Tír Chonaill Stone Festival | Ardara.ie | Welcome to Ardara, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Tír Chonaill Stone Festival
Thu 13th June - Sun 16th June 2019

Venue: Woodhill House, Ardara, Co. Donegal

A fun, hands-on event packed with community spirit


• Dry Stone Walling •

• Stone Carving •

• Art Drawing •

• Talks • Music • Heritage Tour •


For those who love stonework – beginners and experts alike! 

Help rebuild a heritage wall at Woodhill House, Ardara – leave a legacy for future generations!

Carve a bespoke piece at our carving workshops – keep ancient skills alive!

Visit Doon Fort: a masterpiece of dry stone engineering, which promises to be an unforgettable experience. Tickets for this tour are limited in number, and are included in full weekend stone craft workshops only.



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2019 Programme



Thursday 13th June


Welcome Evening -Woodhill House, Ardara – 7pm

With Joe McGowan

Local historian and folklorist Joe McGowan is a native of Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo. Author of several books on history and heritage, his short stories have featured on local and national radio, TV documentaries and RTE1’s Sunday Miscellany. He was instrumental in the establishment of the famine memorials in Sligo, the Markievicz sculpture in Rathcormack, Co. Sligo and has written extensively on the Sligo famine experience.



Friday 14th June

All workshops take place at Woodhill House, Ardara


Dry Stone Walling Workshop: 9am – 5pm

Involving the restoration of an old market garden wall and suitable for all abilities. There is a tall retaining section and corner for more advanced wallers. Please wear sturdy footwear and bring rain gear. Safety gear and tools and lunch are provided.

Walling Instructors: Patsy McInaw and Jim Fahy
Patsy and Jim have each got long numbers of years experience as stonemasons and dry stone wallers.


Stone Carving Workshop: 9am – 5pm

Suitable for all abilities. Relief, sculpture and letter cutting techniques are taught. If you already have an idea for a piece you would like to carve, please feel free to bring a picture, or sketch your idea on the morning of the workshop. Stone and safety wear supplied. Students may bring their own tools; a variety of tools also provided. Lunch is included in this ticket.

Carving Tutors: Alex Pantelyenko and Martha Quinn


Drawing Workshop: 9am – 5pm

Art compliments stonework, and this workshop is aimed at those who wish to discover a new skill, as well as seasoned artists. The beautiful grounds at Woodhill House are an interesting setting for sketching, with the activities of stone craft workshops providing rich subject matter. Learners are requested to bring materials: sketch pad, pencils, pens, and any other medium which they wish to use and which is easily portable to employ outdoors, e.g. watercolours or inks.

Tutor: Joe Ryder Artist BA (Hons)
Joe has worked as a designer for over 30 years. He has worked extensively across Ireland, the UK, Europe and the UAE. Joe has been a practising fine artist in oil and acrylics for the past 9 years.


Friday Evening Talks: 7pm – 9pm

Paula Harvey, Hilary Martin and Sean Adcock



Saturday 15th June


Workshops at Woodhill House 9am – 5 pm

Dry Stone Walling – Stone Carving – Drawing Workshop
(see above for details)


Saturday Evening Talks: 7pm – 9pm

Justin Moffat and Bobby Watt



Sunday 16th June


Sunday Tour 10am – 3pm

Visit Doon Fort (tickets are limited and are included in full weekend stone craft workshops only) and Kilclooney Dolmen


Farewell – 3pm

Coffee, Tea, Scones – Barrett’s Tavern, Kilclooney





Buy tickets online

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For all queries contact support@tirchonaillstonefestival.com or call Louise 0873223965


ALEX PANTELYENKO has a passion for relief carving, letter cutting and realistic portrait drawing. Since beginning to work with stone in 2010 he covered many various projects. For ‘The Gathering of Stones’ project he carved the Red Hand of Ulster crest. He was proud to carve Waterford county for ‘Clocha na hÉireann/Stones of Ireland’ monument in Glencolmcille.

MARTHA QUINN Sligo based Martha was born in Ireland in 1975 and studied at DLIADT from 1992-1995 graduating with a distinction in sculpture and print. Subsequently she has gained a national reputation for her meticulously carved stone sculptures, her paperwork (drawings, prints and cut-paperwork) and most notably her numerous public sculptures. Her practice is informed and inspired by a wide variety of subjects including science, nature, craft, and architecture. The crossover between the realms of organic and geometric is at play throughout her work.

Paula HarveyPAULA HARVEY is archaeologist with Donegal GAP History and Heritage Group, who in 2016 gained ‘Adopt a Monument’ status for Doon Fort, a unique western stone fort set on an inland lake near Portnoo. The group works towards conserving this dry stone masterpiece.

SEAN ADCOCK is a Dry Stone Wall Association UK Master Craftsman certificate holder and six times North Wales professional champion. Author to guides on walling, he has led many workshops, and worked on large projects such as the repair of Opus 40 in New York.

HILARY MARTIN is Co-President of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Canada. (drystonecanada.com) The Association hosts an annual International Dry Stone Festival, this year returning to Amherst Island, Ontario. Please join us! (drystonecanadafestival.com) She started walling in 2004. Based in Toronto, Hilary works at the Ted Rogers Leadership Centre at Ryerson University. She is also an interdisciplinary artist in sound and stone. (www.hdmartincreative.com)

Justin MoffatJUSTIN MOFFAT A tour guide on the hill of Uisneach, a sacred site at the centre of Ireland, county Westmeath. With a great passion for ringforts, his talk “The ringforts of royal Uisneach” takes a look at these five fantastic forts using aerial photography. His talk covers his work as a guide on Uisneach & his love for all things “Ringfort’.

Bobby WattBOBBY WATT Born on the Isle of Arran, western Scotland, master mason of fifty years’ experience from boy apprentice to the present day. Living and working in Canada, his talk ‘The Conservation and Repair of Stonework’ looks at Ottawa’s Parliament Hill West Block rehabilitation.



‘Clocha na hÉireann/Stones of Ireland’ monument in Glencolmcille




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