2018 Westport Food Festival Launched

Mid-Summer Banquet is highlight of Westport Food Festival Westport House Friday 29th June

The undisputed highlight of Westport Food Festival and the social event of the year is the gala Mid-Summer Banquet in the glorious environment of Westport House. It’s a glittering affair featuring black tie and evening dresses as befits the stylish setting. The date is Friday 29th June and limited tickets are available through Hotel Westport (098 25122).

The evening starts with a complimentary trip from town on the Westport House Train. It might bring guests just a kilometre on the ground, but it transports them to another world. It’s Downton Abbey – but it’s better, because it’s for real! From the chilled Pimms on arrival to the handmade canapés, gourmet tasting menu and accompanying fine wines, this is a step back into history. Walk up those historic steps and imagine several hundred years of bejewelled guests and famous figures preceding you. Opportunities like this don’t come along too often.

The Midsummer Banquet takes place on Friday night, 29th June. The epicurean seven course feast showcases the combined talent of seven local chefs led by Eoin McDonnell of the Wyatt Hotel who is also Chairman of Westport Food Festival. The wine pairings are from Cabot’s of Westport, guaranteeing a perfect match for the taste buds. The team of chefs has developed a stunning menu with a strong focus on local and Mayo food. It promises to be a real celebration of the senses.

Tickets for this unique event are in high demand and as there is quite literally no room for expansion in the dining rooms, people are advised to book without delay. Contact Hotel Westport (098 25122).

Westport Food Festival continues over the weekend until Sunday 1st July with a busy programme of events including the Fairgreen Food Village on Saturday with a full programme of chef demonstrations and plenty to keep the kids occupied too. Kiddie workshops on Pizza Making and Cup Cake Decorating can be booked on the day and the little ones can enter the fun Fast Food Race too. Go foraging for mushrooms or seashore delicacies. Two local producer tasting tours are on the menu– Mescan Brewery and Mussel and Oyster Farm.  Wet your whistle with the Gintastic Gin Appreciation, Whiskey Tasting and Come Wine With Me. There’s something there to tempt everyone’s tastebuds. Check out the website www.westportfoodfestival.ie for full details.

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Transformations Funds 10k Digital Society Bursary

Details of a major award for writers and artists, creative professionals, developers and designers to be launched in Ballina on 19 May 2018.

This year-long bursary provides a significant opportunity for practitioners of any discipline (visual, performing, musical, literature, media, technology) to deliver a project responding to the emerging digital society. The bursary will be open to individuals and groups in Ireland and abroad and the recipient will be launched at the Digital Transformations conference in Ballina on the 19th of May.

An information session for potential applicants will form part of the conference programme.

The purpose of the bursary is to increase awareness of the digital society and to make artistic responses to it a more central part of the debate.

The winner of the bursary will be required to consider the themes of the digital transformations conference in developing their work: Digital Human, Networked Personality, Art for What’s Sake, and Manifesto. Studio, rehearsal and accommodation space at the Ballina Arts Centre in Mayo will be made available and the recipient will be required to provide some educational outreach and workshops at the centre.

“I’m thrilled to be offering this bursary as a way of supporting people who want to explore the digital society in their work, and to put that response centre stage in the debates happening today about what kind of society is emerging via digital technologies,” said conference director Scott Coombs. “Enriching human contact and the human voice is essential for this transformation to be beneficial,” he said “and this artistic response needs to be heard not just on the street, but in classrooms and boardrooms as well. The digital society is throwing arts, policy, education, culture, media, technology and business together in ways that only the arts can really fathom.”

See digitaltransformations.org/busary for full details.

 

Follow in the footsteps of Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen on a 2-Day Mayo itinerary

With the help of historians from the National Museum of Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin and Queen’s University, Belfast, Expedia has created a fascinating account of the kings and queens who reigned in Ireland thousands of years ago on their new website: Kings and Queens That Shaped Ireland. This includes a wonderful display of illustrations depicting the different kings and queens, as well as a series of connecting timelines and stories dating back some thousands of years ago.

Grace O’Malley, The Pirate Queen

Grace O’Malley commonly known as Gráinne Mhaol was the first queen of Ireland to have an audience with the Queen of England (Queen Elizabeth I). Born in 1530 to an Irish chieftain of the O’Malley family in Connacht, Maeve went on to protect her native Ireland from English rule. In the process of doing so, she was punished by Sir Richard Bingham, an Englishman sent to govern over this part of Ireland.

Her remarkable life and career has been celebrated in many poems , but also preserved for posterity in the official records of State Papers of the English crown who have in its possession letters detailing correspondence between Grace and Queen Elizabeth I. The letters show a plea Grace made to the queen about her situation with Bingham. The queen is said to have been sympathetic to Grace’s position and even warmed to the rebellious Irish queen.

A strong character, Grace is said to have spent much of her life protecting her native land from enemies and the encroaching English rule. In her strongholds of Clare Island and at Clew Bay, Grace was able to use her piracy and seafaring ways to protect the west of Ireland for a considerable amount of time.

English administration did eventually find its way into Connacht and, as a result, Grace’s opposition was punished by the confiscating of cattle and ships by the newly appointed governor of the region, Sir Richard Bingham. It is also thought that Sir Bingham held two of her sons captive.

To this day, the British Crown has letters detailing correspondence between Grace and Queen Elizabeth I. The letters show a plea Grace made to the queen about her situation with Bingham. After several letters back and forth, Grace was granted an audience with the Queen at Greenwich Castle in 1593. This was a significant meeting given Grace was the first female sovereign of Ireland to do such a thing. In accounts of this meeting, it is believed that the queen showed a lot of admiration for Grace and agreed to lift some of the sanctions made by Bingham.

Follow in The Pirate Queen’s Footsteps in Co Mayo

Today, you can explore some of the lands that Grace battled to protect by embarking on Expedia’s 2-day Mayo itinerary, visiting the towns of Westport and Newport, and the many islands of Clew Bay.

Take a road trip along Mayo’s stunning coast and allow locals to retell the tales of the pirate queen.

More Info

To find out more about Grace and discover the many places she is known to have roamed hundreds of years ago visit Kings and Queens – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KingsQueensIre/

Historic Ireland – http://blog.expedia.ie/blog/2018/01/12/the-queens-of-ireland-5-females-who-made-their-mark-on-the-emerald-isle/

Content & Illustrations Credit Expedia.ie

West of Ireland’s Ancient Kings and Queens are Brought to Life by Expedia

It’s the stuff of a Hollywood blockbuster or Netflix series as Expedia brings to life some of Ireland’s most ancient kings and queens.

With the help of historians from the National Museum of Ireland, Trinity College, Dublin and Queen’s University, Belfast, Expedia creates a fascinating account of the kings and queens who reigned in Ireland thousands of years ago on their new website: Kings and Queens That Shaped Ireland. This includes a wonderful display of illustrations depicting the different kings and queens, as well as a series of connecting timelines and stories dating back some thousands of years ago.

As you enter the site, expect to be taken on a journey through the lives of some of Ireland’s most notable kings and queens as they battle for power, marry numerous times, and eventually relinquish or pass on their throne.

We, at LookWest.ie, are especially delighted to see Queen Maeve of Connacht and Co Mayo’s famous Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, highlighted in the series.

Going one step further, the site has an array of travel itineraries that connect to each of the kings and queens featured, allowing visitors the opportunity to literally follow in their footsteps. These itineraries feature locations of significant historical importance, including Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo and Donegal, as well as other places of interest across Ireland.

Find out more at – http://blog.expedia.ie/irish-kings-queens /

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KingsQueensIre/

Twitter: twitter.com/KingsQueensIre

 

st patricks day

Top 5 Things to do in the West for St Patrick’s Day 2018

It’s one of the biggest days in the calendar and a day for Irish people at home and abroad to celebrate our culture, identity and heritage.

But St Patrick’s Day is so much more than that.

We give you the rundown on the ‘Top 5 Things to do in the West of Ireland this St Patrick’s weekend’. 

1. Sunrise and Pipe Bands (17th March)

Achill Island is famous for its pipe bands and its sunrise tradition. The pipe bands begin to play at sunrise on Achill and will march and perform until sunset.

This schedule allows visitors and spectators to join the bands for a while and then to explore Achill’s other attractions – for the active visitor these include watersports, golf or hillwalking, while for the more relaxed visitor there are always the restaurants and bars to enjoy.

Celebrate Ireland’s national day in traditional style, and follow Achill’s pipe bands on their annual parades.

2018 Schedule: Reveille at 06.00am, marches from 09.00am, Dookinella meet at 13.00pm, then return to villages. >> AchillTourism.com

St Patricks Day2. Galway’s St Patrick’s Day Parade  (17th March)

2018 marks the 116th anniversary of the Galway St. Patrick’s Day Parade and you can expect a wonderful spectacle of all things Irish with this Year’s Guest of Honour being Galway native and extreme adventurer Gavan Hennigan. The iconic fountain in Eyre Square will even turn green as part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.  The Parade will start at 11.30am and finish at approximately 1.00pm.

The parade will feature an array of community, cultural, sporting and international groups including Ireland’s pioneering spectacle theatre company Macnas, led by the Macnas Young Ensemble. Recognised worldwide for its quality and innovation, Macnas will be accompanied by a fantastical, flowery giant Macnas owl alongside a cacophony of rhythm passion and purpose from the next generation Macnas drummers.. >> galwaytourism.ie/event/St-Patricks-Festival

3. May The Road Rise To Meet You (17th March)

St. Patrick’s Day, with a difference in South Sligo as athletes will once again take to the roads for the Tubbercurry St. Patrick’s Day 10K Road Race.

The first ever Tubbercurry 10K road race was planned for St. Stephen’s Day but was postponed due to snow and ice. It was rescheduled for St. Patrick’s Day 1973 and ever since it has become an annual fixture in the running calendar. Last year saw 375 runners take to the streets of Tubbercurry. >> facebook.com/SouthSligoAthletic/

4. Go Native in Donegal (17th March)

Since 2005, the people of Burtonport, Co Donegal, and surrounding areas have hosted a celebration of Irish culture on St Patrick’s day.

A formal warning has been issued to all Leprechauns in the area to please stay away from the Burtonport Old Railway Walk in the coming days.

Word has it that a Leprechaun catcher is at work at the minute and has already caught a dozen leprechauns which he has restricted to a cage in a bid to limit their mischief over the run-up St Patrick’s day.

Organisers encourage a ‘Bring and Share’ event where everyone brings along food to share on the day.  Experience home baking, the Irish language, traditional dance, music, food, games and a warm welcome. >> More on their Facebook Page here

St Patrick's Day5. Join Ireland’s friendliest place for the Ennis St Patrick’s Day parade

In excess of 10,000 people lined the streets of the Clare County Capital during last year’s parade, which featured 50 groups representing the many aspects of life in Ennis and County Clare.

The theme for this year’s Parade is ‘Ennis – Ireland’s Friendliest Place’, which the Local Authority says provides participating groups, organisations, bands, schools and members of the public an opportunity to celebrate the recently awarded status. >> facebook.com/ennisparade

 

Enterprise Week in the West

It’s Local Enterprise Week from Sunday March 4th to Friday March 9th in the West and to celebrate, Local Enterprise Offices are organising hundreds of events for start-ups and small businesses in the West of Ireland.

To see what events across the West are taking place near you, click on your county button below.

You’ll also find updates and event news by searching #localenterprise on social media!

Check out Local Enterprise Office Explained video

GMIT ‘New Frontiers’ Enterprise Programme

New Frontiers is Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme, delivered locally by Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and funded by Enterprise Ireland.

If you have an innovative business idea with a plan to establish your own company, or you are already at an early stage of development, the New Frontiers Programme can provide you with funding, help and support to develop your new business. Participants can remain in their own office, enterprise centre, start-up hub, work from home and/or avail of the GMIT Innovation Hubs.

How Does The Programme Benefit Entrepreneurs?

Expertise in all areas of business including investment, market research & validation, business model, patenting, product development, sales and marketing.

Mentoring from experienced business advisers and practitioners.

Office space (if needed) and other business incubation facilities.

€15,000 funding to cover full-time participation in the second phase of the programme.

Networking opportunities with other entrepreneurs and business development agencies.

Introductions to seed and early-stage capital investment networks.

Access to entrepreneurship best practice – both national and international.

Peer group learning from participants in this region and across the country.

Access to the expertise in Enterprise Ireland through the Market Research Centre.

Expertise from GMIT and the supportive environment of the Innovation Hubs in Galway and Mayo.

Ideally Applicants Should:

  • Have an innovative idea
  • Be capable of building a new company
  • Create employment
  • Generate sales revenue
  • Have export potential

New Frontiers is Delivered in Three Phases:

  • The First Phase will test the feasibility of the proposition. It is the shortest phase (6/8 weeks) and will be conducted on a part-time basis. It will focus on the promoter, product/service, market opportunity, business model and feasibility study.
  • The Second Phase is much more intensive. Participants on this phase must commit on a full-time basis for 6 months. €15,000 funding will be available to all eligible participants. Expert modules, workshops and mentoring will be provided.
  • The Third Phase is built around the business success and growth, getting to the market, exporting, generating employment and attracting investment. This will be full-time over 3 months.  A €14,000 award fund sponsored by KPMG (€10,000) and AIB (€4,000) will be available for the best emerging companies on the programme.

Apply early as places are limited.  First preference places will be offered to those who return their applications by Friday, 16th March.

Planned start date for Phase 1 is 7th April.

Email Trisha Carrick trisha.carrick@gmit.ie for an application form.

Additional information:  www.gmit.ie/new-frontiers or www.newfrontiers.ie

networking west

Top 5 Networking Events in the West this Spring

It’s the new year and it’s time to get out there and promote your business, get inspired and expand your network.

There are so many great networking and business events taking place across the West of Ireland; we’ve rounded up our list of the ones not to miss.

1. Leveraging Ireland West Airport, How can your Business Benefit? BOI Workbench, Galway, 18 Jan 2018

Ireland West Airport had a record-breaking year as the airport’s passenger numbers increased by 7pc or 48,000 to 733,869. How can your business benefit from that, and even create more demand for those routes?. Join an interactive talk with Donal Healy, Head of Marketing & Route Development. This event welcomes hoteliers, tour companies, local business owners and anyone who can add value to the west region’s airport. Learn about the routes in place for 2018, the demographic of people through the airport into the west region, and how you can target cities of origin. All welcome!

Register at eventbrite.com/e/leveraging-ireland-west-airport

2. Hackaholdem, The Building Block, Sligo, 03 & 04 February

sligo hackathonHackahold’em – a gamified version of a hackathon is set to take place in The Building Block, Sligo on February 03-04 2018.
Bringing together up to 40 programmers, designers and product developers, the event will take place over a 24 hour period with 5- 7 teams set to participate.

The event is for developers, designers and all-rounders in the digital space and our aim is to bring the fun and community feel back into hackathons, while providing a space for participants to network and build something cool together.

Sign up now! hackaholdem.com

3. Digital West, GMIT, Mayo, 30 January

Emerging trends and careers in Digital Media and how companies can stay competitive will be the focus of a public seminar in GMIT Mayo on Tuesday 30 January, delivered by leading professionals and academics in digital media, marketing and technology.

Organised by the Mayo campus academic staff in collaboration with the Innovation Hub, the “Digital West” event will include topics on Digital Media Strategies, Bots & Automation, Google Analytics, Automation of Digital Media, Blockchain, and more.

This Dynamic FREE event will focus on emerging trends in Digital Media and how they will affect companies and individuals in 2018 and beyond.
As the digital media landscape rapidly evolves with the introduction of new technologies such as AI, analytics, automation and a movement towards high definition video communication, companies are finding it increasingly hard to attract and maintain talent.
More at digitalwest.biz

4. Open Talent Speed Dating, Galway, 06 April

Open Talent Galway

Open Talent is a two-part event where people of all backgrounds come to Galway city over two days in April for a sweep of 1-1 interviews, and speed dating events with local businesses. Want to get straight to interview?

Register at eventbrite.com/e/open-talent-speed-dating-tickets

5. Startup Weekend West (Ire): Future of Towns, Achill Island, 27 April

Keel Beach

Keel Beach, Achill

Achill Island, Co. Mayo is the destination for the upcoming Startup Weekend West taking place on Friday, April 27, 2018. The theme is the future of towns.

This unique Startup Weekend will bring together designers, developers, county councillors, urban planners, founders, and much more to conceive ideas and build solutions that will bring life and economic vitality back into Irish towns.

The weekend costs just €60 to attend, and that includes all meals each day, a t-shirt and some cosy accommodation.

On Friday, some of the attendees will pitch an idea for 60 seconds. The best ten ideas (voted for by attendees) will progress to build a team and then through to pitch at the final. On Saturday, mentors and coaches (who are established business owners or experts in their area) will be brought in to help guide the teams through execution. On Sunday, the event will finish with the final pitches and winners announced. There’s also a cracking after-party.

TechStars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.

Full details on how to get involved at communities.techstars.com/ireland/galway/startup-weekend

 

wdc insights

Census 2016: The Western Region’s Labour Market – in pictures!

As the final Census 2016 Profile ‘Employment, Occupations and Industry’ was published by the CSO last week, we now have a pretty good picture of the Western Region’s labour market in 2016.  The Western Development Commission (WDC) has today published an infographic on some interesting facts about the Western Region’s labour market.

This is the second in a series of infographics to be published using data from the Census and focusing on the Western Region – the seven counties under the remit of the WDC.  The aim is to make key regional statistics available in an easily accessible manner.

In this infographic we show that:

  • The Western Region had 17.4% of the State population in 2016, 16.6% of all employment and 19.5% of all self-employment
  • There are over 100,000 retired people living in the Western Region
  • Industry is the biggest employment sector in the Western Region and also enjoyed the biggest gain in employment between 2011 and 2016

You can download ‘The Western Region’s Labour Market’ infographic here

west of ireland work force

See more from the WDC Insights Blog here.

WDC Analysis of Census data: Where people in the Western Region Live and Work

More people living in the Western Region now leave the Region for work – analysis of Census data by the WDC shows

  • 7 out of every 10 workers (71.5%) living in the Western Region, work within the Region a decline since 2011 when 73.2% of workers in the Western Region found work in the Region.
  • Over 4,200 Western Region residents travel to work in Dublin, up by 16.9% since 2011.
  • In 2016 there was a net loss of 17,565 workers who leave the Region to work elsewhere.
  • Compared to 2011, this is an increase in the number of workers leaving the Region to work, when there was a net loss of -14,939 residents working outside of the Region.

Of the workplace destinations outside the Western Region, the five counties of Limerick (7,948), Westmeath (4,500), Dublin (4,258), Derry (2,986) and Longford (1,730) are the most significant workplaces.

Over 4,500 workers living in the Western Region work abroad (4,661).

View some specific county findings: HERE

 

http://www.wdc.ie/publications/reports-and-papers/

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst, 086 605 3317