Scéalta dar dTalún, Stories of the Our Land

Bee on a Thistle image by Jackie O Neill


Scéalta dar dTalún, Stories of Our Land.

The Ballyhaise Project by lead artist Jackie O’Neill is an opportunity for the artist to consider the land an archive and respond to it. The artist will lead a creative response focusing on Ballyhaise College as the site for investigation and working in partnership with other visual and performance artists to find new ways to give expression to the narrative contained in the landscape.


Jackie O’Neill is a native of Ballyhaise and a textile artist by training. She worked in London and Dublin before returning to live in Co. Cavan. She has recently opened Dotti Was A Deer studio and gallery on Bridge St. Cavan. The artist will provide a workshop for local children on the genesis of the project and share ideas with the young people. She has selected Joe Doherty, wood worker to respond in the landscape to the project and the duo have collaborated successfully previously as part of Culture Night and the Taste of Cavan.


John Kelly, Principal at Ballyhaise Agricultural College has offered the artist support and advice and looks forward to hosting a series of talks as part of Heritage Week on the art work, the contribution to the College to the local community and the flora and fauna of the area. Heritage Officer, Anne Marie Ward, who is supporting this initiative said “The heritage office welcomes this project on Ballyhaise by lead artist Jackie O’Neill. Jackie has a natural affinity to the village and the research that she carries out will be shared with Lisa O’Neill, singer and songwriter and Joe Doherty, wood worker.  Lisa O’Neill is a distincitive songwriter and gifted performer. I look forward to the various interpretations that these amazing artists will create and I believe the community will find this an engaging and informative project as part of Heritage Week. Each year the public are more engaged and curious about our heritage and this project will be revealing and enjoyable”.


Jackie O’Neill is working with the historian Dr Ciarán Parker who has provided valuable research on the village of Ballyhaise and the families associated with the House. This research is a starting point for her to interpret the stories and facts of the big house, its owners and its proud history as an agricultural college. Staff at the Agricultural College will be interviewed and share stories and experiences of their working lives to give full colour to the project. The arts office is working with Jackie O’Neill and the team of artists that she has gathered as part of the Creative Ireland Initiative by Cavan County Council in 2017. The local authority will work with the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the local community to bring the Creative Ireland Programme to life with locally inspired arts and creative initiatives involving children and the local community.


This project will open with an exhibition by Jackie O’Neill, environmental sculptures by Joe Doherty and performance by Lisa O’Neill at a family event on Saturday 19 August at Ballyhaise Agricultural College and continue until Sunday 26 August with a full programme of events. Highlights of the programme include a Lecture on the Architecture of Ballyhaise House by Architect Trevor James, a walking tour of Ballyhaise Agricultural College’s working farm and historical walking tours of Ballyhaise house.


Schedule of events at Scéalta Dar d’Talún


2.15  –  2.45pm                    Welcome –                                 Speeches and opening of exhibition

2.45  –  3.15                          Lisa O’Neill –                             Performance

4.15 -    5.15                         Michael Swords –                      Tour of Ballyhaise house

3.30  –  4.30                          Ann Smith –                               Storytelling


2.00 - 5.00                             Face painting                             Rosie Cole & Natasha Crudden



Times to be                           Moth Hunt                                 Heather Bothwell

Arranged                       Bee Keeping Demonstration             Aidan Brady


Further Details : Cavan County Council arts office   or 049 4378549 or email


About the Artists

Jackie O’Neill graduated in 2009 with an honors degree in Textile Design from Galway Mayo Institute of technology.  Shortly after graduating she exhibited at the New Designers show in The Design Centre London, the Knit & Stitch show in the RDS Dublin & successfully ran an the exhibition “Whimsical Nature” with fellow Graduate Aideen Lynch in Cavan Library.

Jackie resided in London for three years. In this time she did design internships for Topman and edgy east London fashion label Nuerotica. Her print designs appeared in the Topshops oxford street as part of Neuroticas  A/W 2010 collection.


In 2012 she decided to move away from fashion and return home to focus on textile art and illustration, the result is “Dotti Was A Deer”, a limited edition collection of lighthearted and colourful fabric and paper prints suitable for children and adults alike. Two years on she has successfully produced 4 bodies of work since setting up business in her little Ballyhaise studio. Her practice is very much divided into 2 parts:


Her commercial art business “Dotti Was A Deer” is a name through which she sells her limited edition prints from all 4 bodies of work. These are affordable art works, sold mostly through her website, trade fairs, craft fairs & exhibitions. Her personal arts practice through which ‘dotti was a deer’ feeds,  is when she focuses more on playing with unusual concepts and mediums in her studio & therefore always challenging herself and growing as a visual artist.


Her range of work is influenced by both traditional and contemporary illustration, particularly the work of Arthur Rackham, Beatrix Potter and Yoko Fushuski. So far Inspiration has been drawn from animals, doodling, fairy tales  vintage markets & Modern Japanese Culture. Local folklore tales inspired the latest collection of work. Her technique combines hand drawn Illustration, Digital Manipulation, Collage, Embroidery and Appliqué.


Contact information and further details:


Social Media:


Telephone: 087-0666873


Lisa O'Neill is a young folk singer from Cavan. Over the past few years, Lisa has quietly but steadily built a reputation for herself on the Irish and international scenes. She realeased her debut long player, 'Has An Album' in August 2009. She has steadily built a strong following with her unique folk sound and strong songwriting. 
Some notable appearances have included the Electric Picnic and The Hard Working Class Heroes Festival. Lisa was also chosen to perform on the Other Voices ::: Songs From A Room series in 2011.
In 2012, Lisa contributed the track 'Dog Baby' to the 'Osacar The Hypno-Dog And Other Tails' compilation. The dog-beneft collection also featured the track 'One Ear Up One Ear Down' by Harry Holler And The Hooligans. Harry Holler was none other than Neil Hannon [The Divine Comedy, The Duckworth Lewis Method]. The Hooligans included featured a number of talented Irish artists including Lisa O'Neill herself.
Lisa released her second album, 'Some Cloth Or Not' in October 2013. The record was well received with the track 'No Train To Cavan' receiving strong airplay. The record was nominated for the Choice Music Prize for 2013 but eventually lost out to Villagers for 'Awayland'.
Her third album, 'Pothole In The Sky' followed in early 2016. 
In 2017, she was chosen to support The Divine Comedy on their UK and European tour. 
- Release of 'Has An Album' album [August]
- Lisa performs at the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival in Dublin [04 - 06 October]
- Release of 'Same Cloth Or Not' album [October]
- Release of 'Pothole In The Sky' album [17 February]

Date and time:

09 Jul 2017 - 29 Aug 2017

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