Connemara Mussel Festival


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So far Connemara Mussel Festival has created 26 blog entries.
10th Mar 2017

Tegolin’s Tales

Storytelling with Tegolin Knowland
Date: Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th April
Time: 12.30am (Sat), 1pm (Sun)
Venue: Tullycross Church
Tickets: €3

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10th Mar 2017

Connemara and the Great War

A talk by Cormac Ó Comhraí
Date: Sunday 30th April
Time: 2.30pm
Venue: Tullycross Church
Tickets: €5

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10th Mar 2017

Quakers in Connaught

A talk by Joan Johnson
Date: Sunday 30th April
Time: 4pm
Venue: Tullycross Church
Tickets: €5

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20th Mar 2017

HISTORY: Reading The Easter Rising

A production by Curlew Theatre Company
Date: Sunday 30th April
Time: 5.45pm
Venue: Tullycross Church
Tickets: €5

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10th Mar 2017

James Kilbane

Concert – multi-platinum Irish folk, Celtic country and gospel singer
Date: Sunday 30th April
Time: 8.30pm
Venue: Marian Hall, Tullycross
Tickets: €15

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15th Feb 2017

Launch of Festival 2017


27th Jan 2017

Festival 2017


28th – 30th April 2017

Save the date!

2017 is the 12th Connemara Mussel Festival. Originally established to promote the excellence of the mussels of Killary Harbour, the festival has 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. One of the first festivals each year on the Wild Atlantic Way, it showcases the very best Connemara has to offer. A true Feast for the Senses: TASTE and SMELL beautifully cooked local produce; SEE unparalleled views of the Connemara land and seascape; HEAR sounds of music, dancing, talks and theatre; FEEL the ambience; and above all ENJOY the experience!

Full schedule of events will become available closer to the festival. In the meantime you can take a look at last years brochure to get an idea of the events that will take place:


5th May 2016

Poetry Competition Results

Well, the results are in – and were announced last Sunday night at the closing of this year’s festival. One of the shortlisted poets, Robert E. Wilson,  was here at the festival to read his own poem and the other six  were read by members of the Curlew Theatre Company. We were amazed and delighted to receive over 160 entries which came from all over the world. The winning entry “Sweet Intertidal Flesh” came from Jenny Blackford in Australia who wins the first prize of €250, and second place goes to Shara Lessley from the USA who will receive a cheque for €100 for her poem “Blue Mussels”. The seven shortlisted poems are shown here along with judge Eamon Grennan’s adjudication and explanation for his choices.

Eamonn Grennan, Poet and Professor of Literature at Vassar University, New York, was the competition judge and this is what he had to say:

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Winner – 1st Prize

‘Sweet intertidal flesh’
by Jenny Blackford, New South Wales, Australia

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Runner up – 2nd Prize

‘Blue Mussels’
by Shara Lessley, Virginia, USA

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5 Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)

‘The Mighty Mussel’
by Robert E. Wilson, Co. Antrim

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‘Mussels for Muscles’
by Jennifer Herron, N. Ireland

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by Afric McGlinchy, originally from Galway now living in Cork.

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‘All In a Row’
by Kaytie Rose Thomas, from South Carolina but  living in Aberdeen, Scotland

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by Niamh O’Farrell-Tyler, Ireland

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29th Mar 2016

Packed Schedule for 2016 Connemara Mussel Festival

Connemara Journal – March 7 2016

Some 100,000 of Connemara’s finest mussels will be devoured in Tullycross this May Bank Holiday (April 29 – May 1).

The organisers of the Connemara Mussel Festival have tonnes of the popular mollusc on order to feed the hungry hordes expected for the three-day festival, which was officially launched on Sunday last in Renvyle House Hotel.

Former Irish Rugby Team bagman Patrick ‘Rala’ O’Reilly launched the festival, while Mayor of Galway City, Frank Fahy, Leas Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, Malachy Noone and Brian Quinn of Fáilte Ireland also attended.

It is the 11th anniversary of the festival, which was started in an effort to promote the growing mussel industry in the nearby Killary Harbour and the tourism industry in the area.

More than 1,000 tonnes of mussels are taken from Killary Harbour each year, and the industry employs 120 people full-time and some 250 part-timers during harvesting.

It was in an effort to bring jobs to the locality that a small group of locals again looked to the potential of the bay.

‘The mussel festival grew out of the industry, really,’ explained Dermot O’ Donovan, of the organising committee. ‘Now both the industry and the festival are booming.’

The festival organisers are expecting up to 2,500 people at this year’s festival, making it one of the top food festivals in the country.

Mussels will be served in pubs, restaurants and on the street over the weekend. However, food is not the only consideration, with many cultural events taking place, including a talk by Anne Hodge (curator of prints and drawings at the National Gallery of Ireland) about the famous Eton College drawing master William Evans, a water-colour painter who depicted the rugged landscape of Connemara in the 18th century.

Eibhear Walshe from UCC will give a talk on Oscar Wilde’s Connemara connections.

Over the weekend some of the finest chefs in the country will showcase their culinary skills in a variety of demonstrations. There will also be cookery competitions for amateurs, celebrities and student chefs from GMIT.

On Friday night, renowned musician Sean Keane will play a gig in Tullycross Church. On Saturday and Sunday, there are events taking place throughout the day including an artisan market, guided walks, drama presentations and children’s storytelling. Talks on a variety of subjects, including organic vegetable gardening and local archaeology are planned, as well as a whole host of activities for children throughout the weekend.

Article on Connemara Journal website:

30th Mar 2016

European Region of Gastronomy

Following six months of of planning and stakeholder engagement Galway has won the designation ‘European Region of Gastronomy’ in 2018. The designation is not just a culinary award; the programme is designed to link food, hospitality, culture and tourism and create better quality of living for citizens in a region. Key areas in the Galway bid included health, education and sustainability. The title of the Galway bid ‘From the Ground Up – Feeding our Future’ will focus on exactly this approach – working with all stakeholders across the county and islands demonstrating how a community of like minded and dedicated professionals can make a difference in creating a sustainable food platform for now and future generations.

Congratulations to the bid team from Galway which includes Cáit Noone and Jacinta Dalton from GMIT- organisers of our food programme.