of the first granting of votes to women in 1918, we are exploring the Irish women’s suffrage campaign through the art it produced. Irish suffragists created posters, pictures, and cartoons to display to the public to try and convince them to allow women to have a vote. We are inviting students to produce their own posters responding to this theme and enter them in our competition for a chance to win some great prizes.

Students from all 5th and 6th classes from schools in Co. Westmeath are invited to design a poster or cartoon that they think would have helped to persuade people to give women the vote back in 1918.

Irish women’s suffrage campaign art competition

A 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize winner will be announced on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and by contact with the schools involved. There will also be some prizes for a number of Highly Commended entries.
Prizes include fantastic art supplies packs to the values of €50.00, €40.00, and €30.00, brilliant books, and family passes for admission to Athlone Castle Visitor Centre. Each school which enters the competition will also be entered into a draw to win a free school tour for their class to Athlone Castle!

A prize giving ceremony will take place in Athlone Castle at 2pm on Saturday 17th November. The winning entries, and a number of highly commended choices, will go on public display in the reception area of Athlone Castle Visitor Centre until the 30th of November.

Irish women’s suffrage campaign art competition

Join us in being part of the centenary celebrations of one hundred years since women first won the right to vote!

Entries can be posted to:

Art and the Vote Competition,
Athlone Castle Visitor Centre,
St. Peter’s Square,

The closing date for entries is Thursday 18th October at 5pm. For further information, please contact info@athlonecastle.ie

This project is kindly supported by Westmeath County Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Athlone Castle logo Luan Gallery logo
Westmeath County Council logo Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht logo

Celebrate Heritage Week at Athlone Castle Visitor Centre!

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is delighted to join in sharing stories for Heritage Week 2018, whose theme this year is “Share a Story, Make a Connection”.

National Heritage Week runs from the 18th to the 26th of August, and the Visitor Centre have programmed a number of exciting events throughout the week to suit all ages!

Henry Brady will return with his popular “Walk the Walls” tour, a guided exploration of the castle’s many historical external defence features. Professional storyteller Danielle Allison will transport you to places near and far with stories that are funny, serious, wise, and interactive in her family storytelling sessions. Cultural Officer Donna Gilligan will be sharing women’s stories in a special guided tour of the Visitor Centre focusing on the tales of the women who can be found in the stories and collections on display there.


Shannon Storytellers will celebrate Heritage Week with a major storytelling event in the atmospheric setting of Athlone Castle Keep, and the annual “Storm the Castle” free admission day will take place on Wednesday 22nd August. Special guided tours will be available with paid admission at selected times during the week, when the Castle tour guides will share their favourite stories of the people, places, and objects from Athlone’s history that are displayed in the Visitor Centre.
Pre-booking is advised for these events, as places will be limited.

Queries and requests for further information should be addressed to Athlone Castle on 090 6442130 or info@athlonecastle.ie