Eagles Rock

Top 10 Things To Do in Leitrim

We are all about Leitrim this month. This little county packs a punch for its size and has so much to offer; stunning landscapes, lower property prices, great communities and virtually no traffic (Leitrim only got its first traffic lights in 2003!)

The greatest thing about Leitrim is that because it’s off the beaten path, even in the height of tourist seasons, when the busloads are trundling around the Ring of Kerry, you will find so many beautiful places to visit and things to do in Leitrim that don’t involve jostling with the crowds.leitrim-website

To make things even more appealing the welcome is warm; locals aren’t jaded by volumes of visitors and so the welcome is always a warm and personal one. We can vouch for that.

Here are our Top 10 Things to Do in Leitrim.
1. Glencar Waterfallglencar waterfall

Leitrim is home to some of the most breath-taking scenery in the entire world. Full of lakes and mountains, the county is a photographer’s dream.  Topping the must-see list is Glencar Waterfall, on the shore of Glencar Lough, this beautiful waterfall is extremely visitor-friendly and accessible. In 2014 the Teashed at Glencar opened making a trip even more appealing with its lovely cafe and outdoor playground.

2. Stunning Lakelands          

Glencar Lake

Did you know that Leitrim is home to no fewer than ten lakes to take your breath away. Be sure to walk around Glencar Lough when you vist the waterfall, take a tour of Parkes Castle when at Lough Gill and consider renting a boat to cruise around Lough Allen, especially beautiful in the late afternoon as the sun sets over the lake.

3. Get Your Adventure On:

There is no doubt that the best of what Leitrim has to offer involves fresh air. See the locals list below of the best things to do in the great outdoors.

  • Visit Ireland’s first floating boardwalk at Acres Lake in Co Leitrim. The 600m boardwalk – between Drumshanbo and Carrick-on-Shannon – serves as the final leg of the Shannon Blueway, part of an expanding network of recreational trails that offer walking, kayaking, and cycling routes in lesser-known parts of the State.
  • Lots of scenic walks, local favourites are:
    • O Donnells Rock
    • O’Rourkes Table Walk
    • Eagle’s Rock
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) has exploded in popularity. Locals and tourists alike rave about walking on water down the River Bonet near Dromahair with local provider SUP for All or head for the Leitrim Blueway with Leitrim Surf Company Leitrim Surf Company
  • If you prefer sitting down, kayaking with Adventure Gently is another great option for a jaunt down the River Bonet
  • For a bit more adrenalin, head for a surf on Leitrim’s coastline at Tullaghan with Leitrim Surf Co
  • Hire a day boat from Leitrim Quay
  • Swim at Spenser harbour

4. Visit the heart of Ireland’s Eco-Tourism Industry

Ard Nahoo

  • The Organic Centre offers eco-tourism every weekend from end of February to the beginning of November with interesting and entertaining courses on gardening, food and crafts. Our top: do a weekend eco-tourism course. More at The Organic Centre
  • Tucked away near Dromahair in North Leitrim, Ard Nahoo is a unique retreat, based around Eco Cabins stocked with antique furniture, wood pellet stoves and views of the rolling countryside. Indulge your inner yogi, soak in the outdoor hot tub overlooking Lough Nahoo, or indulge in a massage. Insider tip: try their Uisce Hour. More at ardnahoo.com
  • Go glamping at Pink Apple Orchard

5. Hang Out At:

  • You will always meet great people in Stanford’s Inn (great Guinness)
  • Trad sessions in the Clubhouse Bar (Dromahair)
  • Pint in Gings beer garden on a sunny afternoon
  • Friday night blue-grass session in Cryans Traditional Bar, Carrick on Shannon
  • Beirnes of Battlebridge for a Summer Sunday of music and relaxed eating/meeting with friends

6. Great Eats:

Leitrim’s foodie scene has really taken off in recent years and with its eco-conscious population promoting a self-sustainable lifestyle, it’s great to see so many eateries using local produce. Here is our list of recommendations from the locals. Check out TasteLeitrim for more.

  • Luna Restaurant Dromahair
  • The Riverbank, Dromahair
  • The Pulled Pork Sandwich from the Oarsman’s lunch menu
  • Edergole Supper-Club in Dromahair
  • Sweet Geranium Cafe in Drumshanbo
  • Anything in the Cottage Restaurant Jamestown
  • Healthy nourishment from the Grass Roof Cafe at the Organic Centre, run by Aisling Stone, from Aisling’s Home Cooked Foodorganic-centre-website

7. Get Your Culture On:

Leitrim’s population is small but we would bet that it’s the most culturally active in Ireland. That landscape inspires. For great cultural happenings there is always lots to see and do at:

8. Follow Yeats Trail

Ireland celebrated WB Yeats’ 150th birthday in 2015. Leitrim featured heavily in Yeats’ poetry when he wanted to get away from the world.
One of Yeats’s best loved poems refers to Glencar Waterfall (“where the wandering water gushes from the hills above Glencar”). Leitrim also lays claim to part of Lough Gill, so beloved of Yeats.

On the Yeats2015 website there are two great tours around Sligo / Leitrim articulating what Yeats’ could expect to discover on a contemporary journey through his favourite haunts:

9. Visit the home of Boxty

Boxty is often described as a potato pancake. They say that the name boxty derives from the Irish language name of arán bocht tí ,with the literal meaning of poor house bread. Its origin dates back to before the famine times . It is really synonymous with the North/West of Ireland, in particular counties Leitrim and Cavan.

Co. Leitrim’s burgeoning boxty industry is now home to three producers – McNiffes, Dromod Boxty and Shannonside Savouries. For more on the Leitrim Boxty story visit http://www.tasteleitrim.com/Trail-Info/Boxty-Story

10. Hidden Gems

Finally, here’s the good stuff. We asked locals for their list of favourite places off the beaten path and the response was huge. Here’s our list of offbeat things to do in Co Leitrim:

  • Lots of folks telling us that Fowleys Falls in Rossinver is unmissable.

  • St. Catherine’s church in Fenagh is right beside Fenagh Abbey with the only intact window of its kind in Europe.
  • Leitrim Landscapes Guided Walks offer a great slow adventure, foraging, archaeology and hill walks in conjunction with Tawnylust Lodge Self Catering Accommodation Leitrim Ireland including Fowleys Falls & The Organic Centre.
  • The fab new Arroo Trail Head Walk in the beautiful Glenade Valley; it is a national trails approved route. It’s 8km in total.
  • A visit to @ballroomrainbow in Glenfarne, a paddle, cycle & stay with Way to Go Adventures in #Fenagh.
  • Ephrinagh dancing at the Crossroads at St. John’s Eve

  • The Sculpture Trails along Lough MacNean in Glenfarne

  • Corry Strand Beach at Lough Allen for swimming or just hanging at the lake

  • A walk in the Bluebell Wood in spring at Dereen Woods, near Knockvicar

Have we missed something? Let us know.

Image Credits:

All landscape photos via Colin Gillen photography except Glencar Waterfall and Keshcarrigan Cottage via Ireland’s Content Pool

SUP photo from Leitrim Surf Co

Yoga photo via Ard Nahoo

Organic Centre

black friday

Top Black Friday Deals from the West of Ireland for 2018

Black Friday is almost here. We know there are plenty of folks who aren’t comfortable with the materialism of this imported event. However, given the potential benefit for those small independent shops and makers who are trying to leverage it, this list is here to support them.

If you’re heading for town or shopping online this weekend, why not support the work and livelihoods of small independent shops, craftspeople, and designer-makers from across the West this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We have picked the best of the Black Friday deals from West of Ireland online retailers.

If you have a special offer this weekend, please tag us @LookWestie and we will add you to the list.

West of Ireland Makers:

martin gallagher

Pamper Yourself with the best of the West of Ireland Beauty Brands

  • Voya: From Friday at Midnight: 15% off one product, 20% off two products, 25% off three products +(excluding seaweed bath vouchers and products already in a discounted bundle)   voya.ievoya black friday
  • Kinvara Skincare – Award-winning, Galway based skincare company is offering 20% off until Friday kinvaraskincare.comKinvara skincare

lottie dolls donegalDon’t forget the Páistí Beaga!

  • Donegal toy company Lottie Dolls is offering up to 50% off their brilliant dolls online until 26 Nov. ie.lottie.com

Sort your Christmas List

  • County Mayo online retailer Carraig Donn is running a full week of special discounts for its online store. They’re offering 20% off for Black Week and have a daily online special. Don’t say we didn’t tell you! carraigdonn.com
  • Sligo clothing bricks-and-clicks retailer FTK Clothing is offering 20% off everything in store and online and some special deals with up to 60% off items. They have a physical store on Wine St in Sligo. www.ftkclothing.com

Green Friday

cait and i
  • Cait & I: Using the #GreenFriday hashtag on social media, the Sligo design and craft shop Cait & I is encouraging local shoppers to support their local independent businesses between this Friday and Christmas, considered by most to be the busiest shopping season of the year. Cait & I offering 15% off online sales on our website at www.caitandi.com as well as selected discounts off in-store in their shop on Market Street in Sligo town. caitandi.com

shells cookbook

  • Shells Café: This Friday 23 November Shells Cafe and Little Shop in Strandhill, Co Sligo is encouraging customers to shop green, Shop local and shop with your heart. They are not promoting Black Friday & excess but are ‘trying to encourage people to rethink how we live and shop’. They have 15% off all Keep Cups & Chilly Bottles on Friday 23 November. shellscafe.com

Give Back Friday:

  • Instead of Black Friday discounts, outdoor store Call of the Wild in Sligo is donating 10% of the day’s takings to the North West Hospice Sligo and giving back to this very deserving local charity callofthewild.ie 

Smart Atlantic Way: roadmap to a smarter future in the West of Ireland launched

A ground-breaking new report was launched by the Western Development Commission and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in the Council Chamber in Roscommon. The report entitled “Smart Atlantic Way – A Roadmap towards a Smart Region”, does exactly what it suggests. It provides a roadmap for a Smart Region along Ireland’s Atlantic Coast.

There are 5 main pillars described in the report:

Priority 1: Smart Regional Observatory
Priority 2: Data Infrastructure and Services
Priority 3: E Governance
Priority 4: Smart Business Network
Priority 5: Smart Communities

The report was officially launched by Ivan Connaughton the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council. Mathieu D’Aquin, the head of Insight in NUI Galway and lead author of the report presented on behalf of Insight and Clodagh Barry presented on behalf of the Western Development Commission. Others involved in the launch included, Stephen Brennan – Ireland’s Chief Digital Advisor, Jeremy Millard – European eGov advisor, Adegboyega Ojo – Head of eGov at Insight, Niall Connolly – NUI Maynooth and All Ireland Smart Cities Forum, Carmel Austin – Mayo County Council GIS Officer, Niall Ó Brolcháin, Lukasz Porwol and Umair ul Hassan all from Insight in NUI Galway. Over 100 people were registered to attend the launch both in a packed council chamber and online.

According to Mathieu D’Aquin, “Our Smart Region in the North-West of Europe has great assets that can be used to make it compete with the most advanced economies in Europe and the World. This will require time, leadership, commitment and investment.”

“Designing and implementing a Smart Region capability in the West of Ireland is a key step to addressing disparity and distance issues facing non-urban environments”, according to Ian Brannigan (Head of Regional Development WDC). “The integration of the internet of things with cost and labour saving physical devices will go a long way to unlocking potential in the Region. As such the Western Development Commission is excited to work with regional stakeholders, including the Insights centre for data analytics to initiate the steps to ensure the West of Ireland Region achieves its aim to become the Smart Atlantic Way”, said Ian Brannigan.

“I am delighted to send my best wishes to the attendees at the launch of the report, Smart Atlantic Way – A Roadmap towards a Smart Region in Roscommon today. I look forward to working closely with the WDC and other organisations as we strive to develop a smart region that will be of benefit to us all”, said Oliver Daniels, CEO Insight Centre for Data Analytics.

“As the new CEO of the Western Development Commission I see today’s launch in Roscommon of the report, Smart Atlantic Way – A Roadmap towards a Smart Region as a key plank in the platform for future growth across the region. This roadmap offers the opportunity to enable sustainable decision making at all levels, and in the longer term will build a dynamic skills base that will facilitate balanced regional development both within the region, and against benchmark comparator regions across the world”, said Tomás Ó Siocháin, CEO Western Development Commission.

Photo: Courtesy of Roscommon LEO

armistice day sligo

Call-Out for Volunteers to participate in Armistice Day Memorial in Sligo

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11th to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

An estimated 5000 men from Sligo, (or of immediate Sligo origin) were volunteers during the Great War. Building on war records research by Sligo historian Simone Hickey currently details 602 of these men lost their lives during the conflict or subsequently because of the injuries they suffered. Five civilians including two women also perished.

Sligo’s Blue Raincoat Theatre company is now seeking men and women to join in their silent procession through Sligo town on November 11th. It will be a non-political event, no emblems, and non-militaristic in nature, a dignified community remembrance for the first time of 602 young men who were lost to Sligo in the First World War, 100 years on from the final moment of that conflict. Each participant in the walk will represent an individual casualty on the day. Women and men are welcome to walk.

How To Participate:

If you can take part the process is simple. Register at The Factory Performance Space on Saturday, November 10th from 10am – 6pm. You will be given the name and some historic details of the soldier you will represent on the walk, as well as a costume, and costume advice.

More on the Blue Raincoat Theatre Facebook Page

Grow Remote launches Chapters on ChangeX

Grow Remote has launched Chapters on ChangeX this week, with the closing date of Monday, November 5th.

The Chapters are set to act as a bridge between remote work and local communities, as well as a point of connecting for places with real-life remote working companies for those looking for vibrant communities.

The Chapters were an outcome of Grow Remote’s first event in September of this year in Tralee Kerry where they had 150 people and 45 towns. The longest travel time within Ireland was 9 hours return. The longest flight was from Milan.

They had 30 speakers from communities, companies and remote workers and the companies there had about 80+ remote roles combined available.

Since launching, last week Grow Remote has 15 chapters, with 2 in Europe.

Apply to lead a local chapter at https://www.changex.org/ie/growremote

Blue Circular Economy – An initiative to support Marine plastics fishing gear recycling with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Aelsund.

The Western Development Commission with partners has recently been awarded funding from the Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic programme for an initiative to support a solution to reuse and recycle fishing gear from our sea’s called “(Blue Circular Economy BCE)”.

The first partner meeting by the BCE consortium aims to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offering products and services within the marine derived plastics sector in the region to attain a greater market reach. Building on the network developed under the Circular Ocean initiative, (http://www.circularocean.eu ), (2015-2018), the project will set up a multi-level cluster to connect and support relevant SMEs in the region.

BCE is funded by the NPA programme with partners in Ireland, Norway, Scotland, and Greenland. The goal is to combine new innovative technologies with locally available natural resources, and to raise awareness of energy efficiency and identify possibilities to use renewable energy.

The event was organised and Chaired by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the speakers included:

  • Environmental Research institute. North Highland College UHI (Scotland)
  • Western Development Commission  (Ireland)
  • The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts (UK)
  • Arctic Technology Centre (Greenland)
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)

The Blue Circular Economy project will use the Regio Stars 2016 award winning project Circular Ocean as a springboard to accelerate and further the market reach of SMEs utilising marine derived plastic. Specifically BCE will capitalise on the substantial groundwork undertaken by Circular Ocean, especially with regards to creating awareness of both the issue and potential solutions, the piloting of novel uses of fishing nets (3-D printing, building materials, and waste water treatment), and developing an extensive network of relevant stakeholders including SMEs, entrepreneurs, local authorities, and NGOs.

Full project details and launch expected in early 2019.

Major boost for the West of Ireland as Ryanair announces new service from Cologne to Ireland West Airport

Ireland West Airport are delighted to announce a major boost for the West of Ireland with the news that Ryanair will commence a new direct service from Cologne in Germany starting in June 2019.
Starting June 1st 2019, Ryanair will operate direct flights to and from Cologne every Tuesday and Saturday until the end of August. Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city and the largest city of the State of North Rhine–Westphalia. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is regarded as Germany’s capital of carnivals reflecting the lifestyle of its inhabitants, who make Cologne the incredibly energetic spot that it is
Enjoy boat trips along the Rhine, leisurely strolls through the old town, afternoons whiled away in one of more than 30 museums and hundreds of galleries. Exhibitions range from local ancient Roman archaeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture.

Cologne is ideally located just an hours train journey from Frankfurt and only 90 minutes from Brussels providing easy onwards travel options for visitors.
This new announcement is a major boost for tourism in the West and North West regions of Ireland as it provides the only direct access to the West Coast from the North Rhine-Westphalia region. Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland with a record year forecasted in 2018 of over 650,000 German visitors with 50% of German holidaymakers visiting the West and North West of Ireland during their stay.

These new services will generate an additional 10,000 seats to and from Germany in summer 2019 with the potential to bring 5,000 German tourists to the region, generating a spend in excess of €3,000,000 for the West and North West regions.

Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport added “We are absolutely delighted to welcome this new service from Cologne with Ryanair. German holidaymakers are Ireland’s most active visitors, exploring our historical sites and engaging in multiple events/activities such as hill walking and hiking while on the island, which ties in perfectly with the airports location as the Western gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way. Our continued objective with airlines is in delivering sustainable services which have the potential to grow and develop year on year with a major focus on delivering tourism generating services for the region. We thank Ryanair for their continued support and their vote of confidence in the airport with this new service and we look forward to working with both Ryanair and Tourism Ireland in promoting the new route and encourage the tourism providers in the region to get behind the new service to ensure it’s a success’.

Robin Kiely, Head of Communications, Ryanair, added “Ryanair is pleased to announce a new route from Ireland West Airport to Cologne, commencing in June 2019, which will operate twice-weekly as part of our Summer 2019 schedule. Irish consumers and visitors can now choose from 13 routes from Ireland West Airport next summer and enjoy even lower fares and the latest “Always Getting Better” improvements. To celebrate we are offering up to €30 off all return flights. This offer is available for booking until midnight Sunday 21st October. Since these amazing low fares will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”

Welcoming the announcement, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement is more good news for Irish tourism as we prepare for 2019, offering more choice for German holidaymakers who wish to visit Ireland and bringing them to the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. We work very closely with Ryanair and Ireland West Airport and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of this new flight from Cologne. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. 2018 looks set to be another record year for Irish tourism from Germany, with the latest CSO figures indicating almost 560,000 arrivals from Germany during the January to August period – an increase of +21% when compared to the same eight-month period in 2017.”

Photo credit irelandglamping.ie

WDC welcomes appointment of Minister Seán Canney

WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin acknowledges the contribution of Minister Seán Kyne during his tenure in the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The Western Development Commission has today (Wednesday 17th October 2018) welcomed the appointment of Minister Seán Canney as Minister of State to the Department of Rural and Community Development. The appointment follows the allocation of €500,000 in additional funding to the Western Development Commission in Budget 2019, which will allow the WDC to further its work in key areas to promote the economic and social development of the West in 2019.
The Western Development Commission, established by statute in 1998, advises the Government on policy for the western region, plays a key role in regional development, supports small and medium business through the Western Investment Fund and raises the social, cultural and economic profile of the west through lookwest.ie and other initiatives.

The additional funding of €62m for the Department of Rural and Community Development in this year’s budget is to be welcomed. Particularly welcome in the context of the west;

  • Key transport investment projects in the region including completion of the N4 Castlebaldwin-Collooney road, improving connection to the key regional centre of Sligo, and completion of the runway overlay project at Ireland West Airport Knock.
  • Pavement repair and rehabilitation works on regional and local roads which play a crucial role in ensuring connectivity of rural areas.
  • Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs and the agriculture and food sector, in the context of preparing for Brexit.
  • Extension of the film corporation tax credit until December 2024 and in particular the introduction of a new, time-limited, regional uplift of an additional 5%, which will support the work of the WDC €2m WRAP Fund.

Tomás Ó Síocháin CEO of the WDC, welcomed the appointment, saying: ‘I look forward to working with Minister Seán Canney and the Department of Community and Rural Development on further aligning the work and delivery of state agencies in the west. I also want to congratulate Minister Seán Kyne on his appointment as Chief Whip and Aire na Gaeltachta, and to thank him for his commitment to regional development during his time as Minister.’

Read more about the initiatives such as the €2m WRAP Strategic Investment Fund in the audio visual sector in the west and the other work of the Western Development Commission at www.wdc.ie. See what living and working in the west offers on www.lookwest.ie

Picture credit seancanny.com


Competition: Win Westival Tickets

Westival is the newly relaunched Westport Music and Arts Festival, which runs in Westport, Co Mayo from 24-29 October.

Westival, will continue to foster the thriving local arts and music scene of Westport, but also help solidify and promote the west of Ireland as a destination for significant cultural events, that will attract international talent and attention.

Westival also brings with it a date change, formerly running in September, this year’s festival will take place from 24th – 29th October 2018 incorporating the October Bank Holiday Weekend. The change of dates will be advantageous in attracting a new wave of visitors and activity to Westport after the hectic summer season has ended and is more suitable for engagement with school and college students, enabling the festival to nurture bright budding artists in the community and beyond.


We are incredibly lucky to have a pair of passes to all of the following shows to giveaway to one lucky winner.

Daíthi & Elain Mai (Friday 26th)

Shadows of The Tain (5pm, Sat 27th)

Pat McCabe (7pm, Sat 27th) 

Le Galaxie (11pm Sat 27th), 

To win these tickets**, just subscribe to our eZine and email us your full name and phone number.

Westival 2018 Line-Up

Music: Lisa Hannigan, Le Galaxie, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Daithí + Elaine Mai, Tom Hickox

Theatre: GAA MAAAD, An Evening with Pat McCabe, Shadows of the Táin

Visual Arts: Hy Brasil Light Sculpture, Portrait of a Local, Halloween Lantern Parade, Visual Arts Trail

Family: LEGO Competition, The Salmon of Wisdom, Time Travel Tours

Literature: Six-Word Selfie, Fighting Words, Open Mic and Poetry Competition, Flash Mob Fiction

Workshops: Plein Air Paint-Out, Ukulele Workshop, Stinging Fly Seminar

You can check out the full programme of events and get tickets from the Westival website.

**Terms & Conditions

  1. The winner will be notified by email by Wednesday, 24 October
  2. Entrants must be over 18 and resident in Ireland.
  3. Employees/families/agents of the promoter and its associates are not eligible.
  4. One entry per person/per household.
  5. Details of the winner can be requested.
  6. Prize is subject to availability/may be substituted.
  7. No cash alternative/prize is non-refundable/non-transferable.
  8. The promoter accepts no liability for lost/damaged/incomplete entries.
  9. Proof of entry is not proof of delivery.
  10. The winner may need to sign a statement of eligibility/liability/publicity release.
  11. Third part T&Cs may apply.

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