Prannie Rhatigan to showcase opportunities in the West at SeaFest

  • Surfers, business people and artists will share their experiences on making the move
  • Inspiring videos made along West coast to be shown at Marquee
  • Let the sea inspire you: build a dream future for you and your family in the West of Ireland

Exciting career opportunities, more affordable housing and an unbeatable lifestyle along the Wild Atlantic Way – that’s what a move to the West can offer you.

Visitors can experience these amazing opportunities at a dedicated Marquee at the family-friendly SeaFest maritime festival, which takes place in Galway from June 30 to July 2.

SeaFest, Ireland’s national maritime festival, 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. 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 line-up at the Marquee will include keynote speakers, fun performances, a showcase of brilliant West of Ireland products and businesses all inspired by the sea and surfing culture.

Speakers include surfers like Easkey Britton and Barry Mottershead, business people like Ashleigh Smith, founder of the Atlantic Equipment Project and Oonagh Herbert of the Secret Life of Plastic as well as chef and blogger Finn Ni Fhaolain. 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’s showcase area from 10am – 6pm each day, there will be some great prizes and giveaways on offer too. 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 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 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 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.”

Speakers at the Marquee will include:

  • Easkey Britton: 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.
  • Oonagh Herbert: founder of Secret Life of Plastic, which is based in Co Clare and creates a stunning range of products – including lamps, jewellery and flowers, from upcycled plastic.
  • Ian Mitchinson: photographer and creative explorer with a passion for surf and the landscape of the Wild Atlantic Way. Ian moved from South Africa to the North West of Ireland and has never looked back. His work is dominated by his love of the sea and life in the west of Ireland.
  • Ashleigh Smith: founder of the Atlantic Equipment Project, which makes bespoke carry equipment inspired by the West of Ireland surfing community.
  • Finn Ni Fhaolain: chef, surfer and blogger. Finn 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
  • Dr Prannie Rhattigan: 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.
  • Peter Conroy: fireman, paramedic and rescue worker, the native Clare man has been pushing the boundaries of surfing in the West of Ireland ever since the Cliffs of Moher were first discovered as a surf break. He set up the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club and has been a central figure in improving surf safety and brings educational courses and surf rescue training to clubs around Ireland.
  • Moy Hill Community Garden: set up by a collective of young farmers, environmentalists and surfers who were drawn to the West of Ireland, the Moy Hill Community Garden is located just outside Lahinch, Co. Clare. With weekly cook-ups, native tree planting, a farmers’ market and community days for locals to get involved with planting, growing and learning about the land, the people behind Moy Hill are now looking to expand their offering to preserve and maintain the agricultural lifestyle in the West of Ireland.
  • Barry Mottershead: South African big wave surfer and adventurer, Barry Mottershead 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.
  • Martina Hamilton: studied Fine Art in Sligo IT and 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 and more recently by the discovery of her ancestral ties with Dernish Island, just off the north Sligo coast.

For more information follow #LookWest or sign-up to our eZine for a special launch competition next week.

More about Seafest here.

Image Caption: Seaweed expert Prannie Rhatigan who will be a speaker at the SeaFest Marquee