Marconi Holiday Winner Announced



Martina Stropnik from Austria

The draw which took place at the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel on Monday the 19th December 2016 at the annual Lotto Christmas Party. She has won a Holiday for two in Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Lough Inagh Hotel and Abbeyglen Castle Hotel aswell as €1000 spending money.

This was a Marconi Looped Walk Community Project organised by the Connemara Chamber of Commerce where much needed funding for the upkeep of this historic site.



Guglielmo Marconi caused a communications sensation when he transmitted wireless messages from his station at Poldhu in Cornwall to Newfoundland on 12th December 1901. Having received a grant of $80,000 from the Canadian Government to build a station at Glace Bay in Nova Scotia, he commenced the task of perfecting wireless communication with Poldhu from late 1902. He experienced extreme difficulty in providing commercially viable communications and decided to move his easterly station as far west as possible and decided on Clifden (Derrigimlagh) after making tests at a number of sites.

The station was not officially opened until 17th October 1907, when commercial signalling commenced between Clifden and Glace Bay. It was a sight to behold, with the huge condenser house building, the power house with its 6 boilers, and the massive aerial system consisting of 8 wooden masts, each 210 feet high extending eastwards over the hill for a distance of 0.5 kilometres. The aerials gave off sparks which could be heard in the distance, indicative of the huge power and voltages involved (150KW at 15,000 volts).

As time moved on, advances were made in the technology and a more powerful station was built at Caernarfon in North Wales. The Clifden station was attacked by republican forces in July 1922 and some buildings were damaged. The Marconi Company sought compensation from the new Free State government, but this did not materialise. The station was closed shortly after.

The remains of the station have lain dormant since the contents were sold for scrap after the closure. Employees of the station have passed away and regrettably, little has been done to record the details of what was a great industrial enterprise of the 20th century. The Clifden and Connemara Heritage Society are currently planning on developing the site for the public to enjoy. It is expected that this will become a major tourist attraction in a beautiful landscape.

Text courtesy of Shane Joyce via

Conamara Sea Week

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 Enquiries can be made by phone 085 1154629 or by email to

Emma Donoghue Reading & New Book

Clifden Arts Society

Emma Donoghue Reading & New Book

Emma Donoghue

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.