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FOOD Feast on the Connemara Mussel Festival

Tasting

Pictured at the launch of the Connemara Mussel Festival, which will this year be held over the May Bank Holiday weekend were, from left: Gerry Coyne, Festival Chairman; Cllr Liam Carroll, Galway County Mayor and Dermot O’Donovan, Connemara Mussel Festival The launch was held in Busker Browne’s in Galway City.
FESTIVAL FEVER?Pictured at the launch of the Connemara Mussel Festival, which will this year be held over the May Bank Holiday weekend were, from left: Gerry Coyne, Festival Chairman; Cllr Liam Carroll, Galway County Mayor and Dermot O’Donovan, Connemara Mussel Festival The launch was held in Busker Browne’s in Galway City. ?Pic: Joe Travers

A feast for the senses in store at Connemara Mussel Festival


The 9th Connemara Mussel Festival takes place in Tullycross on the Renvyle Peninsula over theMay Bank Holiday weekend, May 2 to May 4.
While the festival was originally established to promote the excellence of the mussels of Killary Harbour, it has now grown to become a celebration of local people, food, culture and heritage, and is recognised as the premier food event for Connemara, attracting visitors from near and far.
This year’s festival, one of the first on the Wild Atlantic Way, will be opened by Sally and John McKenna of the McKenna Guides who will also showcase their culinary skills by partaking in some of the festival’s cookery demonstrations over the weekend.
With the programme details now being finalised, there is once again an exciting schedule with something for all the family to experience and enjoy. Some of the main culinary highlights include demonstrations with Head Chef Keith Carden from O’Grady’s on the Pier, children’s cookery demonstrations with Jacinta Dalton, Food Ambassador for the Wild Atlantic Way and competitions with students from GMIT College of Tourism and Arts. This year members of the Fins Goussiers d’Anjou from France including Graham Roberts from The Connemara Smokehouse, who was inducted into their society last year, will also be attending.  And that’s not all - a new addition this year will be the Made in Galway market running over the full weekend showcasing the finest produce of the west of Ireland.
Author Ms Nicola Gordon Bowe will give a presentation on renowned stained glass artist Harry Clarke whose work can be seen in the windows of the Church of Christ the King in Tullycross. Add to this a theatrical performance and children’s storytelling by Curlew Theatre Company, an art exhibition featuring the work of Connemara-based artists, a children’s story telling competition, talks on beekeeping, organic gardening, seashore foraging and guided walks exploring the unique beauty of the Connemara landscape.  
In the evenings the local pubs will offer traditional music and dancing while there will be a wine and beer tasting event on the Saturday night of the festival, followed by live music with Madrid-based Cajun band, Track Dogs on Sunday night.
Gerry Coyne, Chairperson of the Connemara Mussel Festival said: “The West certainly knows how to throw a festival and the Connemara Mussel Festival promises to be no exception! This year’s programme of entertainment promises to be the best yet, with an array of events planned for all the family, many of which are free of charge. We are also delighted to have a selection of the country’s top chefs on board and of course head judge for the weekend Máirín Uí Chomáin, author of Irish Mussel Cuisine”.
For more information email connemaramusselfest@gmail.com or call 087 6478303.