The annual Cleggan/Claddaghduff Festival of the Sea sets sail this Friday (August 3), with a packed schedule of events running through to August 12. So are you ready? Take a deep breath and dive in…
Friday starts late, with a midnight walk – meet at Claddaghduff Hall at 11.45pm (donations to RNLI). For those that aren’t all tuckered out after a moonlit perambulation (or just take a very long time completing the walk), Saturday offers a fun triathlon, with registration from 1pm (Cleggan). Claddaghduff Hall will host Olwen Fouéré, David Heap, Ben Keatinge, Macdara O Fatherta and oilean piper Padraic Keane, as well as the first ever staged reading of ‘The Cleggan Disaster’ (8pm – booking essential).
Sunday’s offering incudes a crafts fair (Claddaghduff Hall 12-3pm ), Family Sports Day (Omey Strand 2pm ), Men’s Married v Singles soccer (Omey Strand, 3.30pm), Women’s Married v Singles (Omey Strand 4.30pm), soccer presentations at Newman’s 7pm. And let’s not forget the ever-popular bingo in Claddaghduff Hall (8.30pm).
The weekdays have plenty to offer too, with Monday’s Garden Trail (‘walk four Connemara gardens with the owners, bus leaves Cleggan at 1.30pm, returns 6pm, cost €5); the Mary Courcey Memorial 5 & 10kms race (registration 6pm Cleggan centre); and the Mary Teresa O’Toole Table Quiz (Joyce’s Bar. 9.30pm, €20 per table of four).
On Tuesday you can voyage to Clare Island in the company of Michael Gibbons (Cleggan pier, 9.30am), and come home to a seafood buffet at Olivers Bar (7pm and 8.30pm, €25).
The fun continues with paddle boarding and local drama productions (Wednesday), bat walk and a wine and cheese tasting (Sweeney’s, Thursday), and children’s shore walk, sea shanty workshop and golf classic (Friday).
Moving into the final weekend, Saturday sees the hotly-contested Omey Dash pier to pier novelty duathlon (cycle and run) take placeat 11am, while later in the evening there will be a 60s-themed disco in Sweeney’s Bar (9pm, fancy dress optional).
The festival is rounded out with Sunday’s mixed tag rugby blitz (ages 7-12, Claddaghduff , noon) and a Wellness Make & Take Workshop teaching you how to make your own self-care products (Cleggan Hall, 3-5pm, €30.
And of course, there’s always plenty of live music and visual arts throughout the villages all week! For full details, times and prices – as well as contact information for booking, where necessary – see www.cleggancladdaghduff.com or follow the festival on Facebook.