Patrick Heritage Trail Festival
23rd-25th March 2012
The Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail Festival is a 3-day guided walk along the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail from Balla to Murrisk at the base of Mayo's Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. The Trail is 61km and transport will be provided to and from the start/finish points on each day.
1st April 2012
The 10th Connemara International Marathon is a day of racing around a very scenic part of the West of Ireland. Comprising of Ireland’s only on-road Ultra Marathon full marathon and, half marathon, all taking place on the one day. www.connemarathon.com
Walking Festival in Westport
6th – 9th April 2012
A choice of two walks are available in the Easter Walking Festival in Westport; moderate/easy and hard/strenuous on each of the three days. Visit Easter Walking Festival website.
4th – 7th May 2012
Féile Chois Cuain is a traditional Irish music, song and dance Festival held in Louisburgh. The Festival features music & singing master-classes, set dance workshop & céili, concerts and sessions. Visit Feile Chois Cuain website.
4th -7th May 2012
The Achill Walks Festival is an annual event with guided walks which take in sites of historical & archaeological interest as well as the great natural beauty of the island. Visit Achill Walks Festival website.
Leenane Mountain Walking Festival
4th – 6th May 2012
The Leenane Mountain Walking Festival will be taking place over the May bank holiday weekend, the 1st and 2nd, in Leenane, Co. Galway. There will be easy, medium and hard level walks with local guides to suit all levels of fitness and skill. Bring your family to the family fun day on the Sunday and finish the weekend on a high with a BBQ and a Ceili on the Sunday night! For more information and to book you place visit www.leenanevillage.com
Connemara Adventure Challenge
12th May 2012
The race will take the format of Gaelforce West with 3 disciplines; trail/mountain running (walking and jogging also accepted!), Kayaking and cycling. The course will be mega and the scenery spectacular. The Connemara Adventure Challenge is almost half the distances of Gaelforce West at approx 26km in total and it is open to racers of all levels. The event will be run by Killary Adventure Co. For more info on the challenge see Gaelforce Events.
Quiet Man Triathalon
13th May 2012
Set Against the stunning backdrop of Cong, The Quiet Man Triathlon aims to provide an experience that will have athletes returning year after year to measure themselves against what, we are sure, will become an iconic Triathlon in the West of Ireland! Race: Sprint Triathlon (750m/20km/5km)
Swim Course A short walk from transition in the grounds of The Lisloughrey Lodge Hotel, athletes will enter the crystal clear waters of Lough Corrib for the first open water swim of the Triathlon Season. Turning only once at 150m this 750m swim course will suit athletes of all abilities.
Bike Course Exiting T1 in the grounds of The Lisloughrey Lodge Hotel, the bike course takes athletes through the peacefull village of Cong and out towards Cornamona and the heart of Conamara. This is an out and back bike route that engages with some of the most breath taking scenery the West of Ireland has to offer. But remember - what you go down, you must go back up to get home!
Run Course A looped run course through the peascefully idyllic grounds of Lisloughrey Lodge and Ashford Castle covers a balanced mix of forest trail and clean surface road. The course is undulating and will take you to the very edge of Lough Corrib on your way to completing the Quiet Man Triathlon. At the gates of The Lisloughrey Lodge Hotel you will recieve your finishers medal. You can then turn around, look out over Lough Corrib and whisper to yourself - I was here when it started!
Race - Louisburgh
TBC June 2012
is a standard olympic distance Triathlon taking place on the 5th June 2010 in
Louisburgh Co. Mayo. It is set in some amazing scenery and includes some
challenges specific to the geography of West Mayo. Check out www.triburgh.ie for all the details.
Castlebar Blues Festival
1st – 4th June 2012
Blues Festival is the longest running blues festival in Ireland. There is free
music in all the main pubs and headline acts perform in the Royal Theatre.
Traditionally a lively weekend of music with artists from all over the world.
Visit Castlebar Blues
Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival
29th June – 1st July 2012
Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival showcases the best of local, national and international folk and bluegrass acts. The Festival also consists of music workshops, musical lunch and pub gigs. Visit Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival website.
Castlebar International 4-day Walking Festival
28th June – 1st July 2012
Walk with the world in Castlebar during the summer of 2012 - our 45th anniversary! These walks are all about having fun and forging friendships that span the globe. Four days of walking, talking, rambling, music, song and dance, a time to form friendships with kindred spirits. There are 10km, 20km, 30km and 40km walks, and a 6-hour ramble. For more details about the Castlebar International 4-day Walking Festival, log onto www.castlebar4dayswalks.com
International Sea Angling Festival
22nd – 26th June 2012
Westport International Sea Angling Festival is a 1-day shore event and 3-day boat event in the beautiful waters of Clew Bay. Now in its 55th year, it is the longest-running Sea Angling event in Europe. Visit Westport International Sea Angling Festival website.
Na Mara – Achill Seafood Festival
19th – 22nd July 2012
na Mara – Achill Seafood Festival is a weekend of fun and feasting to celebrate
Achill’s rich maritime heritage and seafood culture. Visit Féile Bia na Mara website.
Reek Sunday Annual Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, The Holy Mountain
29th July 2012
The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption. Croagh Patrick is renowned for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. The black bell of St. Patrick was a highly venerated relic on Croagh Patrick for many years. On 'Reek Sunday', the last Sunday in July, over 25,000 pilgrims visit the Reek.
18th August 2012
Gaelforce West is the largest one day adventure race of its kind in the world. Killary Adventure Co will be running Gaelforce West and all other Gaelforce Events this year. It is a multi-sport adventure race involving cycling, running, hiking and kayaking. The course of approximately 65km stretches from the stunning Glassilaun beach to Westport. En route there are some significant obstacles to cross, including Killary Harbour and the famous holy mountain of Croagh Patrick. The event is designed for solo competitors, but you can run it with a buddy or training partner.
18th – 26th August 2012
here’s lots of fun in store for you during National Heritage Week. Check out our video for a snapshot of what’s on offer! From medieval fairs, night time bat walks, classical music, poetry, theatre, traditional music, storytelling, historical re-enactments, local history walks and talks, maritime and coastal events, food fairs, traditional skills workshops and archaeological digs. There’s something for everyone and most events are free! www.heritageweek.ie
Famine Memorial Day, 2012
Murrisk is home to the evocative National Famine Monument. The sculpture by John Behan depicts a ‘Coffin Ship’ with skeletal bodies and commemorates the Great Famine of the 1840s and is the largest bronze sculpture in Ireland and will likely form a central part of the Memorial day. The parallel international event will be held in New York.
TBC October 2012
Westport Arts Festival has long since established itself on the West coast calendar as an exciting and diverse event. The festival is a locally-run event and gives an exciting insight into the lively community in Westport with a feast of theatre, dance, recital and music. There are children’s events, exhibitions and workshops. Visit Westport Arts Festival website.
Children’s Arts Festival
TBC October 2012
RoolaBoola is the Linenhall Art Centre’s funky and fantastic arts festival for young people, with a packed programme of quality shows, events and workshops for ages 2-16 years and their families. It takes place in Castlebar. Visit RoolaBoola website.
Sea 2 Summit Adventure Festival
3rd November 2012
This will be the last Adventure Race in the country for 2012, and will cater for beginner, intermediate and advanced athletes, with a mix of road running, cycling and a mountain hike including the challenging terrain of Croagh Patrick with the backdrop of Clew Bay. It will finish with a small obstacle race and short sea run.
Spraoi na Nollag
Date TBC Nov / Dec 2011
Westport Mall is transformed into a winter wonderland and shoppers paradise, where visitors can purchase handmade, authentic and unique Christmas gifts for all the family. Visit Shop ‘n Spraoi na Nollag website.
Located west of Galway City is Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht region. Here, the Irish language (Gaeilge) is the everyday spoken language of the people who live and work in Galway’s cultural heartland. People switch from Irish (Gaeilge) to English and vice-versa with ease and their English is peppered with Gaeilge phrases. Here is a treasure house of all that is best in rich Irish heritage, culture and folklore where people still sing anddance in the old traditional manner.
Known throughout the world for its scenery, Galway is a gateway to the vast and wild countryside of Connemara, to the Burren region, internationally famous for its karst landscape, to the Cliffs of Moher a designated UNESCO Geo Park and to the mythical and historic Aran Islands.
Galway is a vibrant city with a labyrinth of winding medieval streets, waterways and a maritime history and culture dating back centuries. Situated on the west coast of Ireland along the shores of Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Galway has long been considered a centre of cultural excellence and looks forward to extending a céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) to your guests.
GALWAY EVENTS IN 2012
Cúirt International Festival of Literature 26th – 29th April
Featuring a wide range of Irish and international writers , the festival has attracted well known guests such as J.M Coetzee, Seamus Heaney, Van Morrison and Germaine Greer. The event features readings, book signings, workshops and much more. See www.cuirt.ie for more details.
Galway Early Music Festival 17th – 20th May
The Galway Early Music Festival features medieval, renaissance and baroque music and dance. Visitors are treated to concerts by Irish and international musicians with many street performances by costume-clad artists. You will marvel at the concerts which feature many historical instruments. Come to Galway and experience this unique event, sure to stir your senses.
Galway Sessions, 11th – 17th June
The 11th Galway Music Sessions Festival takes place in multiple venues in Galway City from the 11th-17th June, 2012. It is the third year of a growing partnership and friendship with Stirling in Scotland. This year, the Scots are welcome back as well as a great line up of local, national and international musicians. This year's festival will include street entertainment, an afternoon series of trad gigs, concerts, lectures, night-time gigs and a session trail through eleven pubs in Galway!
Volvo Ocean Race, 30th June - 8th July 2012
650,000 people visited the Race Village during the Galway stopover in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. 10,000 people lined the harbour walls at 3am on the morning of 24th May 2009 to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race fleet into Ireland, culminating in record crowds of almost 200,000 for the In Port and Pro Am Race. Now it's back! The 2012 Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale is set to enthral the city of Galway again from the 30th June to the 8th July 2012. The fleet will arrive in from Lorient to Galway on the 3rd July 2012 and the Volvo Ocean Race Grand Finale 2011-2012 will be an 8 day festival of marine, sport, culture and arts, entertainment and food. The Galway Global Village will feature shows, exhibitions, entertainment and an unprecedented Grand Finale to the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. The In-Port race is on the 7th July, after which the winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 will be declared.
Galway Film Fleadh, 10th -15th July 2012
The Galway Film Fleadh – Ireland’s leading film festival, is a six day international film event held every July and welcomes a mad diversity of filmmaking from around the world. The Fleadh is very much a film lovers’ festival, and attracts directors, actors, cinematographers and artists of all generations and cultural backgrounds. Now in its 23rd year, the central goal of the Galway Film Fleadh remains unchanged: to bring together audiences and filmmakers within an intimate environment, and share a common experience – the wonder of cinema. The Fleadh’s diverse audience is made up of the general cinema going public, film buffs, student filmmakers, industry professionals and invited guests.
Galway Arts Festival 16th-29th July 2012
The Galway Arts Festival is well known across the globe as one of the leading events in the cultural calendar. Many artists, writers, musicians and performers flock to Galway for an event that attracts over 100,000 people. The 2012 Galway Arts Festival is set to be the ultimate summer getaway for the festival chic set with a line-up Live at the Festival Big Top that sparkles with sensational musical talent. This years Arts Festival will up the festival fun factor, featuring an inspiring mix of the very best in alternative culture with an eclectic blend of stompingly good tunes from rising stars, established favourites and surprise collaborations. Pitched in the heart of Galway city centre on the banks of the River Corrib, the Festival Big Top will take prime position at the Fisheries Field, the perfect lounge location for summer evenings. For more information, please consult www.galwayartsfestival.ie.
Galway Races Summer Festival 30th July – 5th August 2012
The Galway Races Festival is by far Ireland's biggest horse racing festival, where horses are only a part of the attraction! Over 200,000 gather in Galway City to soak up the fantastic atmosphere. Starting on the last Monday of July each year, the festival runs for a consecutive seven days. Known for its party atmosphere, the festival attracts punters from all corners of the globe with many celebrities from the world of business and entertainment amongst the revellers. Highlights of the festival include Ladies Day and Family Day which includes the popular Mad Hatters competition.
Galway International Oyster Festival, 28th – 30th September 2012
Each September, Galway City comes alive with seafood & oysters as it celebrates the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, the most internationally recognised food festival in Ireland and the world's longest running International Oyster Festival. Throughout the festival, a host of tantalising events to whet your appetite will take place, including; a seafood trail in some of Galway city’s finest restaurants, Taste of the Sea/Blas na Mara - showcasing Galway's seafood heroes, the National Oyster Opening Championship, The Food village at The Festival Marquee, the World Oyster Opening Championship, a Mardi Gras event through the streets of Galway and the Festival Finale with family activities, kids fancy dress, live music, cooking demonstrations, Best Hot Oyster Dish challenge, Irish Coffee making and jive & jazz. www.galwayoysterfestival.com
Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, 15th – 22nd October 2012
Baboró is Ireland’s flagship arts festival devoted exclusively to children and families. It brings the most diverse selection of the finest in performing arts from Ireland and around the world to its annual one-week festival in Galway. The festival programme varies from year to year to bring a wide diversity of exposure to the arts especially created for young audiences and their families. www.baboro.ie
Galway Comedy Festival, 25th – 29th October 2012
The Galway Comedy Festival will entertain you to some of the most magical, hysterical and outright funny folk on the planet, all for your enjoyment. There's a whole range of styles to suit every taste, and you will not be disappointed. Look out for surprise gigs not listed that will pop up here, there and everywhere over the weekend, and whatever else you do, remember, it’s only a joke! www.galwaycomedyfestival.com