New Oyster Pearl crowned for the 59th Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival

Sheila Cullen, representing The Ardilaun Hotel, has been crowned the 2013 Oyster Pearl for the 59th Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival taking place from Thursday September 26 to Sunday September 29.

Working as part of the reception team at the four star hotel, the stunning 21 year old has been living in Galway for the past four years and is thrilled to be crowned this year’s Pearl, representing one of the country’s most renowned festivals. The Sligo native is from Enniscrone and previously played football for Sligo in her teens.

Mandy Maher of Catwalk Modelling Agency and Suzanne Meade, manager of the Oyster Festival and met with each of the prospective Pearls on an individual basis before Sheila was selected as the 2013 Galway Oyster Pearl.

“Sheila was selected as this year’s Galway Oyster Pearl because of her warm and friendly personality, she also spoke passionately about her love of Galway and we are confident she will be a wonderful ambassador for the 2013 festival” said Cian O’ Broin, chairperson of the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival which has been running since 1954.

The Oyster Pearl will oversee all the festival activities and as the ‘face’ of the festival will attend all the events, including the opening night on the Friday, the Guinness World Oyster Opening Championship, and Gala Mardi Gras through the streets of Galway on the Saturday and the family orientated Tribal Oyster Feast Off on Sunday September 29. There is also the ‘Best of the West’ cook off from the recipe competition promoting west of Ireland Food Producers from Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, and Donegal.

Speaking after being crowned the festival pearl, Sheila said, “I can’t believe it, I was so surprised when it was announced on the radio. My parents are delighted and I am thrilled to have the opportunity. Working in the Ardilaun, I have heard so much about the Oyster Pearl, I just can’t believe it’s me.”

For more information on the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival, September 26 to 29, see

Alternatively, contact the festival team on [email protected] or call (091 ) 575875.


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