Jul 19 – Jul 29 all-day
12:00 am
Enniscrone Library invites you to enjoy the beautiful Enniscrone Coastal Walk while reading pages of a picture book displayed along the walk. Reading becomes a fun outdoors adventure for all of the family where storybooks …
Enniscrone Library
12:00 am
Enniskillen’s Happy Days and Sligo’s Tread Softly festivals come together for a cross-border collaboration celebrating the work of two great Irish Nobel Laureates: Samuel Beckett and WB Yeats. For a whole month, travellers heading down from Northern Ireland into …
Enniskillen Sligo Border
Jul 20 @ 4:00 pm
4:00 pm
Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths…I would spread the cloths under your feet WB Yeats suggests that no matter how humble our beginnings there are no limits to where our dreams can take us. Inspired …
City Hall
6:00 pm
The Cormorant is a new publication, presenting work from established and emerging writers in Sligo. Over 25 writers contributed, reflecting the range of voices and different rhythms of looking and writing. The publication is named for …
Factory Performance Space
Jul 21 – Jul 29 all-day
12:00 am
Find secret clues and treasures created by sculptor Martha Quinn. Martha carved hares (the new icon of the Sligo Way) and leaves from local flora as kilometre markings on the Sligo Way between Slish Woods …
Slish Wood Car Park
3:00 pm
Continuing the series of readings from playwrights that were supported by Yeats during his tenure at the National Theatre, Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World will be reproduced in a rehearsed reading in the …
Sligo Courthouse
8:00 pm
Mike McCormack came to fame with his novel Solar Bones, which was published in 2016 by Tramp Press in Dublin. He famously said that he ‘has no memory of writing it’ although he has always …
The Methodist Church, Wine St, Sligo
8:30 pm
Leontia Flynn grew up on a farm in Northern Ireland in the 1970s, the time of ‘the troubles’. Increasingly garnering praise and prizes she has already been described by poet John McAuliffe, as ‘the poet …
The Methodist Church, Wine St, Sligo
11:00 am
Explore how we find characters that bring their own stories and inhabit works of fiction and non-fiction. Over the course of the day we’ll explore the places we find characters, how to structure aspects of …
Sligo Central Library
11:00 am
  Councillor Rosalleen O’Grady walks with you from Maugherboy to Gibraltor. Meet outside Merville Community Centre, Maugherboy. Duration 3 hours. All walks are weather dependent and subject to change at short notice. Walkers particpate at …
2:00 pm
  In partnership Ballisodare Community Council walk to the legendary site in Yeats’ poetry, associated with Pollixfen’s mill, where Yeats spent much of his childhood. Meet at bridge/handball alley. Duration 2.5 hours. All walks are …
Handball Alley/The Bridge Ballisodare
Jul 24 @ 3:00 pm
3:00 pm
Stories of friendship and kindness between saints and animals and other tales Amabel Clarke is a spell-caster: a storyteller with a passion for folklore and legends. Come and be enthralled.
Ballymote Library


Welcome to this, the seventh Tread Softly festival. This is a programme of events inspired by the work of the Yeats brothers, Jack and William, and the landscape and stories that inspired them in County Sligo.

Highlights of this year’s programme include the launch of a new free literary broadsheet The Cormorant; an outdoor production at Hazelwood House of Yeats’ last play Purgatory by Blue Raincoat Theatre Company; Walking Birds’ Mountain, a collaboration between 13 visual and literary artists responding to the myths associated with Da En on the shores of Lough Gill; songwriter Johnny Duhan performing at Hawk’s Well Theatre; newly added portraits Yeats; A Portrait of a Family to the Model’s collection; and invited artists responding to WB Yeats’ poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death at Hamilton Gallery.
Also included here is the programme from the Yeats International Summer School that features recent winner of the International Dublin Literary Award, Mike McCormack; the posthumous launch of Dermot Healy’s Collected Poems; Leontia Flynn reading; and a play and discussion on One Hundred Years of Suffrage. Other features are To the Waters and the Wild, a series of guided walks throughout the county.
We are also pleased to announce collaborations between the Beckett Festival in Enniskillen and also the Heaney Centre in Bellaghy, Derry. The first of these collaborations sees Three Billboards (or more) a cross border collaboration featuring the works of WB Yeats and Samuel Beckett.
We hope there is something here for you and your family to enjoy!

Tread Softly…Team