Festivals & Events Mayo

4th Annual Clare Island 10k in aid of Cancer Care West
18th April 2015

There was a song written about it, now you can walk or run it and all in aid of a good cause. The 4th Annual Clare Island 10K run/walk in aid of Cancer Care West will take place on Saturday, 18th April 2015. The event is always enjoyed by all who run, walk or crawl the 10K scenic loop!

Entry to this year’s event is now open, and there are a limited number of places available. The entry fee is €38 and this includes return ferry from Roonagh Pier, outside Louisburgh, on the day of the race. There will be refreshments provided prior and post the event as well as on route water stations, race medals are also included in the entry fee. It’s €28 for islanders or anyone not taking the ferry or €18 for spectators taking the ferry. Entry is now open and you can register by contacting Cancer Care West at info@cancercarewest.ie or 091 545000.

All proceeds from the event are donated to Cancer Care West and the funding of their residential and cancer support services.

Fort further information visit http://www.clareisland.ie/3rd-annual-10k/

Traditional Irish Music Festival – Féile Chois Cuain Louisburgh
1st – 4th May 2015

With a view to preserving this rich heritage and promoting traditional music among the youth of the area, a small group got together in 1995 and organised Féile Chois Cuain. Féile has helped reawaken interest in the traditional Music and regular classes are now taking place with very encouraging numbers taking part.

Masterclasses have been a feature of Féile Chois Cuain and you can find out more about these on the website www.feilechoiscuain.com

Classes are however but one aspect of Féile and the almost non-stop music and singing sessions, featuring great numbers of visiting and local musicians, together with the Concerts and Céilí make it a wonderful weekend for young and old.

Féile Chois Cuain is renowned for its informal and impromptu Sessions so if you have a song to sing, a tune to play, a step to dance or simply appreciate our culture, why not join in the craic agus ceoil?

For further information visit http://www.feilechoiscuain.com 

Clare Island Adventure Race
2nd May 2015

Now in its third year, the Clare Island Adventure Race 2015 (formerly Pirate Queen Adventure Race, but renamed due to the rescheduling of the Pirate Queen Festival) is set to take place on Saturday, 2nd May 2015.

This event will appeal to both experienced and novice adventure racers. There are two options – for the experienced racer the full course will be the perfect warm-up race for a busy season ahead. With the climb of Knockmore, this race is no picnic and will present a serious challenge even to seasoned adventurers.

For those who might not be back in shape after the winter – or for beginners – the Spirit Race omits the climb of Knockmore, and has a shorter cycle, making it very doable although still reasonably challenging. (It is also very affordable at just €45 for the full race and €35 for the shorter race.)

But on Clare Island, we’re always looking for the craic as well. We promise you a fun day out, no matter the weather or your race result. We’ll be hosting an after-race party in the Sailor’s Bar with live music and rocking banter. The bar also offers a really tasty menu with Mains ranging in price from €13 to €22. So, we recommend you book yourself into the highly comfortable Go Explore Hostel and make a night of it!

For further information visit http://www.clareislandadventures.ie/adventure-activities/adventure-race-2015/

Connemara Adventure Challenge
9th May 2015

32.5 km stand-alone sprint race.
The Connemara Adventure Challenge is unique in that you will not be competing or(confusing yourself!) with those doing a longer version of the race as there is only one distance. Magical scenery in unspoilt, dramatic valleys, forests and harbours. An incredible setting that just has it all for adventure racing.
Trail/mountain running or walking; cycling and kayaking - superb natural terrain including bogland, hill, rough track and sealed (Connemara) roads as well as the deep green waters of Killary Fjord.

Killer after-party - groovy music, dancing, swapping stories and a well-earned beer – all this we promise you in our legendary after-party at K2 (Killary Adventure Centre).

Perfect training race or introductory race. 32.5 km is perfect for the elite athlete to test their training and for the first-timer it will be a manageable challenge that will allow them to taste the pure joy of pushing and succeeding.

For further information visit http://www.gaelforceevents.com/connemara/

Darkness Into Light 2015
9th May 2015

In 2009, the Phoenix Park saw the first of the yellow t-shirt clad people assembling at an unthinkable hour. There were about 400 people that morning, all huddled together in the blackness and the cold, standing behind the starting line. Who would have guessed that five years on, the little event we call Darkness Into Light would be the symbol of hope, the celebration of life that it is today?

With nearly 40,000 participants last year, how could it get any bigger? But it has, and now Darkness into Light is celebrated in nearly 40 venues in Ireland and thanks to the exploits of London and Sydney… across the world too!

Think about the thousands upon thousands of remarkable people who attended last year. Think about how delicious it will be to collapse back into your warm bed later on that morning, knowing that you’ve done your good deed for the day, and your exercise for the week!

But ultimately, think about how Darkness Into Light is the flagship fundraising and awareness event for Pieta House, and without your support, we could not have helped so many people in distress over the last eight years.

For further information visiti http://dil.pieta.ie/

Mayo International Choral Festival
20th – 24th May 20 2015

The Mayo International Choral Festival, the brainchild of Edward (Eamonn) Horkan, was inspired by a concert for the Mayo Memorial Peace Park whereby several choirs performed in unison in the Royal Theatre. Eamonn, a member of the Mayo Male Voice Choir, attended many choral festivals worldwide and with this experience set about organizing the festival.

The festival takes the form of several international male/female adult choirs travelling to Mayo in late May each year, to partake on a competitive and non-competitive basis. Their visit will include a number of evening and daily performances county-wide, tours of Mayo and a gala concert in the Royal Theatre on Saturday night. The theme of the festival is to allow choirs to meet with other choirs, relax and enjoy a great weekend in the beautiful West of Ireland.

The festival has the support of the Lions Clubs and local Mayo choral groups in the different towns, to coordinate concerts by the visiting choirs in each of the towns, and to act as hosts for the visiting choirs.

For further details visit http://www.mayochoral.com

Féile na Tuaithe – Festival of Country Life
23rd & 24th May 2015

Free family festival at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.
Craft and food stands, craft demonstrations, music, and lots more for the family to enjoy
Free entry, demonstrations and workshops, games, children’s activities, storytelling, music and face painting as well as a tented craft and food market with an extensive range of carefully selected stands from baskets to beeswax and from cheese to chocolate makers. Stand holders are all registered craftworkers or artisan food producers with quality and sometimes unique produce for sale.

In keeping with the Museum’s own focus, Féile na Tuaithe features a full programme of demonstrations suitable for the whole family. These include the art of the blacksmithing, basketmaking, wood turning and pottery making. The harvest-knot making demonstrations with the staff from the Education & Outreach Department are a highlight – make your own and watch your mother or grandmother reminisce about harvest knot traditions.

Féile na Tuaithe – Turlough Park is a natural extension of the Museum’s purpose of bringing families together to enjoy quality time and learn about the traditions of bygone days.

For further information visit http://www.museum.ie/en/list/events-projectsTP.aspx

Clare Island Annual Yacht Race
30th May – 1st June 2015

Every June Bank Holiday Sunday the Westport Sailing Club and guests bring their flotilla of vessels to the island to partake in one of the West Coats most challenging and fun yacht races. This is a fun filled weekend with plenty of entertainment all round. Characters from every walk of life, both young and old set their mains against one another for the prestige of winning the Kay O’Grady memorial trophy.

For further information contact Clare Island Development Office 098 26525 cliaracdp@eircom.net

Festival of The Pirate Queen 2015
30th May – 1st June 2015

A Celebration of Grace O’Malley
It’s been over 400 years since the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, commanded the land and seas of Ireland’s western isles. Inspired by The Gathering 2013, The Festival of the Pirate Queen will run again for the third year year during the June Bank Holiday Weekend 2015.This festival, celebrating the life of Grace O’Malley, one of the most inspirational women in Irish history, will take place throughout Clew Bay, the land base for her sea-faring adventures and her old stomping ground. Enjoy a whole range of activity celebrating this infamous woman in Westport, Clare Island, Louisburgh, Mulranny, Newport and Achill Island.

There’s something for everyone whether its taking part in the Pirate Queen Adventure Race, enjoying the spectacle of traditional Yawl Racing on Achill Island, learning the story behind the legend through the many heritage tours, shows and lectures on offer, not to mention heaps of live entertainment across Clew Bay including street performers, Irish music, song and dance.

Grainne Ale
Grainne Ale is a unique element of the Festival with chilled vibes, good tunes, great pizza and a sumptuous BBQ. In 2015, Grainne Ale will return and will take place in The Beer Garden of Gracy’s Bar on the stunning grounds of Westport House. Craft Brewers will offer samples and sell their product over the weekend. Legend would have us believe that Ireland’s famous Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley while plundering the high seas was partial to a jug of the finest ale.

Where: Gracy’s Bar, Westport House, Westport, Saturday and Sunday 14.00 – 22.00

For further information visit http://piratequeenfestival.ie/

The 9th Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival 2015
12th – 14th June 2015


We’d like to invite you to come to what we think is the best boutique festival in the West of Ireland, the Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, in association with The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland.

In its ninth year, the Festival will feature acts, from America, the UK, Europe, and of course Ireland – north and south – plus the Clew Bay Folk Club.

Over three days there’ll be a load of gigs, more than one massive session, Masterclasses and Workshops and some local instrument makers will be showcasing their craft to boot.

The music will be varied, from traditional bluegrass, through old-timey, cajun, blues and just plain old ‘folk’.

Almost everything is free and in local pubs, plus one restaurant but we’re also planning some showcase gigs in a local church and in the Westport Town Hall Theatre and Cultural Centre – if it gets built in time!

The Festival atmosphere is warm and open, where everyone – all generations, cultures and walks of life, locals and visitors – feel included and, most importantly, have fun. The audience consists of everyone from seasoned folk and bluegrass ‘buffs’ to casual music fans, plus people just out for the crack.

For further information visit http://westportfolkandbluegrass.com/

Great Greenway Cycle
13th June 2015

The next Great Greenway Cycle will take place on Saturday 13 June 2015.

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated in the 2014 Great Greenway Cycle in County Mayo. The course was completed in three hours and event organiser, Andrew Coleman, estimates that a fantastic €1,300 has been raised for Christian Aid by those taking part.

If you would be interested in taking part in 2015 or have any further questions please contact us:

• Call (00353) 23 884 1468
• Email eventsireland@christian-aid.org
• Website: http://www.christianaid.ie/getinvolved/events/cycling/great-greenway-cycle.aspx

The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol
2015 Dates to be announced

This superb Mayo traditional music summer show is based on the real-life story of the legendary Irish Pirate Queen Grace O’ Malley or Gráinne Mhaol. Pirate, chieftain, lover and mother in 16th century Ireland Gráinne Mhaol is an iconic figure in Irish folklore.

‘The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol’ spectacular summer show contains a wealth of talented musicians and dancers from all over the west of Ireland. Lord of the Dance fiddle player Cora Smyth headlines the show with renowned balladeers James Kilbane and Jenny Mulvey, Latino dancer Pollyanna Guedes, All-Ireland champion box player Darragh Healy and Ireland’s most gifted Sean Nós dancer Liam Cunningham all on board for this magical and mythical voyage into Mayo.

The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol traditional music show is full of energy and enthusiasm and keeps audiences of all ages gripped from start to finish as it blends the old and the new; the contemporary and the ancient, the Sean Nós dancing against the more modern steps and styles of Irish Dancing.

The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol is an incredible, unique, entertainment show that combines old traditional Irish dances with the passionate Latino rhythms of Tango, Flamenco and Salsa in a performance of strength and passion.

The Legend of Gráinne Mhaol was described on RTÉ Radio as ‘One of the best summer shows in Ireland’ while the Irish Times stated ‘This is a superb production full of passion and energy’.

For further information visit http://www.grainnemhaol.com/ or call 00 353 (0)98 56582.

Bard Summer School & Festival
1st – 5th July 2015

Celebrating 20 years of Bard
Bard Summer School and Festival explores the Irish myths and goes on a unique journey of discovery for their contemporary relevance. All of these myths have lasted thousands of years and have been handed down through Ireland’s oral tradition. There is a place for everyone on the school and Bard has welcomed participants from all over the world.

The Bard Festival hosts evening entertainment such as the annual Islander’s Night, where we experience local music, poetry song and dance performed by the people of Clare Island. This year the schedule includes an opportunity to complete the contemplative walk of The Chartres Labyrinth. This year the festival concludes with a poetry reading by Katie Donovan. Clare Island is the ancestral home of the legendary Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley (Granuaile). It provides a backdrop of megalithic tombs, holy wells and a 12th century Cistercian Abbey.

More information on www.bard.ie or 01 490 4879 or email: bardsummerschool@iol.ie

Achill Half Marathon & 10K 2015
4th July 2015

The next Achill Half Marathon & 10K race takes place on Saturday 4th July 2015 and is organised by Achill Event Management in association with Achill Tourism, the local tourist office on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, in the west of Ireland.

The event, in its current format, has been staged in Achill since 2007 and is approved by Athletics Ireland.

The Half Marathon race is the centre piece to a full weekend of events and entertainment on Achill, one of Ireland’s most popular holiday destinations.

For further information visit http://www.achillmarathon.com/

Westportif Cycling Weekend 2015
18th & 19th July 2015

The Westportif cycling weekend takes place on Saturday 18th July 2015, in Westport, Co. Mayo. Choose from three routes of 40, 80 and 160 km taking in the breathtaking scenery of Croagh Patrick, Mweelrea (Connaughts highest mountain), Doolough Lake, Delphi, Killary Fjord, Ashleigh Falls, Leenane village and the shores of Lough Mask in Tourmakeady.

We are planning a new 120K route this year to compliment our already established 80k and 160k routes.

This Sportif (leisure cycle) has 3 distances (40k, 80k and 160k) to suit all abilities, it’s set over a rolling course taking in most of the picturesque parts of Mayo and Connemara. The bike sections are all on sealed rural roads, but bring a spare tube and pump in case of a puncture as you need to be self sufficient. Remember to fit at least one water bottle to your bike as it’s important to take on fluids.

For further information visit http://www.westportif.ie

Westport Scoil Cheoil – Music School 2015
20th – 24th July 2015

Irish Traditional Summer Music School in Ireland’s best-loved town with Ireland’s most prestigious Irish traditional musicians.

Full Schedule TBC
ontact Dr Maura Thornton for further details:
Call 00 353 (0) 87 918 5838
Email: maura@WestportScoilCheoil.com

Women’s Adventure Race
25th July 2015

Are you afraid that adventure racing might not be for you? Do you fear lining up alongside growling men and Amazonian women? Not any more. The team at Gaelforce Events is pushing the boundaries when it comes to adventure racing. This event celebrates fit, healthy, determined, enthusiastic and wonderful women. It is the perfect distance at 23km and will involve a 7km run/walk, 15km cycle and a 0.5km kayak through the most magnificent scenery of Leenane and Killary Fjord. So many women have participated in some sort of fun run, walk, adventure race or road race at one time or another but the thought of lining up beside testosterone-fuelled male athletes can be a little intimidating at first (no offence to the lads!).

The Killary Women’s Adventure Race Course Approximately 27km total:
Running/Walking: 10.5 km
Cycling: 16 km
Kayaking: 0.5 km

To enter the Women’s Adventure Race you will need to complete the online registration process. For further information:

Phone Killary Adventure Centre 095 42006
Email info@gaelforceevents.com
Website: http://www.womensadventurerace.com

Reek Sunday - Croagh Patrick 2015
26th July 2015

Reek Sunday is an annual day of pilgrimage in Ireland. On the last Sunday in July, pilgrims climb Ireland’s “holiest mountain”, Croagh Patrick (764 metres) in County Mayo, some in their bare feet.

The Holy Mountain - Croagh Patrick, which overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo, is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland. The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption. Its religious significance dates back to the time of the pagans, when people are thought to have gathered here to celebrate the beginning of harvest season.

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 Saint Patrick was a highly venerated relic on Croagh Patrick for many years.

The first stop on the pilgrimage is Saint Patrick’s statue erected in 1928 by Reverend Father Patterson with money he collected in America towards the rebuilding of Saint Mary’s Church in Westport.

On ‘Reek Sunday’, the last Sunday in July, over 25,000 pilgrims visit the Reek. At the top, there is a modern chapel where mass is celebrated and confessions are heard. Individuals and groups come from all over the world and include pilgrims, hill climbers, historians, archaeologists and nature lovers.

The other traditional Pilgrimage days are the last Friday of July which is known locally as ‘Garland Friday’, and August 15th which is the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven.

Croagh Patrick is 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport and its conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside.

Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are spectacular from all stages of the ascent of the mountain. It is one of the highest peaks in the West of Ireland. It rises 750 metres (2,500 feet) into the sky above County Mayo.

Gaelforce West 2015
15th August 2015 – 10th Anniversary Race

Please read about the changes to registration locations and the new bike transfer service before you enter online

We have taken the stress out of Friday! For 2015 we are now offering registration in Westport town as well as Killary and a bike transfer service from registration to Delphi. Now you will have more time to relax and prepare for the following day!

Worth competing for - €500 cash prize for the first male and female as part of their prize pack and €1000 worth of prizes for other winners.

The original and still the best - Gaelforce West has always been the one to conquer and to master. It is challenging, unique and the magnificent landscape through which you travel will wow you at every turn.

67km course spanning two counties - the route takes you from Glassilaun beach in Co Galway to the heritage town of Westport, Co Mayo.

Trail/mountain running or walking; cycling and kayaking - the terrain includes mountain scree, bogland, trails, sealed roads and the majestic waters of Killary Fjord.

For further details visiit http://www.gaelforceevents.com/west/

Westport Food Festival 2015
4th – 6th September 2015

2015 Celebrates the 5th consecutive year of the Westport Food Festival which will take place over the weekend of 4th – 6th September 2015. The Festival promises to be bigger and better than other years with a host of all-things-culinary!

The 2015 Westport Food Festival will include an action-packed itinerary, with something for everyone even including the little ones. Several other events are scheduled for the three day festival including the Food Village & Fringe Festival taking place on September the 5th at the Octagon, Food Fest Forum, Foody Tours, Bike Buffet, Kids’ Pizza-Making and Mushroom Foraging. Other events over the weekend include live demonstrations from a host of top chefs, bakers and mixologists as well as the exciting Sunday night event called Secret Supper which proved to be hugely popular in 2014! Book your tickets early as this event was sold out last year!

Secret Supper is like ‘Come Dine with Me’ with a twist… Diners buy tickets for a five-course Westport Food Festival ‘taste experience’ meal but nobody knows where they will eat until the night itself, when dining venues will be unveiled at a pre-dinner restaurant lottery, held in a town centre location. Guests will then go to their mystery restaurant for dinner at 7.30pm sharp. After dinner, they will return to the town centre reception venue for the Westport Food Festival Wrap Party, where all diners will score their meal and the winner of the Best Taste Experience in Westport will be crowned. There will be an MC, prizes and music on the night.

Ensure you have all the latest news feed from the Westport Food Festival by following us on Facebook & Twitter

For further details visit http://www.westportfoodfestival.ie

Westport Festival of Chamber Music 2015
11th – 13th September 2015

The Festival Committee and the Artistic Directors are now planning the 2015 Festival which will be held on 11-13 September 2015.

To join the mailing list, please email info@classicallinks.ie with Westport in the subject line

Violinist Catherine Leonard and pianist Hugh Tinney (artistic directors) look forward to welcoming guest musicians and audiences to the 2015 Festival of Chamber Music in the Long Gallery, Westport House and Holy Trinity Church.

For further detail visit http://www.classicallinks.ie

Westport Duathlon
3rd October 2015

Get ready for Duathlon time with Westports Duathlon on the 3rd October. Take in the spectacular scenic routes along the Greenway and be in with a chance to win some great prizes. The Westport Duathlon is perfect for those who are in training for big events like Sea to Summit. This route includes a 5k run, 16k cycle and finishes with a 3k run and starts at 11am.

For further details:
Call Westport Leisure Park on 098 29160
Email@ info@westportleisure.com
Website: www.westportleisure.com

To get the best available rate for your accommodation at Hotel Westport click here!

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