Why Wilde Series

So, this year we are asking all of our performers and speakers the same question - why Wilde?

We felt this year that we could provide more insights into the festival programme by chatting to the people involved in the shows. 


This year, we are delighted to have Brendan J Hynes on board. He has compiled a Wilde Walking Tour of Galway city.  By going on the tour, you'll get to experience the Galway city Wilde would have experienced as a young man arriving into the area. In his letters from Connemara, where the Wilde family had a home, the young Oscar wrote to his friends telling them of "this savage beauty". His love of the west of Ireland shines through. 


Brendan will call on these letters during the walking tour along with his own extensive knowledge of the city as a walking tour guide. Brendan's love of Wilde and the city he loved will certainly become obvious as you take to the streets and walk in Wilde's footsteps. 


Tickets for Adults are 10 euro, 8 euro for students and older people and 20 euro for a family (2 adults, 2 children). Tickets can be purchased at the tour.. 

The walk takes places 3 times over the weekend - on Friday Sept 4 at 7.30pm, Saturday Sept 5 at 2.30pm and Sun Sept 6 at 11am. All walks begin on the steps of the Hotel Meyrick on Eyre Square and finish at Tigh Neachtains, Galway's historic pub. . Duration: 80 minutes approx. 


What first attracted you to Wilde – his life or his work?

Brendan: It would have to be both. He had an interesting life with a body of work to match.


What do you admire about him?

Brendan: It would have to be his wit. He had a wit like no other and he wasn't afraid to use that wit with his sarcasm.


Your favourite Wilde saying?

Brendan:  "I like men who have a future and women who have a past."


If he arrived on your doorstep today, what would you do? 

Brendan: Have Oscar take me on a walk of the Galway he knew. 


What can Wilde fans expect on the walking tour? 

Brendan: Hopefully gain an insight to the city that Wilde passed through as a child and young man. They will get a sense of why the place meant so much to him.

Ready to go!




We are ready to go.

All details are online on our What's On page.


You can get your tickets on our Ticket page:




We hope you like what we have on offer. 


We are thrilled to be able to bring such a high calibre of performer to the festival.


We hope to see you all at the festival this year. See you in the first weekend of September!





Festival programme on its way




We are very excited about this year's festival.  

We are delighted to be teaming up with Master Tour Guide Brendan J Hynes, who will be bringing visitors on a Wilde walking tour of Galway city. This looks set to be just one of the highlights of this year's programme as he will walk you through the city Wilde would have landed in as a young boy. 

The full programme is almost ready!




Dates for your diary




It's a beautiful Spring day here in Galway. Happy Springtime to all our Wilde fans near and far. 


We are currently working on this year's programme and we definitely think it is something Wilde fans will enjoy. Full details will be available over the coming months so keep an eye on this website and also on Twitter and Facebook.


Mark this year's festival dates in your diary - September 4-6. 


Hope to see you all very soon. 




RTE presenter and fashion designer Brendan Courtney to launch this year's festival






RTE star and fashion designer, Brendan Courtney will launch this year’s Oscar Wilde Festival Galway on Friday September 5 in the Harbour Hotel, Galway city at 6pm.


Brendan is a well known broadcaster, designer and writer and is well known for presenting seven seasons of popular fashion show Off the Rails on RTE with his now business partner Sonya Lennon. Brendan and Sonya recently set up their own women’s wear label, Lennon Courtney, and their designs have been worn by Amy Huberman among other celebrities.


Brendan will launch Ireland’s only festival dedicated to Oscar Wilde, something he was delighted to be asked to do.


This year, the festival has a strong fashion theme. The opening talk, which will take place right after the launch, will detail the life of Galway woman and milliner Eva O’Flaherty, a cousin of Wilde’s. The launch will also be attended by Vivian Nesbitt, actress from hit US tv show Breaking Bad. Vivian Nesbitt is a great great granddaughter of Eva O’Flaherty’s, who was a nationalist, and writer, who wrote with Wilde’s mother in The Nation.


On Saturday September 6 at 4pm, there is a talk on Wilde and Dress and how Wilde was one of the first celebrities to realise the power of fashion. Other events include a talk on Wilde Today, which will look at how Wilde’s reputation has survived. This will take place at 12noon, also on Saturday September 6 along with an evening show on Lady Wilde, Oscar’s mother, who also had a great sense of style. All of Saturday’s events take place in An Taibhdhearc, Middle Street, Galway.  


The festival will conclude on Sunday with lunchtime theatre in the Harbour Hotel with a new show by Galway writer, Brendan Murphy. Tickets are available through the website.


Brendan Courtney  began his career as fashion reporter on RTE’s live daily show, Open House. While working in fashion television and styling, Brendan returned to London’s Central St Martins College of Fashion where he studied fashion illustration and design.


He has a weekly fashion column in the Irish Times and is the editor for Frockadvisor, a fashion app. He is also the fashion correspondent for BBC Radio London and RTE. Brendan was responsible for the return of the BBC’s The Clothes Show, which he produced and presented for three seasons.


He has hosted his own self-titled tv chat show, The Brendan Courtney Show. He is currently in production for two new tv series for UK and Asian tv channel, Propeller TV.


In 2012, Brendan and his business partner Sonya Lennon designed their first women’s wear collection Lennon Courtney, whose dresses have been worn by celebrity Amy Huberman among others.




To Galway! To Wilde! 4 weeks to go!


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The countdown is on to this year's festival. Delighted to have such a strong line-up this year and we hope you'll agree there will be some interesting insights into Wilde.


We have speakers and performers from Galway, UK and US. We aim to bring a wide spectrum of insights every year.


Friday evening we will kick it all off in the Harbour Hotel. We hope to bring news of a special guest next week!

Galway Journalist and author Mary J Murphy will kick off the festival with a talk on Eva O'Flaherty, who was a famous milliner from Galway but who also always said she was Oscar's cousin.


We move to An Taibhdhearc on Saturday. This is a huge step for the festival and is proof that the intention is to grow steadily every year. We hope that the audience grows along with us. All day Saturday, you are invited to come and mingle with fellow Wildeans on the beautiful Middle Street. All around the theatre are great restaurants and bars where you can chat between shows.

Saturday's events begin at 12 noon. Thrilled to have Galway City Arts Officer James Harrold opening the day's events. He will outline the strong connection Wilde has with the theatre and the connection is truly fascinating.

Members of the audience will be encouraged to ask our panellists questions on how Wilde is perceived today in Ireland, UK and the US.  The panel will discuss how Wilde is perceived in Ireland, UK and US and what they think has shaped it.

Wilde on Dress is a fascinating area. Wilde was one of the first celebrities to recognise the power of outlandish dress sense. But he also made some interesting comments on finding a more healthy state of dress for women at the time. This kicks off at 4pm.

At 8pm, Wilde's mother takes centre stage. Lady Jane WIlde was a huge force in Oscar's life. This show charters her life from the glory days right to when she was penniless.


On Sunday, we are back in the Harbour Hotel for a stage documentary, written and performed by award winning Galway writer Brendan Murphy. This lunchtime theatre show is the first time the festival will support new Irish writing inspired by Wilde.


All info you need is on the What's on page and how to get tickets is also there.


Looking forward to seeing you and it was a huge joy last year to meet and greet so many Wilde fans.


To Galway. To Wilde.



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Festival details to be announced in June




Hi! We have had a few emails asking when details will be available. Just wanted to let you know that details are coming together and we will have some exciting announcements to make in June. Until then, keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter page.






Happy New Year. Wilde festival heads into its second year!




Happy New Year and hope 2014 is a brill one for you and yours.

Here at the Wilde Festival, Galway, I am delighted to announce that it will be back for year 2. May I just say a huge thanks for all the support and encouragement after year one, in particular to the Gathering and Galway City Council's Arts Office for their support. And most of all to those that made the effort to come to the festival.

The dates for this year are 5-7 September. So far, preliminary talks about events are taking place and once they are confirmed, a full list of events will be put up here.

Until then, hope 2014 has got off to a good start. Check back soon to discover what will be in store for the festival for 2014!