Focus on fish and fishing at Castletownbere Festival of the Sea

Posted on: 6th July, 2015

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

In Castletownbere, the Festival of the Sea held over August Bank Holiday weekend and the week that follows, is the most eagerly anticipated event of the summer, with thousands of visitors, families and friends flocking to this small fishing town on the Beara Peninsula.

Organised by the Castletownbere Development Association (CDA), the Festival of the Sea is a family oriented fun-filled week and the best example of the community coming together to showcase what Castletownbere has to offer.

This is the second year of the Fish Festival Day, held on Saturday August 1, and it is hoped that a focus on fish and fishing will bring a strong sense of community; fishing is the industry at the heart of Castletownbere. Once again there will be a fish filleting competition, followed by a Seafood BBQ for all to sample fabulous local fresh fish. This year, the committee is excited to launch ‘The Skipper’ Fisherman of the Year Perpetual Trophy for the best overall performance in the fishing skills competitions.

Also new this year is a Kid’s Tough Mudder event, to be held on the final day of the festival, Friday August 7 at 4.30pm at the Castletownbere GAA Pitch. There will be team-building exercises and activities for all age groups. Old clothes are recommended! Parents are encouraged to come along, take part and lend a hand.

Live music in The Square of Castletownbere brings a lively atmosphere to the festival and is always something to look forward to; there is some fantastic bands lined up. Ireland’s premier AC/DC tribute band ‘AV/DV’ will perform live in The Square at 9pm on Sunday August 2 – definitely not to be missed – and ‘The Springsteens’ will return as this year’s headline act, following a show-stopping performance in 2014. The Springsteens will be performing live in The Square at 6pm on Monday August 3, with ‘Loose Change’, a firm favourite locally, to follow at 9pm.

The local food and craft fairs in Castletownbere have really been taking off during the last year. Stalls are invited to trade in the Square for the duration of the festival. Anybody wishing to have a stall please contact Roz 086-8825107 or Kieran 086-3610612.

The Festival of the Sea will run until Friday August 7 and there will be many other events throughout the week. Please keep an eye out for the full schedule of events on leaflets and posters, or visit Facebook ‘Castletownbere Festival Info’ or

The CDA is honoured to be able to put on these events for their community and thanks everyone for their continued support throughout the year; without the support and contributions of local businesses the Festival of the Sea could not take place, and so the CDA would like to sincerely thank all sponsors this year.

The CDA hopes your visit trip to Castletownbere and Beara for the Festival of the Sea is a memorable one and asks that during your visit you please help to keep the town clean and tidy and dispose of all your litter responsibly.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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