Nessa Joyce, President Connemara Chamber of Commerce
If you’re thinking of traveling to the West of Ireland, and in particular Connemara, well then you’ve come to the right place. Recognised worldwide for its rich landscape and heritage, Connemara is a great place for business and leisure.
Use our website to avail of special offers in Accommodation, Food, Shopping & Things To Do. You will also find information on the wide range of events and activities for your entertainment.
Conamara Sea Week is a multi-disciplinary festival, celebrating the wonderful marine heritage of Conamara. The festival celebrated it’s 30th birthday in 2014 and has grown to be a wonderful and unique festival with something to interest all age groups. The festival will kick off with the much loved FAMILY FUN DAY on Sunday 23rd October, which will include kite flying, mini boat regatta and Connemara biggest book fair which will also feature Ballinakill Active Age Traditional Craft Club will sell their work in the Ellis Hall canteen.
The day kicks off at 1pm with some kite flying in the Connemara west centre. This is a magical event touching the hearts of young and old, as these young flyers explore the magic of flight. One of the high lights of the event is seeing adults having to run like young deer to get their childrens craft off the ground. A motley assemblage of kites will be on view on the day and a certain number of kites will be provided on the day, so that everybody can join in.
After the flying it’s then off to the Connemara National Park where young sailors will assemble to sail their amazing specially designed craft. Please remember that no boat can be bigger than 20cm but can be made from a variety of materials – let your imagination flow. Caption Simon Kennedy will be available to steer the boats home safely. This event starts at 2pm.
At 3pm, the Ellis Hall will come alive as book lovers of all ages assemble to get some winter reading. As well as an outstanding display of childrens literature we will also a have a large range of second hand books. A great day out for book worms of all ages. A new feature of the day will be a display and sale of crafts in the canteen. After all the browsing in Ellis Hall we hope that people will still have some energy left for the Killary Challenge which involves adults & children working in groups to carry out varies tasks set out by the Killary Adventure team. A big thank you to Mary and Jamie Young.
Of course as usual the day is wrapped in music which kicks off in Mollys at 5pm with legendary Don Stiffe and the amazing high energy Hernon Family. At 8pm its the Bright Sparks in the Gothic Church, Kylemore Abbey featuring some amazing young players and singers, three different genres of music – traditional, contemporary and classical. The music ends with the Screaming Blue Cats in Veldons – Rockabilly at it’s finest, so bring your dancing shoes.
Throughout the week we have a vibrant schools programme with Artist/Ecologist Gordan Darcy, Marine Biologist Dave McGrath, Ecologist Marie Louise Heffernan and story teller Nuala Hayes. This brilliant team will work with hundreds of Children during the week exploring our wonderful marine environment both in the classroom and in the field as field work is an integral part of the festival. “We want children to really experience their own place and field work is the ideal way to do this” says Gordan Darcy
The After the Light Project is now in its sixth year and is an integral part of the Conamara Sea Week Festival. It has been a great success bringing hundreds of people out into the night to celebrate the great energy and creativity now abounding in our village. This is a real family occasion involving the whole community – crèche, primary schools, Youthreach, GMIT, GRETB. The biggest night of the year in the village of Letterfrack.
The term ‘After the Light’ suggests that we are going for the high ground; that we aspire to excellence in all that we do. And while we acknowledge the darker sides of our history we are clearly marking the fact that ours is a vibrant, energetic and outward looking place, a place full of possibility. Of course ‘After the Light’ could also suggest that the light is gone and this gives us an opportunity to dive into the underworld as we get ready for Halloween. Kicks off at 7.30pm at Connemara West.
The action builds for the second weekend with the Active Age club lunch. A stylish lunch for the older and wiser members of our community in the beautiful Rosleague Manor with good company, great food and mighty music and song with Marcus Hernon and Don Stiffe. Thanks to Mark and the team.
Other festivals highlights include – reading in the National Park with Colin Barrett, cooking demo with local chef Jonathan Keane & Colin O’ Daly, superb concerts in Kylemores Gothic Church & some of the Ireland’s best musicians playing in the local pubs over two great weekends in Letterfrack – The Screaming Bluecats, The John Conneely Trio, Josephine Marsh, The Cajun Playboys, The Good Hustle, Conor Keane, Mary Staunton just some of the line up. For film buffs we have two good films ‘Atlantic’ by Risteard O Domhnaill and ‘Today’ by local man Tristane Heaune. They will be shown in the AV room in the park at 3.30pm Sunday 30th.
The festival finishes with ‘Tunes for Johnny’. On this day some of the finest trad musicians in the country will be coming with tunes that they have composed to honour the great Johnny Connolly – one of the greatest melodeon players of all time. Sunday 30th Mollys Bar 3.30pm.
For full brochure and online booking visit www.ceecc.org. Enquiries can be made by phone 085 1154629 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Clifden Arts Society
Emma Donoghue Reading & New Book
We have a real treat in store for everyone next month, the award winning writer
Emma Donoghue will give a reading here in Clifden on Sunday 10th July, 7.30 pm. This reading will take place at The Inn to the West, Westport Road, Clifden. The Inn is well signposted at the start of St Anne’s Road. This will be a free event, but we ask people to contribute what they can to the Clifden Arts Festival. Emma is very generously giving of her time.
Emma Donoghue, is one of Ireland’s leading writers, and her book Room, won her many awards, while the film based on the book has made her a household name around the world. Emma will read from Room, but she will also introduce her new book, The Wonder, set in Ireland in the 1850s’.
Come along for this wonderful evening. Listen to a great writer, and have a glass of wine, while supporting our very special festival. Please spread the word and bring a friend.
The Clifden Arts Festival takes place this September from the 15th to the 25th, mark it in your diary.
Action packed weekend ahead at Conamara Bog Week
The bank holiday weekend sees another action packed weekend in Letterfrack as Conamara Bog Week continues. Last weekend saw some mighty music in the local pubs and Kylmore Gothic church, with local school children enjoying an exciting schools programme throughout the week.
This weekend has something for everyone with plenty of free activities and events for people to enjoy along side some mighty music. Friday kicks off the weekend with great music in the local pubs including the John Conneely Trio and a trad gig with Anders and the amazing Des Mulkere. Saturday has a packed schedule of free events. Enjoy the Letterfrack poetry trail in a truly unique way as you are led through the trail with some of the poets who wrote the poems, before enjoying some poetry reading in the AV centre with Eva Bourke and Jan Wagner. This year the Ceecc.org are delighted to have an art exhibition in the National park from two emerging local artists – Oilbhe Scannell and Dympna Heanue. The exhibition will be opened at 4pm on Saturday, with drinks and nibbles, and everyone is invited to come along and enjoy their artwork. The whole day is rounded off with great music in the pubs – The Good Hustle and trad with Blackie O Connell & Siobhan Peoples – and the Kylemore Abbey concert featuring the Albiez Trio – Laoise Kelly, Tola Custy and Cormac Brathnach.
Sunday is an active day which kicks off a project entitled Walking Conamara. In this year when are reflecting on 1916 perhaps a good way to honour the memory of those who died would be to learn a little more about our own place. And in this spirit CEECC are organising a number of short walks in different locations such as Clifden, Letterfrack, Omey Island and Renvyle peninsula. All these walks are free. See website for further details. The day closes with great music in the usual venues including Conor Keane, Josephine Marsh and the mighty Sean Tyrell to name a few.
One of the highlights of the weekend will undoubtedly be the Mairtin O Connor & family concert in the Gothic church on the Sunday. There will be tickets available on the door but it is best to book online at our website – www.ceecc.org.
The festival finishes with a lunch time gig on Monday, in Veldons where the tune for the road will be provided by the amazing Paul O Driscoll Trio.