Bard of Armagh


As the frolics of summer diminish and the darker evenings descend, aspiring poets and bards begin to rumble through the creative chambers of the imagination and seek out and craft new rhymes and compositions.   Ireland’s biggest gathering of poets takes place in Armagh City Hotel on 21 November when the celebrated Bard of Armagh Festival of Humorous Verse marks 20 years of bardic revelry.  £3000 in prize money will be shared amongst the top performers.


With 1 October as the closing date, there is already a huge bag of entries, some from as far away as Newfoundland and Australia, and a miscellany of themes ranging from the Fermanagh Frackers to the Gareth Brooks debacle.  Last year, Martin Hearty, making his first appearance, stormed the scene with his ‘Culchie Gangster’


“Winning the Bard at the first time of asking was an utterly fantastic experience.  It’s a truly unique and incredible competition and really brings something special to the whole area”


Top female bard, Joan Rooney is fulsome too, in her praise of the event.


“It is indeed a rare sensation standing at the lectern on a Bard night.  You have 1000 ripe imaginations at your disposal.  You have the power to control, infuse, enthral and uplift.  A night of laughter is a healer and tonic for a whole series of disorders and afflictions”


So the call goes out to one and all, seize the moment of inspiration and craft it into a masterpiece and follow in the footsteps of the great and good who have graced the lectern over the years.  Details can be found on and tickets for the finals are now available at the following venues:

Armagh City Hotel, Friary Rd Armagh.

Mona McEntee, Supermarket, Main St. Crossmaglen.

Sally Carolan, House of Gold, Dawson St Monaghan.

Ann Mone, Fancy Goods Store, Main St. Keady


Stewart’s Music Shop, Irish St Dungannon. 

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