Go Atlantic Blue to celebrate our Atlantic Ocean on World Oceans Day (8 June)

Famous buildings and landmarks across Ireland will ‘Go Atlantic Blue’ over the weekend 7-10 June to celebrate our connection to the Atlantic Ocean, as part of World Oceans Day. The global day (Saturday 8 June) connects people worldwide in celebrating the ocean, its importance in our lives and how each of us can protect it, no matter where we live.

In Ireland, more than 20 different landmarks are expected to participate in the day by lighting up their buildings. Businesses, shops, schools and homes across the country will also ‘Go Atlantic Blue’ on the day. Everyone’s participation will highlight the strong connection that people in Ireland have with the Atlantic Ocean and the multiple ways that it affects and enriches our daily lives.

‘Go Atlantic Blue’ is being spearheaded in Ireland by the Marine Institute-led AORA-CSA (Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination & Support Action) against the backdrop of SeaFest 2019 (7-9 June) and Our Ocean Wealth Summit (9-10 June), both taking place in Cork. SeaFest is Ireland’s national maritime festival and Our Ocean Wealth Summit is Ireland’s flagship event for the marine sector, bringing together Irish and international organisations to create innovative and sustainable solutions to drive our Blue Economy.

It’s the first year to ‘Go Atlantic Blue’ with the aim of raising awareness of the vital role that the Atlantic Ocean plays in the lives of Irish people, no matter how near or far they live from the Atlantic coastline. Amongst the activities that AORA (www.atlanticresource.org) promotes through its work are the development of an ‘Atlantic community’, made up of citizens of countries that neighbour the Atlantic Ocean, and also exploring, observing and mapping the remainder of the Atlantic Ocean floor (which AORA calls “the Last Great Exploration Campaign on Earth”).

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, said,

Our ocean is our greatest natural resource and we see that most directly in Ireland with the vital importance that the Atlantic Ocean plays in our daily lives – from influencing the weather to facilitating our trade industry and from seafood to surfing off the coast. The Marine Institute is proud to support the ‘Go Atlantic Blue’ initiative from 7-10 June, particularly at SeaFest and Our Ocean Wealth Summit, and we encourage & welcome everyone to come onboard.”

Director of Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination & Support Action, Dr Margaret Rae, said that the initiative gives people all around the country a chance to show their appreciation for the Atlantic Ocean.

“In Ireland, the Atlantic Ocean means so much to us. It’s our largest natural resource and we draw so much from it – our livelihoods, food, bounty, beauty, imagination, inspiration, song, poetry, health and wellbeing and much much more,” she said. “Going Atlantic Blue is a way to draw attention to how each and every one of us experiences the Atlantic, what we love about our Ocean and how we can be that generation that makes a difference.”

Some of the Landmarks around Ireland Going Atlantic Blue

• Dublin Airport
• Shannon Airport
• Cork Airport
• Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
• King John’s Castle, Limerick
• University of Limerick
• CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork
• St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh
• National University of Ireland Galway
• University College Cork
• University College Dublin
• Dublin City University
• Trinity College Dublin
• GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway
• GMIT, Letterfrack
• Iveagh House, Dublin (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade)
• Government Buildings (Merrion Square, Dublin)
• Galway Bay Boat Tours
• Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara, Galway
• Galway Atlantaquaria, National Aquarium of Ireland
• Tyndall National Institute, Cork
• Port of Galway
• Cork City Hall
• Berwick fountain (Grand Parade), Cork
• Bishop Lucey Park, Cork
• St Peter’s, North Main Street, Cork
• St. Luke’s, Cork
• Roche’s Point Lighthouse, Cork
• Baily Lighthouse, Dublin
• The Great Light (Titanic Quarter, Belfast)
• Port of Cork
• National Maritime College of Ireland (NCMI)
• Marine Institute
• One Albert Quay, Cork
• The Capitol, Cork
• Western Development Commission
• XOCEAN, Co Louth
• VOYA and VOYA Seaweed Baths, Co Sligo
• Carbery Group, Cork
• Murphys Ice Cream, Nationwide
• Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, Co Kerry
• Blennerville Windmill, Tralee, Co Kerry
• Seavite
• Science Foundation Ireland
• Údarás na Gaeltachta
• Seal Rescue Ireland in Wexford
• Milish Bakery, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
• Met Éireann
• Donegal Airport
• CBE, Claremorris, Co. Mayo
• Martina Hamilton Jewellery, Sligo
• Cat & the Moon, Sligo
• Fishy Fishy Restaurant, Kinsale

 How you can ‘Go Atlantic Blue’

  • Decorate your business/home/school with an Atlantic blue colour – add dark blue filters, fairy lights or blue light bulbs in outdoor lights
  • Dress in Atlantic blue clothing e.g. T-shirts, wear a blue wig or paint your face dark blue
  • Organise your own ‘Atlantic Blue’ themed event

 Share how you ‘Go Atlantic Blue’

  • Take a photo or video of how you’ve gone Atlantic Blue and share it on social media platforms. Feel free to share what makes the Atlantic Ocean special to you
  • Tag your social media posts with #WorldOceansDay and #GoAtlanticBlue to link with a community of fellow ocean appreciators!
  • Tag AORA in your tweets (@AtlanticAll) and also tag @Seafest_ie and @OurOceanWealth if you’ve room!

 Find out more HERE

Check out www.atlanticresource.org and video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uktwQre4O2M

Image Courtesy of  https://www.atlanticresource.org/aora/site-area/news-events/press-releases/go-atlantic-blue-world-oceans-day 

seafest

SeaFest 2017 nets 101,000 visitors

Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest attracted 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event, generating €6.3 million for the city.

The figures, just released show a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. Last year SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.

Dr John Killeen, Chairman of the Marine Institute said, “Our Ocean Wealth Summit and SeaFest 2017 have both exceeded our expectations in terms of attendance and also for creating public awareness of the immense marine resources which are abundant around the island of Ireland. We are now, as a country, beginning to become more aware of the potential wealth that can be generated by our seas. SeaFest offers a platform to engage the public in the importance of our seas and the contribution to our local and national economy.”

Figures released by SEMRU at Our Ocean Wealth Summit, held as part of SeaFest on Friday 30 June, show that Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ is performing better than the general economy. The figures indicate that the direct economic value of Ireland’s ocean economy was €1.8 billion or approximately 0.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, which represents a 20% increase on 2014 levels.

On a local level SeaFest 2017 generated €6.3 million in direct income for the city’s tourism industry. Accommodation, restaurants and other businesses across Galway benefited from the huge influx of people that descended on Galway Harbour over the weekend.

Galway City Council’s Mayor Pearce Flannery said, “SeaFest was a spectacular success and once again shows Galway’s unrivalled capacity to hold national and international maritime events. Galway has enormous potential to become a leader in the marine world, given it is home to The Marine Institute and The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and its natural harbour which is a magnificent resource for the city.”

Speaking about the success of SeaFest, Dr. Peter Herffernan said: “This festival would not have been possible without the huge support from a wide range of local, regional and national agencies who came together to plan and stage this largescale event. Our festival volunteers also played an important role in making SeaFest 2017 one to remember.”

seafestGalway Harbour was transformed into a giant interactive ‘sea world’ for the three day festival and the waterfront was awash with non-stop activities and entertainment for those of all ages. All the events taking place during SeaFest were all free for festival-goers. Crowds got to enjoy thrilling performances and breath-taking aerial acrobatics in the heart of the harbour from World’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and New Zealand’s Beau Weston. Free sailing and kayaking was on offer and the Irish Sailing Association also offered disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend. There were open tours available on a number of vessels in the ship filled harbour including the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer.

The huge display from the Defence Forces was popular with the young and young at heart. BIM and Bord Bia’s Seafood Experience featured live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations, as well as interactive exhibits and displays of live fish and shellfish species. Marine-inspired entrepreneurs based in the West of Ireland shared their stories in the LookWest.ie Marquee. Children got creative with the art and craft workshops in the dedicated Kids Zone, and enjoyed storytelling sessions, face painting and marine-art installations. Roving seafaring entertainment from sword-fighting pirates and giant sea themed puppets also added to the exciting carnival atmosphere. SeaFest 2017 also extended to the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay, and The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science gallery at Galway City Museum, and an exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway, was also part of the festival line-up.

SeaFest returns to Galway June 29th to July 1st 2018

Taoiseach visit Seafest

Taoiseach attends SeaFest 2017

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD was welcomed to Galway for Ireland’s biggest and most spectacular maritime festival, SeaFest 2017.

‪The Taoiseach greeted festival-goers and enjoyed the huge range of activities and entertainment taking place in Galway Harbour and Docks, on the second day of the event.

‪The Taoiseach toured scientific vessels and was entertained by the aerial acrobatics from PowerFly’s world champion flyboarders swirling in the air on pump-powered jet packs in the heart of the harbour.

He was also greeted by the Port of Galway Sea Scouts, viewed Saor Bad/Boatbuilders demonstrations and spoke with marine-inspired entrepreneurs in the LookWest.ie Marquee.

‪Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said, “I am delighted to be in Galway for SeaFest, a great festival that celebrates Ireland’s maritime heritage and raises awareness about the opportunities provided by our ocean. I really enjoyed seeing the ships, seafood displays, water sports and marine science exhibitions. The West of Ireland will benefit greatly from our growing marine economy.”

‪Thousands flocked to Galway Harbour to take part in the packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment. SeaFest is expected to attract between 100,000 over the three days of the festival.

‪The festival showcases Galway as a leading maritime centre, and the west of Ireland is expected to benefit greatly from Ireland’s blue economy, which is estimated to be worth more than €6 billion by 2020.

‪As well as tours of famous ships, and world-champion flyboarders, festival-goers also took to the water, taking advantage of the free sailing and kayaking sessions on offer. The Irish Sailing Association is also offering disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend.

‪The three-day festival includes a seafood showcase from BIM and Bord Bia, as well as live cookery and fishmonger demonstrations from some of Ireland’s top chefs. Defence Force Displays, RNLI and Coast Guard air and sea shows were also part of the festival line-up.

‪Children were kept busy creating sea creatures at art and craft workshops, storytelling sessions and touch tank displays. Roving entertainment from bungling buccaneers, comic fisherman and giant angel fish and pirate puppets.

‪The maritime festival also features The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science, a new marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, and a unique exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway. Festivities also extend across Galway, with activities in the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay.

LookWest at SeaFest

LookWest.ie Tent at SeaFest Map

If you’re visiting us at SeaFest this weekend, this map will be helpful for where to find us.

There are lots of ideas on what to do in Galway city on the SeaFest Festival App – find out how to download it here.

Follow us on social #LookWest for all the latest on our SeaFest event.

Seafest

SeaFest Industry and Research Events

SeaFest includes a range of industry events which focus on research, the marine industry and marine technology.

BIM National Seafood Conference – Winning in a Changing Environment

 Date: Thursday 29th June
Location: The Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway

“Winning in a Changing Environment” is Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s 2017 national seafood conference. This one-day seafood industry meeting takes place on Thursday 29th of June in The Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway. A must-attend event for Ireland’s seafood professionals, this conference will offer:

  • a speaker line-up of leading seafood industry experts and commentators;
  • a dynamic conference programme with a strong focus on sustainability;
  • the latest thinking and policies shaping Ireland’s opportunity in the global seafood industry;
  • a range of practical workshops where knowledge will be converted into real action for industry.

Registration for this event is now open.

Digital Ocean: Ireland’s Marine Engineering and Technology Conference

Date: Thursday 29th June
Location: NUI Galway

The Digital Ocean – Ireland’s Marine Engineering & Technology Conference will take place in Galway this year as part of SeaFest 2017, on Thursday 29th of June at the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway. The event is being organised by IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Irish Maritime Development Office, Marine Institute, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.

The event will comprise of a morning session focused on Ireland’s internationally recognised capability in ICT and engineering, and how these skills are being used by international companies in the development of digital marine technologies. The afternoon session will focus on Ireland’s indigenous industry, and how Irish based companies are making waves in the marine digital, technology, devices and engineering space.

Both sessions will feature expert speakers, panel discussions and provide attendees with networking opportunities throughout the day. A provisional programme is available here.

To register please click here.

Marine Industry Awards

Date: Thursday 29th June
Location: Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway

Now in its third year, the Marine Industry Awards are the premier event in Ireland to showcase on a national scale the excellence and innovation within Ireland’s marine sector.

Taking place as a significant event during the SeaFest, the awards ceremony on Thursday, June 29th at the Radisson Blu Galway, offers a unique opportunity to celebrate industry excellence and network with its most distinguished figures and leading organisations.

There are a number of categories in areas from marine renewable energy, seafood, shipping, to marine technology, research, safety and more. The event promises to be an excellent networking opportunity with an expected attendance of over 400 at the black-tie gala dinner.

Fore more information visit www.marineawards.ie or email  info@marineawards.ie

Marine Trade Show

Date: Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June
Location: NUI Galway

The Marine Trade Show will take place in a purpose-built marquee on the grounds of NUI Galway on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th June, to coincide with both the Digital Ocean Event and Our Ocean Wealth Summit.

The Marine Trade Show will provide a unique opportunity for companies from across the marine economy to showcase their products and services to an audience of 600+ attendees across two days at the Digital Ocean Event and Our Ocean Wealth Summit. If you are interested in exhibiting and for further information, please contact events@imdo.ie.

Seafest

SeaFest Festival App Now Available

SeaFest has launched an exciting new app that will be a must-have digital companion to this year’s festival.

The SeaFest Festival Guide app is now available to download for free for both Android and iOS phones. It gives all the information needed to enjoy Ireland’s biggest and most spectacular maritime festival taking place in Galway from 30 June to 2 July 2017.

Covering all of the events at the festival, the app contains the full festival programme, maps and directions, latest news, visitor info and social media feeds. Speaking on the development of the app, Communications Manager for SeaFest, Sinéad Coyne said: “The App will provide visitors to the Festival with access to all the information they need to make the most of their festival experience with up to the minute updates so they are always in the know.”

It also features an interactive ‘My Favourites’ list where users can add in their preferred festival events and create their own unique ‘My Map’ with all of the locations.

Snap happy festival goers can enter the Gallery Competition on the app by uploading a photo of their time at SeaFest. Two lucky entrants will win a €100 One4All gift card so it’s well worth submitting a photo when the competition opens closer to the festival! They can also browse through the gallery of all the other great SeaFest moments captured by our festival goers.

SeaFest is now entering into its third year and as part of the festival’s development, a mobile app was identified as an opportunity to enhance the festival visitors’ event experience.

This year’s festival is expanding to a three day event with an exciting line up of attractions at Galway Harbour and Docks, including PowerFly’s world champion flyboarders, the tall ship The Phoenix, boat tours, a showcase of the finest of Irish seafood by BIM and Bord Bia and lots more activities including Try Sailing and kayaking to get people out on the water. Other events taking place at Galway Harbour and Docks include LookWest.ie, Saoir Bád/Boatbuilders, Kids Zone, The Festival Village and The Commissioners of Irish Lights.Image removed by sender. SeaFest Festival App Now Available

Both of the Marine Institute’s research vessels, the Celtic Explorer and the Celtic Voyager, will be there, with the Celtic Explorer conducting open house tours of the ship over the festival. The Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara and the Granuaile will be in the harbour throughout the festival and will be open to the public.

This year, SeaFest events also take place in The Latin Quarter, Salthill, NUI Galway (Amundsen Exhibition) and Galway City Museum (The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science exhibition). There are also on the water activities taking place courtesy of the NWRA at Rusheen Bay, Galway.

Industry events at SeaFest include the fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit on 30 June, the Digital Ocean conference and Marine Industry Awards (both on 29 June) and a Marine Trade Show taking place on both 29 and 30 June.

The SeaFest app can be downloaded by searching for ‘SeaFest’ on Google Play and the App Store. For more information on the festival, visit www.seafest.ie

achill sea salt

Mayo family business selected to share story about living and working in the West at national festival

A family business from Mayo has been selected to represent the West of Ireland at SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival.

Mother and daughter Marjorie and Maebh O’Malley of Achill Island Sea Salt will speak about their experiences of living and working in Mayo at a dedicated LookWest.ie Marquee.

SeaFest, which takes place in Galway from June 30 to July 2, will highlight Ireland’s abundant maritime resources and transform Galway Harbour and Docks into an open-air sea world for three days.

o malley familyLookWest.ie, an initiative of the Western Development Commission (WDC), will be hosting its own Marquee at SeaFest and treating visitors to three days of exciting and inspiring events focusing on creative business and lifestyle in the West of Ireland.

The O’Malley family behind Achill Island Sea Salt has been selected to tell its inspiring story at the LookWest.ie Marquee which will host a number of keynote speakers, fun performances and a showcase of brilliant West of Ireland products and businesses all inspired by the sea and surfing culture.

The inspiration behind the Achill Island Sea Salt, which was founded in July 2013, was a documentary on sea salt and the desire to revive the age old but long forgotten tradition of salt production on the island up to the 1820s.

“We had no food background and just started to make it at the kitchen table and sell it at a farmers’ market to see how it would go but we couldn’t keep up with the demand, especially from chefs. We didn’t really have a choice then but to keep going,” says Maebh O’Malley who came home from Dublin to join the family business.

Also working in the business is her parents Marjorie and Kieran and her brother Sean – with third sibling Colm expected to join once he has the Leaving Cert behind him!

“I thought I would probably end up working in Dublin or Galway but it is great to be able to work and build a business in Achill, right on the beach. I grew up by the sea so it is amazing to be able to make our business out of the sea,” says Maebh.

She said the family have plans to open a visitors’ centre next year to bring people to see the factory.

“People are always looking for an experience, especially in the food tourism area. We want to put Achill on the map as a food destination. There are a lot of food producers in Mayo and, by bringing them to Achill, we can showcase the thriving industry that we have.”

LookWest.ie experts will be on hand to discuss creative ideas for new businesses and advise people on how they might make their own move to a new and fulfilling life in the West of Ireland, one of Europe’s great unspoiled regions.

As well as opportunities to ‘meet and greet’ speakers and businesses in LookWest.ie’s showcase area from 10am – 6pm each day, there will be some great prizes and giveaways on offer too.

LookWest.ie is also partnering with the Irish Surf Festival, Shore Shots, to celebrate the very best in surfing, film, ideas and discovery on the west coast. Unique and inspiring films and videos produced along the West Coast by filmmakers and videographers will be shown at the LookWest.ie Marquee throughout the three days.

Karen Sweeney of the Western Development Commission said:

“We are delighted to be part of the SeaFest 2017 experience for what is set to be an exciting, fun and educational weekend.

“We pride ourselves on promoting the West of Ireland as a great place to live, work and do business through our LookWest.ie campaign. The West of Ireland is known for its creativity, beauty, lifestyle and, of course, that Wild Atlantic coastline but also as a place where businesses can thrive and grow.

“Come meet us at our LookWest.ie Marquee; each day we will have a bumper schedule to educate, entertain and encourage people to dream their own big move to the beautiful West.”

Check out our SeaFest section for full info on the event.

Fin's Fit Foods

Surfer, chef and photographer selected to share stories abut living and working in Donegal at SeaFest

Three Donegal creative entrepreneurs have been selected to represent the West of Ireland at SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival.

Easkey Britton, Ian Mitchinson, and Finn NiFhaolain will speak about their individual experiences of living and working in Donegal at a dedicated LookWest.ie Marquee.

SeaFest, which takes place in Galway from June 30 to July 2, will highlight Ireland’s abundant maritime resources and transform Galway Harbour and Docks into an open-air sea world for three days.

LookWest.ie, an initiative of the Western Development Commission (WDC), will be hosting its own Marquee at SeaFest and treating visitors to three days of exciting and inspiring events focusing on creative business and lifestyle in the West of Ireland.

Easkey, Ian and Finn have all been selected to tell their inspiring stories at the LookWest.ie Marquee which will host a number of keynote speakers, fun performances and a showcase of brilliant West of Ireland products and businesses all inspired by the sea and surfing culture.

Each of the three speakers from Donegal is passionate about the Wild Atlantic lifestyle and they will be showcasing the best of what is happening in Donegal.

Ian Mitchinson

Ian Mitchinson is a photographer and creative explorer with a passion for surf and the landscape of the Wild Atlantic Way. Ian was living and running a photo studio in Cape Town and was planning to move to Australia to raise his young family.

He says:

“One day, I caught a glimpse of life and the surf along the West coast of Ireland through a video on social media and it intrigued me. I was amazed at the quality of the waves and the unique beauty. I felt drawn to that kind of lifestyle, culture and the idea of the Wild Atlantic Way slipped into my system quickly; I couldn’t get it out.

“I never thought I’d emigrate to the West of Ireland or even live in a rural area. But within six months I had relocated my family from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, to sleepy Bundoran.

“Moving to the North West was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Although I came for the surf, I discovered an extremely rich and diverse culture with people living outside the traditional format I was used to. I found a world of open opportunity that is perfect for a person with an entrepreneurial spirit. It’s an open landscape with the freshest of air, endless beauty and ancient history all fused with the cutting-edge modern outlook of today’s world.

“Although moving to the West Coast is no small feat, and by no means easy, it is a life-changing decision. I’d never want to go back, nor can I think of a different place I’d rather have gone to. I am able to rest easy knowing my children are growing up in a slice of Atlantic paradise with a world of opportunity. Exciting adventures await us all.”

Fins Fit FoodsFinn Ni Fhaolain is a surfer, chef and blogger. She is passionate about food, health, education and living in the West of Ireland. She holds a degree in Ocean Science and a Masters in Marine biology and published her first book, Finn’s World, earlier this year. www.finsfitfood.com She says:
“Although I set up my business while still living on the periphery of Dublin, I left to complete a culinary arts course in Sligo. I had lived in Bundoran years before while I completed my MSc thesis and absolutely loved the community and the surf culture there. When I got the chance to move there again while I was completing the culinary course I was so excited.

“After completing the course, I stayed for the quality of life. My day-to-day life is so much better: no long commute, lots of friends close by — as most of my friends from Dublin had emigrated — and the connection with the outdoors. The beach is right outside the door and the mountains are just a few minutes drive away.”

The third Donegal representative is Easkey Britton, a big wave pro-surfer from County Donegal with a doctorate in Environment and Society. Co-founder of Waves of Change, a not-for-profit organisation, which uses the power of surfing as a social medium for change. She works to help empower girls and women across the world through sport.

As well as opportunities to ‘meet and greet’ speakers and businesses in LookWest.ie’s showcase area from 10am – 6pm each day, there will be some great prizes and giveaways on offer too.

LookWest.ie is also partnering with the Irish Surf Festival, Shore Shots, to celebrate the very best in surfing, film, ideas and discovery on the west coast. Unique and inspiring films and videos produced along the West Coast by filmmakers and videographers will be shown at the LookWest.ie Marquee throughout the three days.

Karen Sweeney of the Western Development Commission said:

“We are delighted to be part of the SeaFest 2017 experience for what is set to be an exciting, fun and educational weekend.

“We pride ourselves on promoting the West of Ireland as a great place to live, work and do business through our LookWest.ie campaign. The West of Ireland is known for its creativity, beauty, lifestyle and, of course, that Wild Atlantic coastline but also as a place where businesses can thrive and grow.

“Come meet us at our LookWest.ie Marquee; each day we will have a bumper schedule to educate, entertain and encourage people to dream their own big move to the beautiful West.”

For more information, visit our SeaFest section

Barry Mottershead

Artist, designer, doctor, and surfer to share stories about living and working in Sligo at national festival

  • Four creatives selected to represent Sligo at event
  • LookWest.ie to showcase opportunities in moving west at SeaFest
  • Inspiring videos made along West coast to be shown at LookWest.ie Marquee

Four of Sligo’s creative business people have been specially selected to represent the West of Ireland at SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival.

Ashleigh Smith, Prannie Rhatigan, Martina Hamilton, and Barry Mottershead, will speak about their individual experiences of living and working in Sligo at a dedicated LookWest.ie Marquee.

SeaFest which takes place in Galway from June 30 to July 2, will highlight Ireland’s abundant maritime resources – raising awareness of the value and opportunities provided by the sea and celebrating Ireland’s ocean heritage.

Packed with fun and interactive family-friendly events, the festival will see Galway Harbour and Docks transformed into an open-air sea world for three days with activities including seafood cookery and science to cultural history, deep sea exploration and much more.

LookWest.ie, an initiative of the Western Development Commission (WDC), will be hosting its own Marquee at SeaFest and treating visitors to three days of exciting and inspiring events focusing on creative business and lifestyle in the West of Ireland.

Ashleigh, Prannie, Martina, and Barry have all been selected to tell their inspiring stories at the LookWest.ie Marquee which will host a number of keynote speakers, fun performances and a showcase of brilliant West of Ireland products and businesses all inspired by the sea and surfing culture.

Each of the four speakers’ work is in some way inspired by Sligo and they will be highlighting the best of what’s happening here, and what the West of Ireland has to offer.

Ashleigh SmithAshleigh Smith is a designer and founder of the Atlantic Equipment Project, which makes bespoke carry equipment inspired by the West of Ireland surfing community. She said: “I was blessed to grow up in the North of Sligo, ‘under bare Benbulben’s head’. There was a lovely old woodland just behind our house where we camped, and learned about badger sets and pancake mushrooms. Days not spent in the woods were usually on the beach or reefs surfing the great waves we have here.

“I studied design in university, both in Ireland and The Netherlands. This was a great education in the iterative process of design. I believe that simplicity is one of the greatest assets of good design, and I think my youth, living simply and resourcefully, has influence my work now.

“My passion and love for this place is intrinsic to my company, The Atlantic Equipment Project. We build backpacks and satchels from natural and durable fabrics, designed to last, and support your experience of the wild. When I am not super busy with work, life living on the West Coast is filled with surfing, swimming, and hiking. The place is stunning, but the people bring it to life! Our community is full of clever folks who have found their own way of supporting an interesting wild life here. That makes for authentic, vibrant friends who are a bit mad, and wonderfully supportive.”

Prannie RhatiganPrannie Rhatigan is a medical doctor with a lifetime experience of harvesting, cooking and gardening organically with sea vegetables. Born and raised in the North West, where she still lives, she is an expert in the connections between food and health. Her first cookbook, the “Irish Seaweed Kitchen”, published in 2009 has become the ultimate bible for cooking with sea vegetables. She said:

“I grew up in Cliffoney Co. Sligo and inherited my knowledge of seaweed from my parents. My father knew the nutritional value of everything on the shore, where we visited regularly to harvest various seaweeds for kitchen and garden use and to share with visitors to the area.

“This early interest in nutrition and wellbeing developed into a study of medicine, after which I returned to the North West. Armed with a lot more knowledge, my fascination with seaweeds and their health benefits expanded and in 2009 I brought out ‘the Irish Seaweed Kitchen’.

“I couldn’t imagine living or working anywhere else. The West of Ireland is an amazing place, basking in the reflective glory of the Wild Atlantic Way. Other people are discovering what we’ve got here and even though we love it, that makes us appreciate the little things even more. Living in the North West is such a healthy friendly place to be. The fast pace of today’s world can be decelerated very quickly by heading to the nearest beach or mountain trail and tanking up on fresh air and silence.”

Martina LeonieMartina Hamilton has been designing her own jewellery collections for over 30 years. Martina’s designs are inspired by the wonderful, ever-changing Atlantic coastal landscape where she lives. She said:“I was born and raised in Sligo and when I was a student I studied Fine Art Sculpture here. The sea is the biggest draw for me visually. When the tide goes out and leaves an imprint in the sand, that can find its way into a collection of jewellery.

“I’ve always gone out to Streedagh beach for inspiration. It’s always had a pull so it was magical when I found out that I have ancestral links to Dernish Island. This has massively influenced my work and I made a film about it last year, and it also connected to my next collection of work, Island Links.

“The love of the sea is in my bones and I’m lucky that I can express that creatively. I love living here, it’s all I know. Everything is within five miles of you, there’s so many lakes and rivers and, if you’ve got time off, you can just jump in the car and head out to them. There’s a great cultural scene, a great theatre, there’s so much going on in Sligo. It has all the intimacy of a small village.”

The fourth speaker, Barry Mottershead, who is originally from South Africa, is a big wave surfer and adventurer. Barry fell in love with the West of Ireland and moved here 15 years ago after passing through Sligo on a backpacking journey around Europe. He spends every winter chasing monster swells that stack up along the west coast and, by day, he runs Sligo Kayak Tours.

LookWest.ie experts will be on hand at SeaFest to discuss creative ideas for new businesses and advise people on how they might make their own move to a new and fulfilling life in the West of Ireland, one of Europe’s great unspoiled regions.

As well as opportunities to ‘meet and greet’ speakers and businesses in LookWest.ie’s showcase area from 10am – 6pm each day, there will be some great prizes and giveaways on offer too.

LookWest.ie is also partnering with the Irish Surf Festival, Shore Shots, to celebrate the very best in surfing, film, ideas and discovery on the west coast. Unique and inspiring films and videos produced along the West Coast by filmmakers and videographers will be shown at the LookWest.ie Marquee throughout the three days.

Karen Sweeney of the Western Development Commission said:

“We are delighted to be part of the SeaFest 2017 experience for what is set to be an exciting, fun and educational weekend.

“We pride ourselves on promoting the West of Ireland as a great place to live, work and do business through our LookWest.ie campaign. The West of Ireland is known for its creativity, beauty, lifestyle and, of course, that Wild Atlantic coastline but also as a place where businesses can thrive and grow.

“Come meet us at our LookWest.ie Marquee; each day we will have a bumper schedule to educate, entertain and encourage people to dream their own big move to the beautiful West.”

More in our SeaFest section here.

MyCreativeEdge

Meet MyCreativeEdge.eu at SeaFest

MyCreativeEdge.eu showcases the creativity that’s taking place right across Europe’s Northern Edge. At the moment 180 creatives working in Arts, Crafts, Design and Media & Technology are showcasing their creative work to an international audience that’s about to get a whole lot bigger.

For creatives looking for more information on MyCreativeEdge.eu supports and how to get profiled on the website, come meet them in our LookWest.ie Tent at SeaFest from 30 June – 02 July.

MyCreativeEdge.eu is about to launch a new international digital ad campaign, promoting its members in the US, UK, France and Germany, as well as the countries featured on MyCreativeEdge.eu – Ireland, Northern Ireland, Iceland, Finland and Sweden.

MyCreativeEdge

Examples of MyCreativeEdge Online Ads Promoting Creatives

The advertising campaign will include images of creative work produced by West of Ireland designers, makers and artists. Creatives included in the advertising campaign including Donegal-based Moville Pottery, Galway-based jeweller, Lynsey De Burca, Roscommon-based Black Hen Designs and Leitrim’s Fiona Mulholland.

More info at MyCreativeEdge.eu