Féile Bia Na Mara

Coastal celebration to capture essence of Achill’s heritage

TV master chef and author, Clodagh McKenna, will be the star attraction when Achill Island revives its traditional Féile Bia Na Mara, this July 9 to 12.

The weekend of fun and feasting will be a celebration of Achill’s rich maritime heritage, with the relaunched event set to become one of the highlights of the summer festival calendar.

A Guinness and oyster reception kicks off the festivities on the Thursday evening, while the festival gets into full swing at the official opening on Friday evening, with a gala seafood buffet and music and dance until the wee small hours.

Throughout the weekend there will be a diverse array of activities, ranging from costal walks to boat trips to kite surfing and board sailing, and Clodagh will be demonstrating how to cook many of the 34 species of fish to be found around Achill.

One of the highlights on Saturday will be the Seafood Recipe Competition, with Clodagh picking the lucky winner who will receive two nights bed and breakfast, plus one evening meal for two people at the Achill Cliff House Hotel.

Sunday starts with gathering edible seaweed and goes on to a cookery demonstration and wine tasting and appreciation with Michael (Boley ) McNamara and Tindall Wines, and then the traditional Cailín Óg competition. The evening finishes with a seafood BBQ and live music.

Youngsters will be well catered for throughout the weekend with fancy dress and sandcastle competitions and a host of other activities.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM ), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, will have their mobile Coastal Training Unit in Achill for the weekend, which will provide information on the training available under BIM’s ‘Stay Safe at Sea’ initiative for fishermen, as well as highlighting opportunities for those thinking about a career in the seafood industry.

BIM’s Coastal Training Unit will also be providing two sets of three-day safety training courses for fishermen to take place around the festival on July 6-8 and July 13-15. To register, contact Robert Walsh, BIM, on (087 ) 6837134.

The Achill Seafood Festival is proudly supported by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM ), the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, and Údarás na Gaeltachta.

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