Thursday, October 15, 2020

Ballina Fringe Festival in association with Ice House Hotel will this weekend afford a fascinating insight into one of north Mayo’s most iconic properties with a special appeal to art lovers.

Ice House documentary

A still from the documentary on Ballina’s historic Ice House and its art collection.

The festival has been running since October 9, sharing an eclectic array of arts-based, pandemic-friendly, online events.

A highlight of this year’s programme is a brilliant short documentary which will be streamed this Saturday afternoon, October 17 at 3pm on the Ballina Fringe Festival Facebook page.

The half-hour piece tells the history of Ballina’s landmark Ice House building which dates back to 1836 and was formerly the home of Moy Fishery managers.

The film focuses on the hotel’s extensive contemporary art collection which boasts works by many or Ireland’s leading artists including Hughie O’Donoghue, Mick O’Dea, Martin Gale, Charles Tyrell, Michael Farrell and John Devlin.

Pieces from the collection have been individually selected to hang in each room of the hotel in a process that began while the property was still under development.

The documentary features contributions by Martin and Charles Tyrell and was directed by Roland Mahon, with interviewing by Rachael Gilbourne, Curator at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Local historian Terry Reilly also features, as does Joe Kennedy, designer and architect of the Ice House.

As well as an intimate glimpse into the art of the hotel, the film shows how artists develop relationships with places and areas.

Pearse Farrell, owner of the Ice House Hotel paid tribute to the documentary’s producers Ro Mahon and Pearse McKenna, noting that their work will not only contribute to the continued success of the Ballina Fringe Festival but will also prove an invaluable recording of the history of the Ice House and its important art collection.

Sean Walsh, chair of Ballina Fringe Festival said: “Planning a festival during a pandemic is challenging; but we felt that this year it was more vital than ever to ensure the event went ahead, to support artists in the region. With the help of the Ice House, we’ve been able to quickly adapt to deliver the majority of our planned events, and in doing so, we’ve ensured greater accessibility and a wider reach for them. We’re looking forward to 2021 when hopefully we can resume our normal programming and enjoy live events once more.”

The video will premiere on on Saturday, October 17 at 3pm, live on the Ballina Fringe Festival Facebook page –


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