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Ballina Fringe Festival

Date: 15-10-2020

Ballina Fringe Festival in association with the Ice House Hotel premieres short documentary film exploring the art collection of the Ice House Hotel.

Ballina Fringe Festival in association with the Ice House Hotel continues until Sunday, October 18 October, and in one of the festival highlights this year, art lovers can enjoy a short documentary film exploring the Ice House’s extensive contemporary art collection of from the comfort of their own homes on Saturday 17th October at 3pm, streaming on the Ballina Fringe Festival Facebook page.

The half-hour piece tells the history of the building and focuses on the art collection of the hotel, which boasts works by many of Ireland’s leading artists, including Hughie O’Donoghue, Mick O’Dea, Martin Gale, Charles Tyrell, Michael Farrell and John Devlin. Each room in the hotel has a unique and individually selected artwork; a process that began at the outset while the hotel was still being built.

The documentary features contributions by Martin and Charles Tyrell and was directed by Roland Mahon, with interviewing by Rachael Gilbourne, Curator at IMMA, 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 said: “The Ice House Hotel has been a main sponsor of the Ballina Fringe Festival since its inception and in light of the current pandemic and in consultation with Sean Walsh of the Festival, we decided to produce this short video documenting the history of the Ice House, its architecture, art and artists.  Ro Mahon and Pearse McKenna were asked to produce it and we are particularly thankful to them both for their extraordinary commitment to this project. Not only is it making a contribution to the continued success of the Ballina Fringe Festival, it will also prove an invaluable recording of the history of the Ice House and its important art collection”.

The Ice House Hotel, originally built in 1836, was called the ‘Iceland Cottage’ and housed the Moy Fishery managers. In this strategically positioned building on the Moy Estuary (which became the principal sea-port of Ireland in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century), tonnes of wild salmon were once preserved under ice before being shipped to the markets of Dublin and Liverpool. Today the modern and traditional are fused in this award-winning hotel and spa.

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. Visit

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