Arts Community Film Outcomes

Festival of Ferns


Festival of Ferns

The Festival of Ferns was a community festival, led by Wexford based events company Lantern. The festival celebrated Ferns’ unique heritage as the site of St Aidan’s monastery, ancient capital of Leinster, seat of Diarmuid Macmurrough, the Gaelic king who is said to be responsible for the Noman invasion of Ireland.

During April and May 2023, Lanterns artist Caoimhe Dunn worked with schools and community groups to create beautiful puppets and costumes for the parade. She coordinated 12 fantastic workshops which had over 300 local participants.

The festival itself took place in Ferns on the bank holiday weekend of June 4th and 5th 2023. The Sunday had a music trail around the pubs in Ferns with over 15 bands playing throughout the day and night and a beautiful concert in St Edans Cathedral by traditional singer-songwriter Melanie O’Reilly.

Monday’s festival was launched by a parade from the cathedral to Ferns Castle with 85 participants from various local groups. The event continued with a festival in the castle grounds and performances from local musicians, choirs, dancers and medieval jousting from the Horse Men of Eire. The event was attended by around 2500 people from the local area.

The event could not have happened without the contributions of:

  • Fearna Mens Shed
  • Ferns Comhaltas
  • Helena Dunbar’s School of Music
  • Deirdre Furlong’s School of Irish Dance
  • Edan’s National School & Scoil Naomh Maodhóg
  • Ferns Community Development Association
  • Ferns Heritage Project
  • Ferns Medieval Experience
  • Small World Theatre
  • Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society
  • Chord on Blues Choir

In addition we would like to thank Small World Theatre for bringing their giant Dewi Sant puppet over from Wales to join the parade.

The community of Ferns hope to fundraise in order to make the festival an annual or bi-annual event.


Archive Arts News

Cwtch Festival – tickets now live!


Cwtch Festival - Tickets now Live!

Tickets are now on sale for Cwtch Festival, St Davids, Pembrokeshire, 28th – 30th October .

Over 50 acts will play free and ticketed gigs over three days this autumn- including Welsh and Irish talent: The Magic Numbers, Lisa O’Neill, Scott Matthews, Adwaith, Penelope Isles and Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, who have just supported Tom Jones and Stereophonics at the Principality Stadium.

Open to everyone, the festival is hosting exclusive, intimate ticketed gigs at City Hall and Ty’r Pererin as well as free music along the ‘cwtch trail’.

Weekend passes and individual gig tickets are available.

The festival is part funded by Ancient Connections.

Archive News

YNYS – soundscapes created by Fern Thomas Artist in Residence


YNYS - soundscapes by Artist in Residence Fern Thomas

‘…and as the relics, stones, bones and stories from both places washed out to sea, a new island was formed right in the middle. A shared place for culture, history, dreams, poetry and song from all time to live alongside each other. And from this place, a radio station appeared and began to transmit,…’

YNYS is a fictional radio station which will create a series of soundscapes that documents the Ancient Connections project and explores the two places of Pembrokeshire and Wexford through field recordings, archival sounds, prose, song, interviews and the speaking of the land.

Fern Thomas has released two of the soundscape podcasts, which you can listen to here. She will be releasing one a month until the end of the project. 

Archive News Opportunity

Next Round of Free Tourism & Heritage Ambassador Training Announced!


Next Round of Free Tourism & Heritage Ambassador Training Announced!


Our first lot of Ancient Connections Ambassadors for North Pembrokeshire and Co. Wexford completed their training last month, and what a wonderful bunch they are! Now, we’re launching more training to swell their numbers. Might you be interested?

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself whilst learning lots of new information and stories. It’s been a privilege to be involved.

B. Wheatley, Ancient Connections Ambassador.

Welcoming visitors to the area and supporting their needs so that the local economy can thrive is very important for our communities. Ambassadors are trained to welcome and greet visitors and pilgrims, provide a wealth of local history and heritage information, help orientate visitors and support them to decide on great places to visit, build an itinerary, develop and lead short, local tours, share practical local information, tell stories and much more. 

Training takes two days and is completely FREE. It’s designed specifically for those with time and interest in volunteering as an Ambassador, those who already welcome visitors to their premises or as part of their work and those already volunteering within the visitor and cultural sphere locally

Here are the training days coming up in NORTH PEMBROKESHIRE: Choose two of these three days:

10 June 10am – 4pm Oriel Y Parc, St David’s

14 June 10am-4pm Fishguard area (venue TBC)

21 June 9.30am – 6pm, Out and About across north Pembrokeshire.

Training places are limited, so booking is vital. To book your place, click the blue button below this message. 

The next round of Ambassador Training in County Wexford will be held in September. Keep an eye out for details.

Archive News

Animating Schools – exchange trip in June


Animating Schools - exchange trip in June 2022

Animating Schools is an exchnage project involving Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi in St Davids and two schools in Ferns: St Edan’s Primary School and Scoil Naomh Maodhog.
35 pupils are taking part in the creation of a short animated film that will tell the shared story of Ferns and St David’s, from legends of the two Saints to tales of knights, kings and powerful women.  The project is led by Winding Snake, specialists in working with schools and community groups on animation projects.
So far the children have been working on script writing and story development. In June, the Ferns group will be travelling to St Davids to meet their welsh counterparts, get to know each other and take part in a joint animation workshop.
As well as working on the animation film together, the group will be visiting important heritage sites in the area such as St Nons, St Davids Cathedral, The Bishops Palace, guided by Janet Ingram, St Davids Cathedral’s Education and Pilgrimage Officer. They will also visit Castell Henllys and the dig site at Whitesands Bay and take part in an archaeology workshop. 
The film is expected to be completed in Autumn 2022.
Filmmaker Terence White is accomanpying the group from Ferns and will be making a short documentary film about the project.



Archive News

Wexford & Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way – half day guided pilgrimage


Wexford & Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way – Goodwick to Llanwnda half-day guided pilgrimage.

Led by The British Pilgrimage Trust. Be the first to have a sneak peak on a 6 mile half-day pilgrimage on the new cross border pilgrimage between Wexford and Pembrokeshire.
Our small but excellent and experienced team will guide you from Goodwick to Llanwnda, the Pencaer peninsula, Carregwastad Point and the ancient land of Pebidiog at the Pembrokeshire beginning of a new pilgrimage.
You will be led by Pembrokeshire pilgrimage officer David Pepper, Iain Tweedale from Journeying and Christine Smith from Guided Pilgrimage who will share their knowledge and experience of guiding modern day pilgrimage where there will be time to reflect and take time out from our busy lives to go on both an outer journey through these beautiful landscapes, and on an inner journey to re-connect with nature and ourselves.
This will be a half-day loop route exploring the landing place of the pilgrim in Goodwick to St Gwyndaf’s Church and Holy Well at Llanwnda. We will be exploring the relationship between land & sea in pilgrimage, taking in holy wells, ancient Celtic christian settlements, neolithic burial chambers mixed with modern day transatlantic relations and last invasions.
Meet at: St Peter’s Church Hall, 3 Plasygamil Road, Goodwick, Wales, SA64 0EL
Tickets · £22.15



Archive News Opportunity

Quotes Sought – Development of Pilgrimage related tourism products


Quotes Sought - Development of Pilgrimage related tourism products

Pembrokeshire County Council invites quotes from businesses, self-employed individuals and social enterprises for proposals to develop and test new pilgrimage related products that will align with a new pilgrim route being created between Ferns in Wexford, Ireland and St Davids in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The route is being managed and developed by The British Pilgrimage Trust and partners and will be launched in early 2023.

Quotes are expected to be in the region of €10,000-15,000 and we are aiming to work with around 4-6 small businesses, self-employed individuals or social enterprises. The scheme aims to support local businesses to recover from the economic impact of COVID and develop new tourism products that would be targeted towards potential national and international pilgrims.

The available monies must be spent on revenue costs (eg staff time, travel costs, materials, small-scale products, and intangibles such as marketing material) and not capital costs (such as structural improvements to buildings or creation of new structures). Small scale technological equipment, temporary structures and materials to improve a venue such as paint are not counted as capital.

In order to apply, you and/or your business must be based in West Wales OR you must be able to demonstrate that the product you develop will have a clear positive impact on the economy of Pembrokeshire. The areas of Goodwick, Fishguard and St Davids in North Pembrokeshire are closest to the pilgrim route, and products that would have impact for these areas are therefore particularly welcomed. These products can be specific to Pembrokeshire or could be cross-border in nature, or may involve collaborators from the Wexford area

Download the Tenderer Information form here

Download the brief here

Deadline for submissions: Thursday 14th April 2022 5 pm

Please ensure that you have included the Tenderer Information form and all other requested documents and email your application as one PDF document to

Please contact for further information.


Project Outputs: 

Training, marketing and legacy network for festival of North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire

Archive News Opportunity

Festival and Event training and marketing – Specialist Sought!


Festival and Event training and marketing - specialist sought

Wexford County Council wishes to appoint a contractor to undertake and deliver a Festival and Event Business Training, Marketing and Network Support Programme, for existing small local festivals and events in the project regions of North Wexford (Ireland) and North Pembrokeshire (Wales), as part of the Ancient Connections project.

The project intends to establish a festival and event business training, marketing and network support programme, delivered by relevant consultants and trainers, capable of providing a range of competitiveness and capacity development services, for the existing festival and events community of the project regions.

The programme will include the delivery of skills training for small festival and event organisers; shared cross-border marketing resources and materials, and the creation of a legacy communications network, for future cross-border collaboration between the participating groups of Wexford and Pembrokeshire. These activities will play a vital role in the post-COVID recovery phase for local Wexford and Pembrokeshire events and festivals, which have been disrupted over the past two years.

The tender brief can be accessed on at 206295 – 5/COMM/2022 – RFT for a “Festival and Event Business Training, Marketing and Network Support Programme”, in Wexford and Pembrokeshire, as part of the Ancient Connections project 2021 – 2023

Deadline for submissions:  28th February 2022 16:00   Irish time

Please contact for further information.

Project Outputs: 

Training, marketing and legacy network for festival of North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire

Archive Community

Aberjazz Parade

Community Project

Aberjazz Parade

Aberjazz is a local live music promoter based in the twin towns of Fishguard and Goodwick, that organises local music events, mainly in Fishguard. The main Aberjazz event of the calendar is the Fishguard Jazz & Blues festival, which runs for 5 days over the August bank holiday weekend.  This comprises about 35 events in various venues, a jazz parade and the Aberjazz Fringe which takes place in various pubs in the town.

The Aberjazz parade planned for the August Bank Holiday 2021 will be a major attraction, with local involvement, themed fancy dress and workshops throughout August. On the parade day, the town will be filled with street artists and a portable busking stage will attract buskers.

The parade will celebrate local history such as the first flight across the Irish Sea, the last invasion, local pirates and the Happidrome, Goodwick’s first and only cinema.  The Market Hall will come to life with craft stalls, street food, buskers, fire eaters, jugglers and a gin wagon.

Date: August Bank Holiday 2021

Project Outputs: Festival Parade and Workshops

Learn More at: