Féile na gCloch (Festival of Stone) 14th – 17th September 2023

Féile na gCloch (Festival of Stone) was established in 2006 and takes place each year on the beautiful island of Inis Oírr. The Festival celebrates the craftsmanship, heritage, and the timeless beauty of stone work that can be found on Inis Oírr, various parts of Ireland and throughout the world. The festival includes many workshops such as dry stone walling, stone carving, lettering, sketching and working with hot lime mortar. It also provides an opportunity for dry stone communities, crafts people and enthusiasts alike to come together and exchange knowledge which in turn assists in the safeguarding of this important element of our intangible cultural heritage.

The Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques was officially inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2018. Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland were included in this initial inscription. In March 2023 an application was submitted to UNESCO seeking to add Ireland, Austria, Andorra, Belgium and Luxembourg to the inscription. UNESCO’s decision on this application is expected in December 2024.

To mark this application to UNESCO and further support international partnership and knowledge sharing, Ireland has invited representatives from each of the countries involved in the inscription to attend Féile na gCloch 2023. The international delegation will give talks and presentations during the festival and participate in the building an ‘International Wall’. The exhibition ‘Lámha trasna na hEorpa’ (Hands Across Europe) will also be on display during the festival. This exhibition showcases the rich traditional artistry of drystone construction in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain.

Further information on Féile na gCloch (Festival of Stone) can be found at: https://heritage.galwaycommunityheritage.org/content/category/topics/feile-na-gcloch
The inscription of Art of dry stone walling, knowledge and techniques on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity can be viewed at: https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/art-of-dry-stone-walling-knowledge-and-techniques-01393