First Fortnight - Ireland's First Mental Health Festival


First Fortnight, Ireland's only mental health arts festival, kicked off yesterday. The festival hosts a month of arts events aimed at challenging mental health prejudice and discrimination.

The festival's line up includes everything from live music, film, theatre and visual arts events staged to create open discussion and understanding of mental health problems, and challenge prejudice and discrimination.

Many acclaimed artists and personalities will be taking part in the festival over the coming fortnight including actress and musician Bronagh Gallagher, filmmaker Lenny Abrahamson, former Munster and Ireland international David Corkery and comedian Eleanor Tiernan. There will also be many music acts including We Cut Corners, Oliver Cole, I Have a Tribe, Booka Brass Band and The Lost Brothers.


Some of the many festival highlights include: a special reading of Austin Clarke's poem Mnemosyne Lay in Dust in St Patrick's Hospital, inspired by Clarke's time as a patient in the hospital; the Irish premiere of a new documentary on US musician Elliott Smith; acclaimed theatre productions My Name is Saoirse & Eleanor Tiernan's National Therapy Project; a nationwide tour of Lenny Abrahamson's Frank; and Co-Motion - a unique musical walking experience in St Stephen's Green.

First Fortnight will be based in and around Temple Bar and the full line-up can be viewed at