The Casement Project

If you happen to be near Tralee this Saturday, there’s a festival of dance and music taking place at Banna Strand that looks to be unmissable.


Féile Fáilte, organized by Irish choreographer Fearghus Ó Chonchúir, is a celebration and examination of the legacy of Roger Casement, the former British diplomat and humanitarian activist who threw his support behind the cause of Irish freedom.

Roger Casement. UCD/RTE

In 1916, having done a deal with Germany to provide guns to the Irish rebels, Casement was captured after landing at Banna Strand just a few days before the Easter Rising.

His subsequent trial and execution continues to be a point of controversy. Many in the public were sympathetic to his plight and pleaded for his death sentence to be commuted, only to turn on him when the Crown focused on his homosexuality and smeared his reputation by circulating the so-called Black Diaries.


Butterflies and Bones: the Casement Project is a dance piece that examines the idea of  welcoming the stranger, and questions what makes a national body.

It uses the queer body of Casement and his rich and complicated legacy to address today’s questions of belonging and becoming. Using dance to set in motion the fixed images and representations of the past, this dance work invites us to imagine what we need for a future that allows diverse individual bodies to flourish together.

In addition to Butterflies and Bones, Féile Fáilte will also feature Welcoming the Stranger, a celebratory dance by long-time Kerry Dance Artist in Residence, Catherine Young, performed to live music by local dance enthusiasts.

Other dance performances include Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company, riding the energy of ’90s club classics in Fearghus Ó Conchúir’s The Rhythm of Fierce; John Scott and his international company of dancing souls perform new show Precious Magic; and Siamsa Tíre bring singers, dancers and musicians to the beach in an extract from their acclaimed show, Oileán.


3pm         Welcome by Fearghus Ó Conchúir, Artistic Director The Casement Project

3.10pm    Welcoming the Stranger – Catherine Young, local dancers, live musicians

3.40pm    The Rhythm of Fierce – Croí Glan Integrated Dance Company

4.30pm    Oileán – Siamsa Tíre, National Folk Theatre of Ireland

5pm         Dance and games on the beach

6pm         Beachside céilí with Paddy Hanafin, music by Sean and Donal Murphy

7.30pm    Precious Magic – John Scott’s Irish Modern Dance Theatre

8.15pm    Rusangano Family

9.30pm    Butterflies and Bones: The Casement Project – Fearghus Ó Conchúir

10.45pm  Lighting the beach

11pm        Disco with Mangina Jones

The Casement Project is part of ART: 2016, the Arts Council of Ireland’s program as part of Ireland 2016.

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