Monday, July 11, 2022

Mary Coughlan was wowed by the setting of Crotty’s Lake, where she performed on Friday last as part of the Comeraghs Wild Festival.

Photos: Patrick Browne

THE 2022 Comeraghs Wild Festival, held last weekend, has been described as the best yet by organisers, with a large number of events selling out early and others attracting more support than ever before.

Mary Coughlan’s live concert at Crotty’s Lake was a complete sell-out with well over 600 enjoying an enchanting evening in magical surroundings on Friday evening last.

“We need more concerts and more small festivals like Comeraghs Wild,” Coughlan told her audience. “Glastonbury isn’t a patch on this. What a setting.”

On social media the following day, Coughlan added: “What a location, Crotty’s Lake. Pure Magic. Thank you all for coming out and making it such a special night. This is the way to do a festival,” she added.

Among the other big hits at the festival was broadcaster, biologist and author, Eanna Ní Lamhna who guided a group on a nature walk and talk along a section of the Waterford Greenway and into the Park at Kilmacthomas with local guide Stephen McCarthy.

“My husband John comes from Clonmel so we used to spend lots of time down here exploring the mountains and their surroundings when we first got married and before we had our children,” she said.

“We had a wonderful time at the Comeraghs Wild. It’s great to see the natural beauty and amenities in the area showcased and celebrated through this annual festival. It’s authentic, it’s fully immersed in the history, culture and natural environment  of the area and we’re planning to be back again in the not too distant future.”

Huge numbers turned up for new events at new venues this year. The Gateway Eco Camp was a hive of activity with the Cruachaun Loop Walk and the subsequent celebration of Irish culture.

The Comeragh Mountain Lamb Feast at Cooney’s Yard was also proved a sell-out while an enthusiastic bunch joined Mario for the Coumshingaun Walk from Kilclooney Wood and braved the sweltering heat.

And the smallies enjoyed the open air production of Chapter House Theatre’s ‘Cinderella’ against the stunning backdrop of Curraghmore House and Gardens on Sunday afternoon, where preparations for the All Together Now festival are ongoing.

Said a delighted Festival spokesperson, Bernadette Drohan: “This has to go down at the best Comeraghs Wild Festival yet. Huge thanks must go to our volunteers, to Waterford City and County Council for supporting the event and to all of our hosts who really pulled out all the stops.

“We experimented with new venues and new events this year and it really, really worked. We thank every single person who came out and supported the many events and we’re already plotting and planning and looking forward to Comeraghs Wild 2023. Mary Coughlan has already said she would love to come back and the consensus, even at this early stage, is that we may well see ‘Mary in the Mountains’ again next year, all going well.”

The Festival was supported by Waterford City & County Council and run by a committee of hard-working local volunteers.

Paul Gleeson, Theresa Gough and Bernard Cullinane, who enjoyed the sold-out Mary Coughlan gig on Friday last.

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