Building Sustainable, Resilient and Thriving Rural Places

OECD Rural Conference Cultural Programme Thursday 29 September

Accora Orchestra18:30-20:30

Accora Orchestra is an accordion orchestra based in Mullagh, Co. Cavan. There are four orchestras, all at different levels, and they teach beginners, starting at the age of four, to advanced students. Led by musical director John Chilton, they are current World Accordion Champions at adult and school level and look forward to returning to Austria in 2025 to defend their titles. They have performed in Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Czech Republic and Austria and are currently planning a trip to Germany next year.

Trip 1: Ireland’s Ancient East

9:30-10:30 - Doohamlat, Co Monaghan
Visit to small rural village which has received State supports to develop/refurbish a number of community facilities.
11:15-13:15 - Carlingford, Co Louth
Visit to the historical town on beautiful Carlingford Lough will include tour of King John’s Castle and rural and tourism development projects supported in the town.

Note: The last leg of this tour will be split into two groups due to the limited capacity of each venue: 
14:15-15:45-  Brú na Bóinne
Guided Tour of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne in the Boyne Valley. Brú na Bóinne is famous for the spectacular prehistoric passage tombs of Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth which were built circa 3200BC. These ceremonial structures are among the most important Neolithic sites in the world and contain the largest collection of megalithic art in Western Europe.

14:15-15:45 - Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre 
The River Boyne is the site of the largest battle to ever take place on Irish soil, as more than 60,000 men decided the fate of the British throne, French dominance in Europe and religious power in Ireland as the armies of King William III and King James II met. Visitors will learn about the site and the battle history, including a demonstration, using props, of aspects of the battle. 

Trip 2: Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands

08:45-10:00 - Ballyhaise Agricultural College
Teagasc is the national body providing integrated research, advisory and training services to the agriculture and food industry and rural communities. The visit to Ballyhaise College, one of four dedicated colleges operated by Teagasc, will provide delegates with the opportunity to tour the college farm and hear about the initiatives being implemented to translate research into practice through education and training with the objective of increasing efficiency and reducing environmental impacts on air and water quality.
11:15-13:15 - Corlea Trackway and Mid-Shannon Wilderness Park, Co Longford
The Centre interprets an Iron Age oak roadway, dating from 148 BC and among the largest of its kind to be uncovered in Europe, detailing the fascinating story of the discovery and excavation of this monumental structure. Then as now, the roadway lies in the middle of expansive raised bog which, harvested for peat over generations, is now seeing new uses through sustainable energy creation, recreational tourism, and rewilding as the Mid-Shannon Wilderness Park.
14:00-15:00 - Kilbeggan Distillery, Co Westmeath
The Kilbeggan Distillery is the oldest distillery in the world, dating back to 1757. Visitors to the Kilbeggan Distillery Experience will learn about the traditional methods of mashing in oak mash tuns, fermenting in Oregon pine vats, and will see the new Kilbeggan malt spirit flowing from ancient pot stills.