Unwind on some of our favourite hikes

Turn off, tune out and take a hike

Ever dream of just unplugging from the world and wandering where no WiFi can find you? Maybe we can help!

It’s great to be digitally connected but what’s even better about living and working in the west is that when you’re ready to take a break from the day to day grind, you have all sorts of hikes on your doorstep.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites here:

Diamond Hill

Diamond Hill Loop, Galway

You’d imagine the best scenery in Ireland would take a lot of effort and uphill struggle – not at Diamond Hill Loop. This easy trek follows a 445 metre descent, providing you with some epic scenic moments like Kylemore Abbey and the Twelve Ben mountains.

Slieve League Cliffs

Slieve League, Co. Donegal

Test your inner dare devil here by walking across the famous ‘one man pass’.  A 400-metre long ridge with steep drops to the Atlantic Ocean either side, it’s a  beautiful scenic hike – just steer clear on a windy day!

Keem Bay, Achill Island, Co. Mayo

Croaghaun, Co. Mayo

At 668 metres, Croaghaun is the smaller of Achill Island’s two peaks, but it’s the one with the best views of the sheer drop to the sea. This is where you’ll find Ireland’s highest corrie lake, Bunnafreva Lough West, which is always a great photo opportunity especially with the distinctive Keem Bay in the background.

Benbulben

Benbulbin, Co. Sligo

Undoubtedly Ireland’s most distinctive mountain, Benbulbin is located in the Darty Mountains. Don’t get fooled by the summit height of 526 metres – this mountain is a tough hike and takes about four hours to complete. You’ll get a more accessible climb if you start from the south of the mountain and the breathtaking views of Yeats country from the summit are worth the effort.

Kilkee Cliffs

Kilkee cliff walk

The Kilkee cliff walk is every bit as mesmerising as the cliffs of Moher, just without the crowds, or the fencing!  Some of the key attractions of this 8km cliff walk are the Pollock holes, Diamond Rocks, and Intrinsic Bay. A great starting point is at the Diamond Rocks Café. There are no walls between the walkway and the cliff’s edge, so you’ll get your daily dose of adrenaline just by walking. Just be careful!

Lough Glenade

Eagle’s Rock, Co Leitrim

This glacial formation is an awe-inspiring centrepiece on a tough but rewarding walk.

Located in the breathtaking Dartry Mountains, Eagle’s Rock is Ireland’s highest free standing tower and one of the most iconic landmarks in the Glenade Valley and North Leitrim.

Rainbow over Roscommon 134

Suck River Valley Co Roscommon

The majority of the route is through low-lying farmland, incorporating the boglands of the river Suck, lakes, drainage channels and callows, which are wet grasslands.

Stop along the way at the ‘Nine Friendly Villages’ before heading off to encounter some of the bird and plant life typical in Irish boglands. Really beautiful.

Thanks to Ireland’s Content Pool for the lovely images.

The Business of Literature – €1.9 million Fund Set to Unlock the Potential of Literary Tourism sector

  • Three-year literary tourism pilot programme launches across four Northern European countries this Autumn
  • €80K Fund Available to Support Literary Tourism Enterprises in Ireland
  • Organisations and businesses encouraged to sign up to November workshops.

The untapped potential of literary tourism is the focus of Spot-lit, a new three-year project spearheaded by the Western Development Commission in Ireland, that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region. The new programme will support organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow, collaborate and better engage audiences together.
Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops. In Ireland, this would include literary rich locations such as Sligo, synonymous with the poet WB Yeats, Seamus Heaney and Bellaghy in Derry, Cuirt International Festival of Literature in Galway, Doolin Writers’ Weekend in Clare.
Funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are the West of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland. Collectively, the region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes, however, research suggests there is potential for this sector to work together and grow significantly. Current low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region make it a sector that is ripe for development.
Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.
The programme will include the development of a cluster network across the regions, a series of support workshops, the development of 20 new literary products or services and shared learning and transnational marketing.

In November, Spot-lit Partner, the Western Development Commission will deliver a series of workshops for businesses interested in Literary Tourism product development:

  • Building successful Literary Tourism experiences for visitors
  • Designing and developing your Literary Tourism product or service
  • Knowing and growing your market

Visit Spot-lit.eu to find out more.

Following on from the workshops, businesses will be invited to participate in a Literary Business Support Programme. The programme will be open to SMEs, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of Literary Tourism in their area. This bespoke programme will involve a series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports. The programme will engage with and support 5 businesses and will include €10,000 business development support. The focus of the business idea/product will be for the development of Literary Tourism through literature, place and performance.

In tandem with the Literary Business Support Programme, a new Literary Tourism Model will be developed and will include a €25,000 business support – the model will be developed by identifying a programme of potential performances linked to the Wild Atlantic
Way and its literary assets.

Speaking on the launch of the SME Businesses Support Programme, CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commission said:
‘The west has a fantastic story to tell; an area of arresting physical beauty, centres of innovation and economic growth, however Spot-Lit is an opportunity to focus on some of the stories as yet untold. I would urge communities, groups and SMEs to engage with the Literary Business Support Programme, one aspect of the work of the WDC in supporting the Creative Economy.’

The project launched on September 25th with a new website at www.spot-lit.eu, dedicated social media channels @spot_lit_eu. The NPAP region in Ireland includes all coastal counties from Donegal to Cork. Literary businesses and organisations in these counties are encouraged to register their interest for upcoming events and workshops.
The project will run until September 2021.

Macnas to ‘Danse Macabre’ through the streets of Galway on 27th October

Macnas to ‘Danse Macabre’ through the streets of Galway on 27th October

Ireland’s largest free Halloween event set to unleash curiosity, fear, grief, love, laughter and party onto the streets.

Macnas will bring their epic storytelling to the streets of Galway on Sunday 27th October with the acclaimed annual Macnas Halloween Parade – the largest free event for Halloween with over 70,000 people young and old out in force every year for a highlight of Ireland’s cultural calendar.

The 2019 event – titled ‘Danse Macabre’ – will kick off at 5.30pm from Macnas’ home on the NUI Galway campus and will weave its way through the heart of Galway city unleashing curiosity, fear, grief, love, laughter and party onto the streets of Galway.

Macnas to ‘Danse Macabre’ through the streets of Galway on 27th October‘Danse Macabre’ will take audiences on a journey with a boy called Conor and will see Macnas, the ultimate guardians of the unpredictable, conjure a magical-realist world brimming with fizzing light, infusing the streets with spices and aromas, wafting and roaming around dense dark corners that rise to meet the transcendental and magical. It promises to be strange, unpredictable and utterly mesmerising. 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.

The delivery of this wondrous chaos is the work of the Macnas Creative Ensemble, comprised of 45 professional artists and 300 volunteers. Creative Director of ‘Danse Macbre’ Dan Colley is joined this year by Dave Young (Lead Design); Saileog O’Halloran (Costume Design); Alma Kelleher (Music & Sound Design); as well as hundreds of performers from the Macnas Young Ensemble (led by Miquel Barcelo); Youth Ballet West; Macnas Youth Drummers (led by Eimhin Craddock); Macnas Public Participation Programme; Macnas Brass Ensemble (led by Donal McConnan) and many more.

Macnas to ‘Danse Macabre’ through the streets of Galway on 27th OctoberMark O’Donnell, Executive Director of Macnas said – “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. In 2019, we are delighted to have the confirmed support of our platinum supporters Smyth’s Toys and our golden business patrons: O’Connell’s Bar Eyre Square and Acorn Insurance.  This year, the Connacht Hospitality Group continues their generous support for the Macnas Young Ensemble which is terrific, and we look forward to working with our partners in the Latin Quarter again this year to deliver the iconic Halloween parade.”

Speaking ahead of this year’s Macnas Halloween Parade and looking forward to the European Capital of Culture, Noeline Kavanagh, Artistic Director of Macnas said –

”2020 will see Macnas present a dramatic new version of the world’s oldest surviving story, the epic of Gilgamesh, staged outdoors, indoors and online across the four seasons. The legend of Gilgamesh inspired heroes such as Cú Chulainn, Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Odysseus and this will be an adventure that will take our audiences on a rollercoaster ride, like nothing they’ve ever experienced.”

‘Gilgamesh’ is a tyrannical king, two- thirds god, one-third human, whose rule is challenged when he meets his match in a wild man and hero called Enkidu. The story follows their exploits against a backdrop of love, loss and adventure.  Get ready for Macnas in 2020 as ‘Gilgamesh’ takes over the city streets, comes into in your homes, is staged in the Black Box Theatre and roams beyond our city walls!

For more information on the Parade and all things Macnas check out www.macnas.com

Photos by Julia Dunin

GMIT Open Day

GMIT Autumn Open Morning 2019

GMIT Autumn Open Day 2019

(ALL GMIT CAMPUSES REPRESENTED)

GMIT are holding an Open Morning at GMIT Galway campus, Dublin Road, Galway on Saturday, 19th October, 2019 from 10am to 1pm.

This Open Morning event is open to all secondary school students as well as parents, teachers and mature applicants.

Join GMIT to learn about student life and study in GMIT.

Staff and students will be on hand to answer questions on all course options available at GMIT in the areas of:

  • Agriculture
  • Built Environement
  • Business
  • Computing
  • Engineering
  • Creative Arts & Media
  • Furniture Design, Making & Technology
  • Teacher Education ( Design Graphics & Construction)
  • Nursing, Health Sciences & Social Care
  • Science
  • Outdoor Education
  • Tourism, Heritage and Culinary Arts,
  • Science and Computing, and
  • Outdoor Education.

The schedule also includes talks on:

Advice on the CAO Application Process
Student Finance and Supports including SUSI talks, and Access options
Introductory sessions for all GMIT Schools and Campuses
Why not meet with the GMIT Career Office for a FREE consultation on your future job possibilities and CAO Choices. Spaces are limited so to avoid disappointment book your appointment TODAY at careers@gmit.ie

 

GMIT are asking you to register in advance for this event so we can plan our Health & Safety requirements. They will ask you for your name and email address so they can contact you after the event for feedback. GMIT will not share your information with any third parties and the information will be deleted after three months.

Click here to register.

Win a 2 day break in Killaloe

Competition – Win a fantastic prize

Win a break in a boutique Co. Clare cottage with an afternoon at W2 Exchange.

All you have to do to WIN this fantastic prize is send us a picture showing us what you love doing in the west of Ireland when #yourtimeisyourown

Go to our Facebook or Instagram pages and upload your picture to the competition post.

The LookWest team will pick the winner.

The living room in One Little Cottage

The living room of the cottage

The one we think is the best will WIN:

1)     A 2 night break in a Boutique Cottage in the stunning Co Clare village of Killaloe.

2)     An afternoon in W2 Exchange with access to a hotdesk facility in a shared office environment with hi-speed internet.

Go ahead and post your pic on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

 

Terms and Conditions

  • Entrants must be over 18.
  • The prize is as follows: Two nights in One Little Cottage for a group of up to six people with a half day access to W2 exchange.
  • The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize is not transferable. The prize is subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  • LookWest.ie will judge the competition and decide on the shortlist each week, which will be picked at random from all complete entries via Facebook or Instagram.
  • The decision of LookWest.ie is final.
  • The entrant must be following LookWest.ie on Facebook or Instagram in order to enter.
  • LookWest.ie shall have the right, at its sole discretion and at any time, to change or modify these terms and conditions.
  • LookWest.ie also reserves the right to cancel the competition or amend if circumstances arise.
  • The winner agrees to the use of their name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  • If posting an image ensure you have consent of any person featured.
  • Closing date is December 1st 2019.
  • Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
The Tweeting Goddess, National Womens Enterprise Day 2019

National Women’s Enterprise Day 2019

Female entrepreneurs from across the West are #MakingItHappen in 2019, and Local Enterprise Office Galway is delighted to present a dynamic and engaging event on behalf of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon to celebrate National Women’s Enterprise Day. To mark the occasion, a special event will be held in Galway city’s historic Hotel Meyrick on the 17th of October. Read more

The Business of Literature – Major Literary Tourism Initiative Set to Enhance Commercial Capacity in Northern European Region

Major new three-year literary tourism pilot programme set to launch across four Northern European countries this Autumn.

Spot-lit is a new three-year project that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region by supporting the organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow collaborate and better engage audiences together. Literary Tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related literary tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and book shops.Funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are Western Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland.

All share a number of common features such as low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversity, abundant natural resources, and high impact of climate change.
Collectively, the region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes, however, research suggests there is potential for this sector to work together and grow significantly. Current low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region make it a sector that is ripe for development.

Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.

The programme will include the development of a cluster network across the regions, a series of support workshops, the development of 20 new literary products or services and shared learning and transnational marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the Spot-lit partners at a recent partner meeting in Scoltland (left to right) Filip Sever, Mary Keaveney, Minna Mustonen, Helena Aaltonen  Marlene Kohllechner-Autto, Shane Campbell.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the project, CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin of the Western Development Commission said: “We are delighted to launch this programme today following an extensive period of research and development. Spot-Lit has the capacity to deliver tangible benefits to under-tapped regions across Europe through the literary tourism sector which we know has the potential to be a major economic driver. We encourage any organisation or business in the literary tourism sector to visit our website and sign-up for our information roadshows in early October.”

This Autumn, the Spot-lit partners in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Finland will deliver a series of workshops for businesses interested in Literary Tourism development.

Workshop 1: Building Successful Literary Tourism Experiences for Visitors
Workshop 2: Designing and developing your Literary Tourism product or service
Workshop 3: Knowing and growing your market

Following on from the workshops, businesses will be invited to participate in a Literary Business Support Programme. The programme will be open to SMEs, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of Literary Tourism in their area. This bespoke programme will involve a series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports. The programme will engage with 5 businesses in each country and will include a €10,000 innovation voucher. The focus of the business idea/product will be for the development of Literary Tourism.

The project will officially launch on September 25th with a new website at http://www.spot-lit.eu, dedicated social media channels @spot_lit_eu, followed by a call out for literary businesses and organisations to register their interest for upcoming events and workshops.

Galway Company takes home gold at Event Industry Awards

Go West, The Conference & Corporate Event Management Company based in Galway have been named as the Best Professional Conference Organiser in 2019 at the Event Industry Awards. Launched in 2009, the Event Industry Awards celebrate excellence and showcase the very highest standards in Ireland’s event industry. The EIAs is the only awards programme to accolade this excellence.

The gala awards ceremony took place on Friday last, 19th July in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin was attended by hundreds of leading industry figures, and the past winners list includes a who’s who of Ireland’s event industry.

Speaking on their award win Kathleen McDonagh commented,” We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award, it is such a testament to all the work that is happening in the west of Ireland. We are always working towards promoting the west of Ireland and this truly is something we love doing and each new year we have strived to continually ensure that each event and conference exceeds expectations. Winning this award is a credit to all the team at Go West and all the external bodies, and businesses we work with”.

Established in 1995 by owner/directors Kerry O’Sullivan and Kathleen Mc Donagh, the Go West team have worked on hundreds of National and International conferences providing a full range of conference management services. Go West is a member of the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO) and is one of a limited number of Companies approved by Fáilte Ireland as a Professional Conference Organiser.

Go West employs a staff of six providing clients with conference and corporate event management solutions and support that save them resources and result in a better, more professional conference or event in Ireland.

The company continually strive to attract international business into Ireland and to showcase the country as a truly exceptional place to hold meetings and to give delegates every opportunity to experience all that Ireland has to offer in terms of heritage, culture, and the arts.

Over the past 24 years the Directors of Go West have been heavily involved in promoting Ireland as a tourist destination and a destination for International Meeting and Events.

To find out more log onto www.gowest.ie

Galway Company shortlisted for excellence at national awards

Go West heads East for the Event Industry Awards

Go West, The Conference Management Company based in Galway have been nominated for Best Professional Conference Organiser at this years Event Industry Awards. Launched in 2009, the Event Industry Awards celebrate excellence and showcase the very highest standards in Ireland’s event industry. The EIAs is the only awards programme to accolade this excellence.

The gala awards ceremony which takes place this Friday 19th July in the Citywest Hotel, Dublin will be attended by hundreds of leading industry figures, and the past winners list includes a who’s who of Ireland’s event industry.

Established in 1995 by owner/directors Kerry O’Sullivan and Kathleen Mc Donagh, the Go West team have worked on hundreds of National and International conferences providing a full range of conference management services. Go West is a member of the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO) and is one of a limited number of Companies approved by Fáilte Ireland as a Professional Conference Organiser.

Go West employs a staff of six providing clients with conference and event management solutions and support that save them resources and result in a better, more professional conference or event in Ireland.

The company continually strive to attract international business into Ireland and to showcase the country as a truly exceptional place to hold meetings and to give delegates every opportunity to experience all that Ireland has to offer in terms of heritage, culture, and the arts.

Over the past 24 years the Directors of Go West have been heavily involved in promoting Ireland as a tourist destination and a destination for International Meeting and Events.

For several years Go West has worked with the organisers of two home grown Irish conferences that are achieving status and recognition on an International scale including Food on The Edge and dotMD. Both conferences have been recognised by Failte Ireland as having the potential to grow to a scale to attract an International audience.

Looking at how to do business better and more sustainable has been a huge area of development and growth for Go West. Go West have created a Sustainable Event Checklist as the first step in their Sustainable Event Policy. The checklist is intended as a simplified tool to assist Clients. Go West are also working towards a Carbon Neutral Event, so in 2019 as dotMD expands its programme from one to two days of meetings. “We are working closely with organiser, Dr Ronan Kavanagh and Irish Doctors for the Environment to minimise the environmental impact of dotMD,” said Kerry O’Sullivan.

A key area of growth for Go West has been in the building of the Corporate Tours sector within Galway. Go West will facilitate any Corporate Tour in order to showcase just how you can either network or say Thank You to businesses stakeholders or key investors as well as staff of course. Go West can create, plan and deliver engaging events for employees and companies nationwide.

“Our in-house creative team will design a bespoke event proposal including venue, catering, decor and design, guest entertainment and more. Our team can take care of all of the event arrangements from transport, event promotion, ticketing, design and theming, event production and on-site management. Having a venue with a difference can make your event. We create events and Corporate Packages that will wow and ensure that lasting businesses relationships are forged with Galway,” said Kerry

Speaking on their nomination Kathleen McDonagh commented,”  In Go West, we manage all types of corporate events.  This shortlist and the recognition by our industry peers is a huge credit to all the hard work and planning of the Go West Team. Working to promote the west of Ireland is something we love doing and each new year we have strived to continually ensure that each event and conference exceeds expectations. This shortlist for our company is testament to that ongoing work.”

To find out more log onto www.gowest.ie

 

Caption:

Team Go West

Colette Lavin, Kerry O Sullivan, Kathleen McDonagh, Aine Beatty, Julieann Faherty. Photo Martina Regan

 

 

 

Galway Cafes caring for Cancer Care West

“Oh Cancer is it” the reality of a response when people now hear someone is sick. Cancer is affecting 1 in 2 people in Ireland now. So in times of illness, Galways Cafes Ground and Co and Mr Waffle are there catering and caring for the people in Cancer Care West.

The Galway company which operates three cafes, in Salthill, Knocknacara and Newcastle took over the catering for Cancer Care West in January 2018.

“It is a privilege and honour to look after the guests at Inis Aoibhinn (The Cancer Care West respite House), particularly during this part of the journey. Our aim is to look after each guest and make their stay at Inis Aoibhinn as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. We always make sure that we brighten their morning and evening with a smile and a warm and nutritious meal,” explained Niamh Gallagher who heads up operations at Ground and Co.

Food is a vital part of recovery and people who are in Inis Aoibhinn can avail of breakfasts (Tuesday – Friday) and evening tea (Monday – Thursday).

Breakfast involves creamy porridge oats with healthy toppings, granola and cereals, scrambled eggs, fruit pots, herbal teas, tea and coffee.

Evening Tea includes hearty and wholesome hot meals like Irish Stew, Mild Curries and Soup as well as salad options.

The always upbeat and so humble Dragos delivers fresh food daily and always has a smile for everyone…nothing is ever too much trouble.

Aisling Curran is there on a full-time basis and she looks after all the guests, like they are her family. The amount of cards saying thank you from the residents speaks volumes as to how valued she is.