connemara seaweek

First Irish man to climb Mount Everest Dawson Stelfox among amazing adventurers set to enthral audiences at Connemara Sea Week 2018.

The first Irish man to climb Mount Everest Dawson Stelfox is among the amazing adventurers set to enthral audiences as the biggest celebration of Ireland’s coastal communities’ is set to kick off next month in Connemara.
Among Ireland’s longest running festivals, Connemara Sea Week 2018 celebrates Ireland’s coastal communities and their wonderful marine heritage while serving up a jam-packed programme full to the brim with superb entertainment.
connemara sea week
Kicking off on October 21st, this eclectic, multidisciplinary festival celebrates the sea and will host a series of engaging, insightful talks on the future of the country’s coastal communities. 
The festival’s one day conference will explore the theme of sustainability, with a fantastic line-up of speakers hosting an insightful panel discussion. 
 
Dawson Stelfox became the first Irish man to climb Mount Everest over 25 years ago. As the festival explores the theme of the quest for adventure, he will share his incredible experiences with visitors as part of a series of invigorating talks sure to inspire both young and old.
 
Joining Dawson Stelfox will be Galway man Damian Brown. Continuing with the theme of the quest for adventure, he will share tales from his trip rowing across the Atlantic. The two amazing adventurers will be speaking in the National Park on Saturday, October 27th at 2.30pm. Another leading expert on our ocean, and talking at this year’s Sea Week is Simon Berrow, he has travelled the world’s oceans studying albatrosses, seals, penguins, sharks, and more. A passionate scientist and lover of Ireland’s natural heritage, he founded the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group and the Irish Basking Shark Study Group. Simon will talk about the effect our ocean is having on whales, and in turn what they are telling us about the future of the ocean.
 
connemara sea week
This week-long cultural extravaganza will see a wide range of family-friendly events taking place within the stunning surroundings of Connemara. Visitors will be enthralled by the sensational visual spectacle of the mini boat regatta. Not to mention the spectacular ‘After the light’ parade; an unforgettable night of myth, magic and amazing creativity as visitors enjoy fabulous costumes, brilliant installations and magnificent fire sculptures.
 
The annual schools’ programme runs throughout local schools for the duration of the festival. Students get the unique opportunity to learn first-hand about Ireland’s marine history as marine biologist Dave McGrath, ecologist Gordon Darcy and director of the National Aquarium Noirín Burke share their all-important expertise.
 
The festival will celebrate the very best of Irish traditional music with a stellar line up of some of Ireland’s most respected and celebrated folk artists. The festival will bring together all of the country’s top traditional musicians, with the biggest names in Irish folk music offering up the very best the Irish traditional music scene has to offer. Among the music legends set to enthral audiences are John Spillane, Luka Bloom and Máirtín O’Connor. 
 
Award-Winning Chef Jonathan Keane will Cook a Local Seafood Feast at Sea Week to Mark European Region of Gastronomy, Galway.
Letterfrack native Jonathan Keane, the award-winning head chef at The Lodge at Ashford Castle, is returning home to cook a very special ‘Community Celebration of Seafood Dinner’ at the Courtyard Café on bank holiday Monday the 29th of October at 7.00pm. Chef Michael O’Meara whose book ‘Sea Gastronomy’ won the best Seafood Cookbook in the World in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2016 and his book ‘Oyster Gastronomy’ with Mairín Ní Choimín won again in 2018.   Rare double for a chef and for publisher Letterfrack’s Artisan House.

Celebrating the magnificent artistic talents of the local community, the Small Works Exhibition will see western based artists explore the mysteries of the sea with a superb showcase of original works of art. All work is presented anonymously and sold at bargain prices.
 
Connemara Sea week takes place from 21st-29th October within the breath-taking surroundings of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. 

Top 10 Things to do in the West of Ireland this Halloween

Autumn is officially here; despite lamenting the passing of an incredible summer we are definitely enjoying the beautiful blue skies and mellow fruitfulness Autumn brings to the West.

With the October bank holiday and Halloween just around the corner, we thought it would be useful to highlight just some of the great festivals and events taking place across the West over the coming weeks.

westival website

1. Westival, Westport Music and Arts Festival, Co Mayo

We are beyond excited to see the brilliant line-up for Westival (Westport Music and Arts Festival ) which in Westport, Co Mayo runs from Wednesday October 24 to Monday October 29, incorporating the Halloween Bank Holiday Weekend.

Westival takes pride in being an Autumnal-Halloween-festival of comfort, many of the events take place during the long evenings, around open hearths of softly-lit rooms, or during dusk where the imagination can play part in interpreting the world with magic and intrigue.

Le Galaxie and Lisa Hannigan lead the line-up for the first ‘Westival’ festival in County Mayo. 24-29 Oct, Westport Co Mayo. westival.ie

 

burren food fayre

2. Co Clare: Burren Food Fayre
The Burren Food Fayre kicks off for another year on October Bank Holiday weekend. With Food demos, Farmer’s Market, Burren Bellini & Best stall competition and delicious local, artisan and Wild Food. The theme for this years Fayre is “Taste Without Waste”. The Pavillion, Lisdoonvarna, 28 Oct burren.ie/event/burren-food-fayre-4/

3.  Galway City: Macnas Street Festival

The annual Hallowe’en parade by Macnas (who celebrate their 32nd anniversary this year), will take place on Sunday 28th October 2018 at approximately 5.30pm. The narrative theme of this year’s parade is ‘Out of the Wild Sky’ which celebrates the act of transformation being unleashed upon the city by bringing a world that is hypnotic, intoxicating, mysterious and filled with shadowy and noble things. Expect signature Macnas giant creations and sculptural images, pyrotechnics, bespoke costumes, and epic performances to live and original music. Street-hopping, traffic-stopping excitement and chaos will be orchestrated by the hundreds of performers from the Macnas Young Ensemble, Youth Ballet West, the Macnas Youth Drummers, The Hit Machine and the Public participation programme. Spectators are encouraged to wear costumes too. Galway City, 28 Oct, macnas.com

4. Sligo Town: Sligo Live Festival

Sligo Live celebrates folk, roots, and indie music. Over the years it has carved out a niche as a relaxed, intimate and enjoyable music festival, attracting visitors from all over Ireland and abroad. Sligo Live is one of the most relaxed, friendly and enjoyable music festivals in Europe, having hosted major international and Irish folk, roots and indie artists in intimate indoor venues for 12 years. Headliners this year include the Boomtown Rats, Lisa Hannigan and Saint Sister. Sligo, 24-29 Oct, sligolive.ie

5. ‘Gaeilge Galore ar an Turas Mór’, Sligo

Ceolteoirí Tireragh wishes to preserve and promote the Irish language by undertaking a bus tour of historical sites in the West Sligo region, with an emphasis on the Irish language throughout the journey and sites.

The ‘Gaeilge Galore ar on Turas Mor’ bus tour departs on Monday 29th October, leaving Dromore West Community Centre and visiting six historical sites in the West Sligo area. This event is free to join. Conversation takes place in Irish along the way, with information given at each site and refreshments and an Irish music and song session to end the event. Dromore West, Sligo, 29 Oct. To book a place call 086 876 5545 after 6pm.

carrowmore halloween6. Samhain Sunrise at Carrowmore, Co Sligo

Celebrate the changing of seasons with sunrise at Carrowmore Megalithic tombs in Sligo. The Carromore complex of passage graves dates back to 3,700 BC.

Samhain means Summers End and is also the start of Winter, which starts on November 1st.   The changing of the season is marked in Carrowmore; this is also the last day of our season. All are welcome on October 31, but you need to get there early. 31 Oct, Sligo. facebook.com/carrowmoreopw/

7. Haunted House at Westport House, Co Mayo

Are you ready to scare yourself silly this Halloween?!

Westport House will be hosting it’s annual Halloween Fest from 20th and 21st October as well as the 27th to the 31st of October from 11:00am to 5:00pm.

Get ready for plenty of ghoulish delights, scary stories and creepy fun that all the family will be able to enjoy!

  • Head to the Haunted Estate House, transformed into a spooky old mansion for Halloween Fest.
  • Gather ‘round the cauldron for Scary Story Time, with wicked tales from the White Witch of Westport.
  • Brave souls can visit the dark dungeons, where the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley locked up her prisoners.
  • Carve a creepy pumpkin* and decorate some ghoulish goblin cakes at the Spooky Spoons Workshop.
  • Get your Michael Jackson zombie moves on at the Thriller Dance Class.

Westport House, Westport, Co Mayo westporthouse.ie/halloweenfest

8. Kinlough People’s Market, Co Leitrim

The Kinlough peoples Market is a new venture, and has had it’s first very successful market, but getting into the spirit of things they are now presenting a new Halloween Market, with their wide range of products shown and the ‘Fairy Forest’ for the kids it is a day out for all the Family.

With the Halloween market on the 28th of October, the market will continue on regularly on the last Sunday of each month. 28 Oct, Kinlough, Co Leitrim. facebook.com/kinloughpeoplesmarket/

9. Castle Adventure Open Farm Spook Fest, Co Donegal

Family Halloween Event at Castle Adventure Open Farm. Kids haunted House, Face painting, storytelling, spooky disco and much more.

No Booking Required.

lough key halloween10. Lough Key Halloween Spook Fest

A wide variety of fantastic activities will be running from 27th October – 2nd November for the whole family to enjoy this Halloween at Lough Key

All activities are open for the week with some being weather permitted

Join Lough Key this Halloween for the ‘Spoooky Scenes’ in the visitor centre, all the adventures at the Adventure Play Kingdom, the Tree Canopy Trial, the Zipit Forest Adventure, splashy fun at Lough Key Boat Tours and many more fun activities and adventures. An experience like no other for this Halloween. 27 Oct – 02 Nov. Lough Key Forest Park, Co Roscommon. loughkey.ie

 

 

 

top things to do in galway

Top 10 Things to do in Co Galway

A large county with attitude to match, Galway has too much to offer; this incredible county and its city are some of the most visited places in Ireland. So given the incredible wealth of things to do in both city and county we have split this list in two.

In this list, you will find our top 10 things to do in County Galway; this stunning large county of beautiful coastline, islands, culture and craic.aran islands

1. Escape to an Island

For those looking to go remote, Galway has an incredible selection of islands to visit; some of Ireland’s most diverse and beautiful.

The Aran Islands

The three Aran Islands, Inis Mór Island (Big Island), Inis Meáin Island (Middle island) and Inis Oírr Island (East island) are situated at the mouth of Galway Bay. They are famous for their geological formation, historical monuments and their Gaeltacht heritage. The Irish language is still spoken here.

Each of the Aran Islands offers something unique in terms of landscape, culture and heritage. More than anything the best experiences are the ones that involve interactions with hardy souls who live on these islands year round.

Accessible via a short ferry trip from Ros a Mhíl, the three ruggedly beautiful Aran Islands feature ancient ruins of churches and monuments, as well as extremely hospitable locals. Visiting the islands is like stepping back into a time before globalization and commercialization

inis mor

Inis Mór

Inis Mór:

Without doubt a visit to iconic Dún Aonghasa is a must-do for any visitor to the Aran Islands. This extraordinary stone fort stands guard over Inis Mór with its three massive drystone walls that run right up to sheer drops to the ocean below. Situated on the edge of a cliff at a height of 100 meters above the Atlantic on Inis Mór island, it consists of a series of concentric circular walls, the innermost, the citadel, enclosing an area of approximately 50 meters in diameter. The relentless Atlantic Ocean has been hammering away at the cliff face since 1100BC when the first fort constructions were built at Dun Aengus, and the fort is now half eaten by the sea. Believed to be up to 2000 years old, Dún Aonghasa is a world heritage site and one of Ireland’s most visited attractions and as a result one of its most vulnerable.

Inis Meain:

The Aran Islands have long drawn creative and literary types to its inspiring landscape and rich cultural environment. None more so than Inis Méain now famous for being home to the world-renowned author JM Synge who spent five summers here over a century ago.

At the west end of the island, Synge’s Chair is a viewpoint at the edge of a limestone cliff. Take time out here to exhale and drink the wild beauty of the atlantic’s might like the famous author once did.

Inis Meáin’s scenery is breathtaking, with a jagged coastline of rugged cliffs, stunning beaches and fields boredered with the stunning geometry of old stone walls.

While on Inis Meáin we especially recommend a visit to Inis Méain Knitwear and the Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites. One of Ireland’s most in demand luxury guest accommodation.
Inis Bofin:

Inis Bo Finne (Island of the White Cow) lies seven miles off Galway’s coast and was the winner of the ‘Best Island Holiday’ in the 2013 ‘Irish Times Best Place to Holiday’ competition. It is a magical island, with safe, sandy beaches, rocky inlets, a ruined castle, a weekly market in the summertime, a charming museum of island life and a range of places to stay, from hotels to hostels. This summer it even had a cafe on a double decker bus!

It may be home to just 200 souls, but Inisbofin’s pubs, hotels and locals all contribute to its legendary status as a magical destination. inishbofin.com.

2. Get off the Grid in Connemara National Park:

Immediately southeast of Letterfrack, Connemara National Park spans 2957 dramatic hectares of bog, mountains, heath and woodlands. The park encloses a number of the Twelve Bens including Bencullagh, Benbrack and Benbaun

There are three main walking routes throughout the park each one offering spectacular scenery and wildlife with every step.

Of the six national parks of Ireland, Connemara may well be the most beautiful. The park is noted for its diverse range of birds, which has led to it being described as a bird watcher’s paradise. There are also numerous ancient megalithic and neolithic burial mounds and tombs, which offer a glimpse into Ireland’s prehistoric period. connemaranationalpark.ie

sky road

Sky Road

3. Journey along one of Ireland’s most scenic routes 

The Sky Road is a 20km (12 mile) jaw-droppingly scenic loop route near Clifden in the wonderful Connemara, Co Galway. Part of the Wild Atlantic Way scenic drive along Ireland’s west coast, the Sky Road peninsula juts out into the Atlantic against the backdrop of the 12 Bens Mountain Range.

Along with the Inagh Valley scenic drive south of Leenane, the Sky Road in Clifden is one of the top tourist attractions in the entire Connemara region. Very few places in Ireland can match the rugged beauty and range of scenery that can be seen from the Sky Road. The route is well signposted from Clifden and easy to find. connemara.net/the-sky-road/

misunderstood heron

Misunderstood Heron

4. Visit an Award-Winning Food Truck on an Irish Fjord:

The Misunderstood Heron is a food truck that sits on the edge of stunning Killary Harbour in north Connemara, looking out on one of only three fjords in Ireland. Sitting in the grounds of Killary Adventure Centre, the outdoor picnic benches and the wooden cladded truck blend beautifully into its environment.

We can vouch that the coffee alone is worth the stunning drive into Killary Harbour for. Winner of a Georgina Campbell award in 2018, just get there before it sells out!

Misunderstood Heron, Kilary Adventure Centre. facebook.com/MisunderstoodHeron

kylemore abbey

5. Visit Ireland’s Most Romantic Castle – Kylemore Abbey:

Known as Ireland’s most romantic Castle, Kylemore Abbey, located in Connemara, Co. Galway is the No.1 tourist attraction in the West of Ireland.

When Mitchell Henry and his wife Margaret travelled to Connemara in the 1850s they fell in love with the region. Mitchell returned in the 1860s and purchased the estate of Kylemore and built a splendid castle as an gift for his wife.

Home to the Benedictine Nuns since 1920, Kylemore has been renowned as a place of spirituality and education ever since.  Perfect for a family day out and easily accessible from Galway or Mayo, Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden offers visitors scenic photographic opportunities as well as woodland walks, garden tours, fascinating history, beautiful architecture, ample shopping in the craft shop and tempting homemade delights in the restaurant and tea rooms. kylemoreabbey.com

6. Shuck some oysters at Moran’s Oyster Cottage

Some of County Galway’s finest seafood, including lobster in season, is served in this atmospheric thatched pub and restaurant, set in a quiet cove. Moran’s Oyster Cottage dates back almost 300 years. Today, Moran’s is run by Michael Moran, the seventh generation of the Moran family in the business. It is renowned the world over for its excellent seafood which attracts people from the five continents, and is open all year round.
Moran’s serves smoked salmon, crab, prawns, crab claws, Galway Bay oysters and lobster all day. moranstheweir.com

Thoor Ballylee

7. Discover the Yeats Connection

Thoor Ballylee, the  fourteenth-century Hiberno-Norman tower in Gort, was once described by Seamus Heaney as the most important building in Ireland, due to its close association with his fellow Nobel Laureate for literature, W.B.Yeats. The tower has recently re-opened again after flooding, and coincides with the launch of the inaugural Yeats Exhibition.

In an idyllic setting by a stream, this 16th-century Norman tower was the summer home of WB Yeats from 1921 to 1929 and was the inspiration for one of his best-known works, The Tower. yeatsthoorballylee.org

8. Cleachtaigh an Gaeilge in an award-winning cultural retreat:

Cnoc Suain is a rural retreat in Spiddal that gives visitors an insight into Irish culture and traditions in a genuine way. Founded and lovingly run by husband and wife team Charlie and Dearbhaill (who is a native of the area), the 200-acre retreat offers an immersion in Irish culture, past and present, in a richly diverse bog landscape. There are 17th century cottages, perfect for an idyllic break; the field room, which hosts music (Dearbhaill is an accomplished musician), song and dance as part of the cultural experience of Cnoc Suain, all situated in luxuriant bog beauty. cnocsuain.com

brigit's garden

Brigit’s Garden

9. Escape the City in a Natural Playground Sanctuary

Brigit’s Garden takes you on a magical journey into the heart of Celtic heritage and mythology, making it one of the truly outstanding places to visit in the West of Ireland. The award-winning Celtic Gardens are widely regarded as one of the most spectacular in Ireland, set within 11 acres of native woodland & wildflower meadows. In addition to the Celtic Gardens, visitors can enjoy the nature trail, an ancient ring fort (fairy fort), thatched roundhouse and crannog, and the calendar sundial, the largest in Ireland.

Brigit’s Garden is very family-friendly with a kids’ discovery trail, a natural playground and lots of opportunities to explore. Brigit’s Garden is located in Roscahill at the gateway to Connemara, between Moycullen and Oughterard. It is well signposted from the N59 main road,  just a 20-minute drive north of Galway city. brigitsgarden.ie

gurteen beach

10: Experience Caribbean Beaches in Ireland

County Galway has some of the world’s most stunning beaches with white sand and crystal clear waters akin to many a Caribbean beach on a sunny day.

Just a short drive from Roundstone village lies Dogs Bay, one of the most spectacularly beautiful beaches in the world.
Dogs Bay is a horseshoe-shaped bay with more than a mile long stretch of white sandy beach. It backs on to Gurteen Bay, and together they form a tombolo which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Equally stunning is Coral Strand near Ballyconneely. The coral sand is, in fact, is in fact detached red calcified seaweed, maërl or otherwise known as coralline algae which form the beach and feels like fine gravel underfoot. Coral Strand is a stunning location for swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and exploring. connemara.net/beaches

Have we missed something? Let us know!

galway city

200 new jobs in Galway with online furnishings company Wayfair

Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W), one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home, marked the 10th anniversary of its multi-lingual European Operations Centre in Galway, Ireland with the announcement of plans to expand its workforce across the country. Through the launch of a virtual workforce to include more than 200 new jobs, Wayfair is reinforcing its longstanding commitment to the region. The company plans to add both virtual and office-based roles in Ireland as it scales its team to keep pace with the rapid growth of its e-commerce business in Europe.

“Wayfair’s success is deeply rooted in our commitment to creating an exceptional experience for our customers,” said Liz Graham, vice president of sales and service, Wayfair. “Over the past ten years, as we expanded our Galway workforce from a few employees to more than 400 today, the team has continuously delivered exceptional support for our customers in Europe. There is no doubt that the excellence of our Galway team has been a key driver in our tremendous business growth across the region. We are now delighted to further expand the team with the launch of a virtual workforce in Ireland that will enable us to tap into an even broader talent pool and provide new employment opportunities to a wider range of highly qualified candidates.”

With the launch of its new virtual workforce in Ireland, Wayfair is committed to creating a best-in-class virtual employee experience. To do so, the company has instituted a dedicated virtual leadership team and developed trainings and career development programs to ensure employees are equipped with tools to succeed. Focused on attracting and retaining top talent, the virtual program provides employee flexibility while also allowing the company to expand its talent pool and optimize staffing. These growth efforts are greatly supported by the Irish government through IDA Ireland.

“The expansion by Wayfair in Galway reflects the wealth of skills, including language and ICT, in the West of Ireland,” said Sean Kyne, Minister of State. “That companies like Wayfair have chosen Galway as a hub for their European operations is a boost not only for Galway but for the West and the Atlantic Economic Corridor. The launch too of a virtual workforce at Wayfair will ensure the benefits will be felt across the country with team members working in their communities. I wish the Wayfair team continued success in Ireland and globally.”

“I am delighted that Wayfair is expanding its operations in Galway, and adding an additional 200 jobs across Ireland,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland. “As a global leader in e-commerce, Wayfair’s customer-centric culture has created a compelling business environment which continues to attract top talent. Our ability to support the expansion of major companies like Wayfair illustrates how regions can provide businesses with the relevant expertise required for such operations.”

Wayfair’s international sales and service organization was recently recognized for customer service excellence, earning the Silver Stevie® Award for Customer Service Department of the Year.

Wayfair offers full-time positions with a wide range of benefits including equity, bonuses, tuition reimbursement, medical insurance, tax saver commuter benefits and discounts on employee purchases. The Ireland team includes roles in customer service, inbound sales, finance, supplier operations, business analysts, recruitment and training.

For more information on hiring and career opportunities in Galway, visit wayfair.co.uk/careers

 

Energise Your Business – how to take your innovation to the next level

You are cordially invited to
FREED Project Event
Tuesday 16th October 2018

9:30am – 2pm
Registration & Refreshments from 9:30am | Event Start 10:00am | Lunch & Networking 12:45pm

DETAILS
Is your start-up business or SME struggling to get an energy innovation to the next level? Then join us to hear from companies that have succeeded in this with the help of the  FREED Project.
Getting your ideas from the blueprints into the markets can be a long, difficult journey, which all innovations and companies are not be able to complete. Various business support organisations and enterprise agencies offer support for starting entrepreneurs and companies, but they do not target energy innovations in particular. However, these are the ones that are sorely needed, as energy is a key driver of climate change.
Funding Resources for Innovation in Energy Enterprise Development (FREED) is a three year project funded under Interreg’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. FREED has been supporting SMEs and start-ups working on energy innovations with the aim of getting the innovations faster into the real world, where they can make a difference. The experiences of these SMEs and the support mechanisms developed in the project can help other innovations make it too.

During this event you will hear from:

  • SMEs who have been receiving support from the FREED Project and how it has helped them progress
  • Public Funding Specialist Ian Brannigan (Western Development Commission)
  • Business Angel Investor Nick Lyth (Green Angel Syndicate
  • You will also learn about the FREED Service platform – a funding match-making platform for SMEs, Investors and Enterprise Agencies.

To attend this event please Register HERE

macnas website

Macnas officially launch naming of the 2018 Parade for Galway

Macnas Artistic Director Noeline Kavanagh announces Halloween Parade 2018, with next generation artists, magical new inventions and an extended route

“Out of the Wild Sky” the 2018 Macnas parade will traverse through the streets of Galway at 5.30pm on Sunday October 28th, 2018. Beginning at its home on the NUI Galway campus the parade will weave its way through the heart of Galway, the Macnas Halloween Parade is the highlight of Ireland’s cultural calendar. It is the largest free event in In Ireland for Halloween with over 54,000 people lining the streets every year to be awed and amazed by this epic scale of storytelling.

This years story celebrates the act of transformation being unleashed upon the city. A world that is hypnotic and intoxicating, glittering, mysterious and filled with shadow and nobility.

Between the white fire of the stars and the whispering woods, you can hear the breath of small kingdoms rising and falling, dreams floating light as moths among the branches of the trees, where sweetness and tangibility flicker amongst the dark hug of time.

Macnas bring “Out of the Wild Sky” to the streets of Galway, packed full of love and magic, as they sculpt a new cosmos into being, where the language of birds and the stars take flight, bells ring out stitches of lightning burst forth as a new horizon lights up the deep and the wondrous and lifts up the sky.

Always a gigantic undertaking, this year’s parade will feature the signature Macnas giant creations and sculptural images, pyrotechnics, bespoke costumes, and epic performances to live and original music. Delivering this wondrous chaos are hundreds of performers from the Macnas Young Ensemble, Youth Ballet West, the Macnas Youth Drummers, the Public participation programme, The Hit Machine and many more.

The Macnas parade includes the work of the Macnas creative ensemble, comprised of 45 professional artists and 300 volunteers directed by CEO/Artistic Director Noeline Kavanagh. The creative wizards behind this years inventions include Orla Clogher and Dave Young on design, Saileog O’Halloran on costume, Alma Kelleher on sound design, The Face on hair and Michelle Ruane is our makeup designer. Eimhin Craddock will head up the Macnas Youth Drummers and Miquel Barcelo is once again at the helm with the Young Ensemble.

“We are very grateful to be supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Galway City Council for our year long programme of creative work. We are delighted to have the support of our partners  Latin Quarter who will co-present this iconic event for the sixth year in a row with Macnas. For the Halloween parade we are thrilled to have the additional support from local Galway businesses patrons: O’Connells Bar Eyre Square, Acorn Life, and Galway Clinic. This year and up to 2021 the Connacht Hospitality Group have jumped on board the Macnas train to support the Macnas Young Ensemble which is terrific “ Noeline Kavanagh

The parade will begin at NUIG (Aula Maxima), and take to the streets along the following route: University Rd, Salmon Weir Bridge, St Vincent’s Ave, Francis St, Eglington St, William St, Shop St, Church Yard St, Mainguard St, Bridge St, O’Brien’s Bridge, Dominick St Lower, Dominick St Upper, Crossing canal, Raven’s Terrace, Claddagh Quay.

Hit the streets of Galway early to catch Macnas 2018, to find out the latest on Macnas check social media for the parade countdown or visit macnas.com for more information.

 

ireland's hidden heartlands

Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands showcasing the heart of the West of Ireland

We are delighted to see Failte Ireland launch their new campaign promoting Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. This new tourism campaign explores the green heartlands of Ireland’s natural beauty, where activity and relaxation are centred around rural communities.

ireland's hidden heartlandsIreland’s Hidden Heartlands covers the ‘heart’ of the Western Region, from Leitrim down to East Clare and extending through Roscommon and East Galway, 

It is especially great to see natural gems from the Western Region getting lots of coverage, including the hills of Drumshanbo as well as Glenade Lough in Leitrim; and Lough Key Forest Park and Cortober in Roscommon. 

Ireland's Hidden HeartlandsThere’s an infinite variety of things to do for all ages along the length of the Shannon, by the many beautiful lakes in the area or along the many quiet rural byways that criss-cross this picturesque part of Ireland.

The water offers leisurely boat trips, water sports and great fishing, while numerous walks, cycle trails and pony trekking trails allow you to take in the views, or explore the rural heartlands and small villages in this quiet, relaxing part of the country. 

Ireland's Hidden HeartlandsWe look forward to seeing these beautiful areas in the heart of the West of Ireland thriving with lots more visitors from this great campaign.

For more visit Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands website.

Marble Beach, Donegal

Best West of Ireland Heatwave photos

The summer of 2018 is the summer that keeps on giving. We can’t keep up with the amount of Caribbean-esque shots we have seen of the stunning beaches we have right across the West of Ireland.

Is anybody feeling a little bit smug about where they live now?

Here are our top Insta picks from the heatwave so far.

With the current forecast, we think we will have to do Round Two next week. If you would like your shots to be included, please tag us @lookwestie and include #lookwest on your shots!

Co Clare:

Hands down one of the best #cliffsofmoher shots we have soon. There are over 400,000 on Instagram so that is quite an achievement @reeyco

Co Galway:

Where do we start with Galway? The shots from SeaFest alone could feel a whole article. Then those Connemara beach shots!!

Seriously though how stunning is this shot of Lettergesh Beach in Connemara?

Having all the bants in Salthill!

With thanks to @kokine009 for #repost: “☀When it’s summer in Galway ☀”

A post shared by Barnacles Hostels (@barnacleshostels) on

 

This one is an old Red Bull shot from Poll na bPéist, couldn’t not include it!

Connemara

A post shared by Aidan Maguire (@aidanjmaguire) on

Co Mayo:

Baywatch eat your heart out!

Wowza, having all the craic in Louisburgh!

Co Leitrim:

Zen-est sheep in Ireland award goes to?

Co Roscommon:

Blogger Magnumlady nails the Gaelic Chieftain at sunset.

Gaelic Chieftain sunset #roscommon #Ireland #irish #heatwave #statue #sculpture

A post shared by Val (@magnumlady) on

Co Sligo:

Sligo photographer Mark Capilitan seems to have the work-life balance nailed. Follow his feed for lots more stunning shots!

If it wasn’t for the beach & kayak, you’d think this water was a swimming pool!!

A post shared by Mark Capilitan (@markcap_photo) on

Its gonna be another one of those weeks 🌞🌞🌞

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 Beautiful children at sunset shot from John Keating in Sligo.

Co Donegal:

South African photographer Ian Mitchinson’s feed is always a stunning feast of adventure shots from the North West. This Bundoran shot is a cracker!

 

Featured Image: Marble Hill Beach, Co Donegal via Ireland’s Content Pool

design west

World of International Design to converge for Design West summer school

Design West is an international summer design school located in the beautiful village of Letterfrack in Connemara, on the West Coast of Ireland.

For two weeks this summer, from June 23rd to July 6th 2018, participants will get the opportunity to work with leading international designers from renowned studios across Europe. Unplugging from our hectic everyday working lives—commuting, cell phones, deadlines, media saturation—participants will immerse themselves in the wild and rugged Connemara landscape and use it both as a mode of research and as a source of inspiration.

Summer is a time for exploration and discovery, for meeting new people and taking on new challenges. It is also a time to get away from the grind of ‘the everyday’ and to reflect upon one’s role and purpose as a designer. Design West offers the perfect environment for studying design in a non-urban environment—away from the noise of the city and the pressures of deadlines. Students will participate in a two-week programme of discovery, learning, reflection, adventure and making.

The course will take place at the GMIT campus in Letterfrack which boasts CAD, CNC technology, laser equipment, robotics and digital, manufacturing all ideal for the realisation of 2D and 3D design expressions. The campus has excellent Wi-Fi connectivity. In the rural setting beyond the campus, connectivity is weaker, an opportunity for students at Design West to ‘unplug’ from the busy world of design and gain new perspectives.

Design West is proud to be listed as one of the ‘most exciting design summer schools of 2018 around the world’

More at designwest.eu. Design West will be doing a social media takeover on our Twitter and Instagram, so check it out there as it happens!

bike buffet

On your bike – Galway’s westend Bike Buffet

Galway’s westend along with Connemara Greenway Alliance are organising a cycle buffet to celebrate the food and cycling cultures of Galway.

The Bike Buffet will take place on Saturday 16th June from 3pm. Starting at 3pm from John Keoghs Gastropub and finishing in Fr Burke Park at 6pm, the 2018 Bike Buffet will explore Galway on two wheels.  Led by the Connemara Greenway Alliance, participants will enjoy cycling safely around Galway and of course some westend food treats.

After the cycle Mr Whippy will be playing summer sounds and Blue Teapot Theatre company will be screening their award-winning Sanctuary.

Working with eateries in Galway westend, there will be three courses served with a starter in John Keoghs, then a cycle to a secret location for an alfresco main course from Dela Restaurant. Then cycle back to the Westend for dessert by Kai Restaurant and an outdoor movie screening which will be served in Fr Burke Park.

bike buffet galway

The westend Bike Buffet started in 2017, it was ran a pilot scheme as part of National Bike week. The event is aimed at locals and tourists and everyone that can cycle can take part so children and adults. Bringing food and activity together is a real way of integrating people. The cycle is very doable so people of all fitness abilities can enjoy.

Food has become central to life in Galway’s westend with every restaurant and pub now very much on the map nationally from multiple award wins.

“We want to bring people into this area to explore it and through food we can do this. This year we will also be bringing in a technical element by screening Sanctuary, by Blue Teapot Theatre Company. This screening would take place in Fr Burke Park in Galway’s westend. It will be the last stop on the Bike Buffet and where Kai Restaurant will serve the dessert on the buffet trail,” said a spokesperson for the Westend Traders Association.

Tickets, €30 for the Bike Buffet are available on www.roisindubh.net or in house from Dela Restaurant on Dominick Street.