Friday 4th November


Festival Opening

An evening of song, chat, food and wine featuring Diarmuid Gavin and Donal Fallon, history columnist on Newstalk with his own inimitable take on Westport and Major John McBride.

With music from Coda and delicious seafood.

Places limited, booking is essential.

Clew Bay Hotel




Join us to celebrate the opening of the Rolling Sun Festival with garden designer Diarmuid Gavin and historian Donal Fallon. It’s an evening of music, food and words to touch all the senses. Donal Fallon describes Major John McBride as only he can. Enjoy a glass of wine and seafood while Coda entertain with their peerless ‘mouth music’.


Diarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid Gavin is one of Ireland’s best known gardeners known for his unique and contemporary garden designs. He has a reputation for uncompromising, functional yet beautiful design and has cultivated a large number of awards over the years, including a coveted gold at the Chelsea Flower Show and two RDA Gold Awards. Gavin is the author of a number of best-selling gardening books including Diarmuid Gavin's Big Ideas and Outer Spaces.








Donal Fallon

Donal Fallon is a historian and author based in Dublin. Editor of Dublin history blog Come Here To Me, he is a regular entertaining and quirky historical contributor to Newstalk radio. His publications include a biography of Major John MacBride.


Donal’s talk is entitled: “Born in Westport, Made in South Africa? Major John MacBride”

While many of the 1916 generation were inspired by the exploits of the Boers in South Africa, some participants in revolutionary Ireland had fought in their ranks, including Mayo's own Major John MacBride. What was it about this war that captivated nationalist Ireland? Donal Fallon will look at Major MacBride's military career, and the influence of his radical political family on his outlook, in this talk.