Féile na Laoch (Festival of Heroes) is an international, multifaceted festival of all the arts which is organized over a six month period every seven years across Ireland and internationally. It is dedicated to the memory of the Irish composer and creator Seán Ó Riada and is the only official commemoration of this Irish hero. This period is to help and facilitate all Irish and Gael, at home and abroad, to renew their identity and self knowledge.

We warmly welcome all communities and people, organizations and companies and gatherings of Gaeil who wish to participate and organize a Féile na Laoch of their own, for their own people, during this time of self renewal and affirmation of self and community. Each community has its own culture. Each is different and recognizes itself in the heroes its people chooses as their exemplars.

For the festival, a community names 100 heroes. Some will be common to many communities in Ireland, Scotland and abroad and more will by unique to the local itself. This difference in choice reflects the individuality of communities.

With Féile na Laoch (The Festival of Heroes) we demonstrate what we think is good example, what is good advice to our youth and our people generally. The Cúil Aodha people and the Ó Riada family would like to encourage all communities into this rare action as once every seven years we commemorate Seán Ó Riada who is one of our heroes. All of us together can say ‘Mise Éire’ – I am Ireland.


At noon on Mayday 2018, in Cúil Aodha, we will ceremoniously open the large trunk that has held the 2011 heroes and flags for the last seven years. This will be broadcast and streamed live. We will march to a nearby office and thus start the official three-month preparation

We practice and urge all to draw on their own resources and imagination rather then to think of this as the usual entertainment Festival. This occasion is rare and its priority is the personal growth of people and community, rather then say, entertainment or commerce or
tourism etc. We will present a Féile na Laoch flag to any group who wish to participate. They should then fly this flag over their community for the preparation period and for the actual Festival period but will be asked to return it again at the end of September when it will be once again locked into the trunk for another seven years to be opened on Mayday 2025.

The presentation of these flags will happen in a ceremony at the Féile na Laoch office as it is opened officially on Mayday 2018. If you are interested, please contact us at oifig@iontaoibheasfodhla.ie (oifig null@null iontaoibheasfodhla NULL.ie) so that we can get your flag made. It has the image of the deer as
in the festival logo.

The festival itself starts with the opening weekend in Cúil Aodha – official ceremony starts with the lighting of the torch from the hearth of Seán Ó Riada and this opening series of events comes to a conclusion on the Wednesady evening 1 August. Ideally we would like other communities to take up the baton for the next two months until the closing ceremony on the last weekend in September.

The program for Cúil Aodha is, for the most part, already published. We expect all participating communities to have a program of their own making. It is up to each community to find their own sense of identity and expression.