Action Packed Festival Of Events For Pirate Queen Celebrations

Posted in Connect on May 29, 2015.

grainne mhoal festival photo

There is a jam-packed programme of Pirate Queen celebrations in store in Westport, Clare Island, Louisburgh, Mulranny, Newport and Achill Island this bank holiday weekend. It has been over 500 years since the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, commanded the land and seas of Ireland’s western isles, and this weekend, from Friday to Monday, the third annual festival celebrating her exploits will take place throughout her old stomping ground around Clew Bay.

There is something for everyone, from enjoying the spectacle of traditional yawl racing on Achill Island, to sampling the delights of craft beers at the Grainne Ale Festival in Westport House; seaweed harvesting; sea safaris; heritage tours; shows and lectures, not to mention heaps of live entertainment across the region.

The weekend kicks off with a Bike Buffet this evening (Friday) at 6.30pm. The bike buffet involves biking from restaurant to restaurant to sample some of Westport’s finest foods and learning about the heroine Grace O’Malley in Neil Delamere’s comedy documentary Holding out for a Hero , while relaxing with dessert.

The Grainne Ale Craft Beer Festival takes place in the beer garden of Gracy’s Bar in the stunning grounds of Westport House on Saturday and Sunday.

Craft brewers will offer samples and

sell their product over the weekend. With music from The Molly Hicks, The Hip pocket Trio, David Hope and his band, The Municipal Jazz Band and Mr Whippy Soundsystem, it is sure to be a fun-filled weekend.

On Sunday, browse through art, craft and food stalls at the Mulranny Food and Craft Fair on Sunday, or take in a slice of 16th century life with displays of crafts, cookery, games, and even combat displays at the Medieval Village at the Octagon in Westport.

To learn more about Grace O’Malley, take the Wild Atlantic Woman Tour on Saturday and Sunday in Westport House,complete with a visit to the old dungeons. Or enjoy a guided Grainuaile Walking Tour on Saturday with the Clew Bay Heritage Centre.

On Sunday, the Clare Island Yacht Race gets underway. A real spectators’ event, it is one of the west coast’s most challenging and fun yacht races. There is also music and entertainment all weekend on Clare Island.

For cycling enthusiasts, the Clew Bay Experience is a two-day cycling adventure along the world class Great Western Greenway from Westport to Achill. Spend the night in Louisburgh, one of Grace O’Malley’s strongholds, then cycle back to Westport.For more information on the many events over the weekend, find the full programme, with times,

locations and booking details, at




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