The Galway Hooker, maritime pursuits and sports, and traditional music will be celebrated at the annual Cruinniu na mBad festival in Kinvara this weekend.
The festival opens on Saturday when three Galway Hookers depart from An Cheathrú Rua with cargoes of turf for Kinvara. The three boats - An Tonai, An Capall, and An Maighdean Mhara - were built more than 150 years ago and have been owned/sailed by the same families during that time.
Music will form a large part of Saturday’s activities. At 4pm, on Kinvara Quay, there will be an open air concert with The Dublin City Ramblers.
At 8.30pm, An t-Amhran Beo, the annual showcase of traditional singing, takes place in Johnston’s Hall. Performers on the night include Pol Ó Ceannabhain, Johnny Mhairtin Learai, Stiofan Ó Cualain, Brian Ó Ruairc, Caitriona Ní Cheannabhain, Maire Bean Uí Niadh, Maire Phetair Uí Dhroigheain, and Sally Uí Dhroigheain.
There will be a sean-nós dancing display from the Devanney family and music by Mike and Sue Fahy and Peter Parsons. The MC will be Sean Ó h-Eanai from Raidio na Gaeltachta.
Saturday also features a race from the Claddagh in Galway and gleoteoig races in the bay.
On Sunday, after midday Mass on the Pier, a new bad adhmad (wooden currach ) will be launched. She was commissioned to be built by the late shipwright Colm Mulkerrins of Maonis, Carna. The curragh was completed by his son Joseph.
Sunday will have events for families with the main hooker and leathbhad races, an open air concert by The Rascals and Anú, inflatable slides, face painting, and a fancy dress parade with theme ‘sea creatures’.
The poster for this year’s festival is by Kinvara artist Mark Dwyer and is based on a photo taken in 1953 by American anthropologist Robert Cresswel; it features a badoir waiting to sell his turf in Kinvara.