SeaFest 2017 nets 101,000 visitors

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Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest attracted 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event, generating €6.3 million for the city.

The figures, just released show a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. Last year SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.

Dr John Killeen, Chairman of the Marine Institute said, “Our Ocean Wealth Summit and SeaFest 2017 have both exceeded our expectations in terms of attendance and also for creating public awareness of the immense marine resources which are abundant around the island of Ireland. We are now, as a country, beginning to become more aware of the potential wealth that can be generated by our seas. SeaFest offers a platform to engage the public in the importance of our seas and the contribution to our local and national economy.”

Figures released by SEMRU at Our Ocean Wealth Summit, held as part of SeaFest on Friday 30 June, show that Ireland’s ‘blue economy’ is performing better than the general economy. The figures indicate that the direct economic value of Ireland’s ocean economy was €1.8 billion or approximately 0.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, which represents a 20% increase on 2014 levels.

On a local level SeaFest 2017 generated €6.3 million in direct income for the city’s tourism industry. Accommodation, restaurants and other businesses across Galway benefited from the huge influx of people that descended on Galway Harbour over the weekend.

Repro free: Friday 30th June 2017. A swell start to SeaFest as thousands of visitors turned up in Galway today for the first day of festivities. The national maritime festival is in Galway this weekend (Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd) with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages. Pictured was New Zealand's champion flyboarder Beau Weston. Picture Jason Clarke

Galway City Council’s Mayor Pearce Flannery said, “SeaFest was a spectacular success and once again shows Galway’s unrivalled capacity to hold national and international maritime events. Galway has enormous potential to become a leader in the marine world, given it is home to The Marine Institute and The Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and its natural harbour which is a magnificent resource for the city.”

Speaking about the success of SeaFest, Dr. Peter Herffernan said: “This festival would not have been possible without the huge support from a wide range of local, regional and national agencies who came together to plan and stage this largescale event. Our festival volunteers also played an important role in making SeaFest 2017 one to remember.”

Galway Harbour was transformed into a giant interactive ‘sea world’ for the three day festival and the waterfront was awash with non-stop activities and entertainment for those of all ages. All the events taking place during SeaFest were all free for festival-goers. Crowds got to enjoy thrilling performances and breath-taking aerial acrobatics in the heart of the harbour from World’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and New Zealand’s Beau Weston. Free sailing and kayaking was on offer and the Irish Sailing Association also offered disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend. There were open tours available on a number of vessels in the ship filled harbour including the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer.

The huge display from the Defence Forces was popular with the young and young at heart. BIM and Bord Bia’s Seafood Experience featured live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations, as well as interactive exhibits and displays of live fish and shellfish species. Marine-inspired entrepreneurs based in the West of Ireland shared their stories in the LookWest.ie Marquee. Children got creative with the art and craft workshops in the dedicated Kids Zone, and enjoyed storytelling sessions, face painting and marine-art installations. Roving seafaring entertainment from sword-fighting pirates and giant sea themed puppets also added to the exciting carnival atmosphere. SeaFest 2017 also extended to the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay, and The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science gallery at Galway City Museum, and an exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway, was also part of the festival line-up.

SeaFest returns to Galway June 29th to July 1st 2018

Thank You from SeaFest

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After many months of planning and a fun filled weekend of events in Galway, we bid a fond farewell to SeaFest 2017. It came and went like the surf on the tide!

We’d like to thank everyone who came along and participated in SeaFest – we hope you enjoyed celebrating our seas with us. It was wonderful to see so many happy and inquisitive faces learning all about our marine world, sampling seafood treats, getting out on the water, watching flyboarders doing acrobatics and generally having a great time at our locations around Galway! Our industry events – which increased in number this year – were also highly successful.

Thanks also to all of our stakeholders, partners and sponsors who put in so much effort to help make SeaFest 2017 a success, Thanks also to our festival organiser Arcana, our suppliers and to the media who have shown great support for SeaFest, year on year.

We really appreciate all the volunteers who brought enthusiasm and positivity to visitors at SeaFest. Also a big thanks to the people and businesses of Galway – we couldn’t have done it without you.

SeaFest has quickly become one of the most popular summer festivals in Ireland. It creates awareness of our maritime heritage and celebrates the amazing ways that our seas and oceans enrich our lives.

We’re delighted to be returning to Galway for SeaFest 2018 – we’ll be back 29 June to 1 July next year so make sure to put those dates in your diary. Thanks again for making this year’s festival such a huge success!

#seafest #celebratingourseas

A fintastic finish for final day of SeaFest

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Thousands flocked to Galway Harbour for the third and final day of SeaFest 2017, Ireland’s national maritime festival. SeaFest is on track to be the biggest and most spectacular sea festival ever staged in Ireland. Although a relative newcomer to the festival scene, SeaFest is shaping up to be one of the biggest family festivals in the country, and is expected to have attracted between 80,000 and 100,000 visitors over the three days.

A flotilla of the famous Galway Hookers, setting sail from Galway, was a spectacular sight for festival-goers on the final day of the festival. The action on the water continued with world-champion flyboarders, Kristen Smoyer and Beau Weston, swirling up to 15 metres in the air on pump-powered jet packs in the heart of the harbour.

Visitors also took to the water and gave kayaking and sailing a go, with the Irish Sailing Association also offering disabled access for budding sailors. The tall ship The Phoenix, Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel the Granuaile, and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the RV Celtic Explorer were all open for tours.

BIM and Bord Bia hosted a showcase of Irish seafood as well as live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s top chefs. The dedicated Kids Zone kept little hands busy with art and craft workshops, art installations, storytelling sessions, and face painting. Defence Force displays, traditional boat-building, and talks with marine inspired entrepreneurs entertained all.

Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute was delighted with the number of people who gathered in Galway Harbour to enjoy the festivities.

“SeaFest is all about celebrating the sea, and this weekend proved that the ocean is not only a valuable marine resource, but a source of fun and entertainment and it was great to see so many visitors enjoying the attractions and activities on the water,” Dr Heffernan said.

“This festival would not have been possible without the huge support from a wide range of local, regional and national agencies who came together to plan this event. Our festival volunteers also played an important role in making SeaFest 2017 one to remember.”

‪Taoiseach attends SeaFest 2017

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD was today welcomed to Galway for Ireland’s biggest and most spectacular maritime festival, SeaFest 2017.

‪The Taoiseach greeted festival-goers and enjoyed the huge range of activities and entertainment taking place in Galway Harbour and Docks, on the second day of the event.

Dr. Peter Heffernan CEO Marine Institute with an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD and Hildegarde Naughton TD at Seafest 2017, Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure .

‪The Taoiseach toured scientific vessels and was entertained by the aerial acrobatics from PowerFly’s world champion flyboarders swirling in the air on pump-powered jet packs in the heart of the harbour.

He was also greeted by the Port of Galway Sea Scouts, viewed Saor Bad/Boatbuilders demonstrations and spoke with marine-inspired entrepreneurs in the LookWest.ie Marquee.

Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure

‪Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said, “I am delighted to be in Galway for SeaFest, a great festival that celebrates Ireland’s maritime heritage and raises awareness about the opportunities provided by our ocean. I really enjoyed seeing the ships, seafood displays, water sports and marine science exhibitions. The West of Ireland will benefit greatly from our growing marine economy.”

‪Thousands flocked to Galway Harbour to take part in the packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment. SeaFest is expected to attract between 100,000 over the three days of the festival.

‪The festival showcases Galway as a leading maritime centre, and the west of Ireland is expected to benefit greatly from Ireland’s blue economy, which is estimated to be worth more than €6 billion by 2020.

‪As well as tours of famous ships, and world-champion flyboarders, festival-goers also took to the water, taking advantage of the free sailing and kayaking sessions on offer. The Irish Sailing Association is also offering disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend.

Photo: Andrew Downes, xposure .

‪The three-day festival includes a seafood showcase from BIM and Bord Bia, as well as live cookery and fishmonger demonstrations from some of Ireland’s top chefs. Defence Force Displays, RNLI and Coast Guard air and sea shows were also part of the festival line-up.

‪Children were kept busy creating sea creatures at art and craft workshops, storytelling sessions and touch tank displays. Roving entertainment from bungling buccaneers, comic fisherman and giant angel fish and pirate puppets.

‪The maritime festival also features The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science, a new marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, and a unique exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway. Festivities also extend across Galway, with activities in the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay.

‪Sunday July 2nd is the final day of SeaFest 2017, with activities taking place from 10am to 6pm. For more information and the full festival programme visit www.seafest.ie

Highlights of the ‪Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD visit to SeaFest, thanks to Mixed Bag Media – https://vimeo.com/223945085

 

A swell start to SeaFest

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Repro free: Friday 30th June 2017. A swell start to SeaFest as thousands of visitors turned up in Galway today for the first day of festivities. The national maritime festival is in Galway this weekend (Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd) with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages. Pictured was New Zealand's champion flyboarder Beau Weston. Picture Jason Clarke

Thousands flock west for first day of SeaFest 

Thousands of visitors turned up in Galway today for the first day of SeaFest. If today’s figures are anything to go by and forecasts are right, this year’s SeaFest is set to be ‘the biggest and most spectacular’ sea festival ever staged in Ireland. The national maritime festival is in Galway this weekend (Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd) with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages.

A relative new comer to the festival scene, SeaFest is only in its third year, but it has already inspired the hearts and minds of many. Having grown from a relatively small event, attracting 10,000 visitors in 2015, it is now one of the biggest family friendly festivals of its kind in the country, and is expected to attract between 80,000 and 100,000 to Galway over the weekend.

Famous ships, flyboarding, sensational seafood and Defence Force displays drew the crowds to the opening day of SeaFest. Galway Harbour has been transformed into a giant, interactive “sea world” with the entire waterfront awash with non-stop water based activity for the festival. Every inch of the port is crammed with boats, over 100, of all shapes and sizes, including sailing, scientific and navy ships. Visitors can climb aboard and explore the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the Celtic Explorer. Free sailing and kayaking sessions are also on offer to get people out on the water and amongst Galway’s ship-filled harbour. The Irish Sailing Association’s ‘Try Sailing’ sessions are also offering disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend.

World’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and New Zealand’s Beau Weston, champion flyboarder and extreme sports expert, are stunning crowds with their breath-taking aerial acrobatics as they swirl in the air on pump-powered jet packs in the heart of the harbour.

BIM and Bord Bia are showcasing the finest of Irish seafood and hosting  live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations with top chefs Rory O’Connell, Oliver Dunne and Michael O’Meara. LookWest.ie are presenting a line-up of talks and displays from marine-inspired entrepreneurs. There is traditional boat building, RNLI and Coast Guard air and sea rescue demonstrations and kids were busy creating their own sea creatures and exploring the deep sea in the Kids Zone.​ Roving seafaring entertainment including sword-fighting buccaneers, the colourful and comic ‘Claddagh Clan’, and giant sea-themed puppets exploding onto the street add to the exciting carnival atmosphere.

The festival also features the Wild Atlantic- Sea Science, a new marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, and a unique exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway. Festivities will also extend across Galway, with activities taking place in the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay.
SeaFest will continue over the weekend, with activities taking place from 10am to 6pm each day.

For more information visit www.seafest.ie

 

NUI Galway Hosts Marine Events to celebrate SeaFest 2017

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As part of SeaFest 2017, which opens this weekend in Galway, NUI Galway is hosting several events to celebrate and highlight the importance of business development and research in the marine industry.

A two-day Marine Trade Show will take place this week 29-30 June, in a purpose-built marquee on the grounds of NUI Galway, to coincide with the Digital Ocean Conference and Our Ocean Wealth Summit as part of SeaFest 2017. The Marine Trade Show will showcase some of the highly innovative products and services emerging from companies across all sectors of the marine economy.

Over 60 organisations will display their products and services in the Trade Show marquee on the College Lawn and in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway where exhibitors will showcase their cutting-edge research and products that contribute to the marine industry.  Participating industry exhibitors include; JFC Marine, RealSim Marine, Éire Composites Teoranta, Wood Group Kenny, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, The Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, Planet Ocean, Marine Institute – Ireland’s Digital Ocean and Microsoft Ireland.

On Friday, 30 June the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway will host ‘Our Ocean Wealth Summit’. Now in its fourth year, the Summit forms a key part of the Government’s integrated plan for Ireland’s marine sector, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, and will bring together world renowned speakers, industry experts, business development agencies and the Irish business and marine research community for focused discussions on this year’s theme of ‘Rethinking Boundaries and Innovation for a Sustainable Marine Economy’. The Summit is sponsored by PwC Ireland. Speakers include Tom Kelley of award-winning global design and development firm, IDEO, who will inspire business leaders to engage in creative thinking and challenge perspectives to encourage new ideas and approaches on how Ireland can continue to transform its marine industry. Tom Kelley will be joined by a host of national and international thought leaders and industry experts including Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist of the Institute of International and European Affairs; Miguel Marques, Partner and Economist of the Sea, PwC Portugal; Terry Garcia, former VP National Geographic and CEO of Exploration Ventures; Andrew McDowell, VP, European Investment Bank; Wendy-Watson Wright, CEO of Ocean Frontier Institute Canada, and many more.

The Digital Ocean – Ireland’s Marine Engineering and Technology Conference, will also be held as part of SeaFest 2017 and will take place on Thursday, 29 June. This event will build on the success of the inaugural Digital Ocean Conference in 2016 and will highlight how technology companies are driving new forms of innovation in Ireland’s blue economy. Ireland is internationally recognised as a leading hub for marine technology innovation due to its significant marine resource, its leading technology expertise and its world-class test-bed infrastructures. The conference will feature a selection of international marine technology companies; innovative Irish Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs); and Ireland’s world-class technology and research centres. The programme will focus on specific opportunities for technology innovations to drive the global blue economy.

A unique exhibition on Roald Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole, Cold Recall – Roald Amundsen’s Reflections from the South Pole will continue to run in the main foyer of the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. The exhibition is based on images from the original lantern slides that Norwegian Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen used in public lectures about his expeditions through the Northwest Passage and to the South Pole.  Amundsen was the first in the world to navigate the Northwest Passage and the first to reach the South Pole on 14 December 1911. Norwegian Polar history is closely connected to defining Norway as an independent state in 1905, and to Norway’s position as a state closely connected to the oceans and to polar regions. The exhibition runs until 8 July 2017.

SeaFest will take place from 30 June to 2 July with events for all the family throughout Galway Harbour.

For full details about Our Ocean Wealth Summit, visit: https://www.ouroceanwealth.ie/ and Digital Ocean Conference, visit: https://www.smartocean.ie/digital-ocean .

Galway an Ocean Gateway For Ireland’s New Blue Tech Economy

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According to Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, the combination of serious scientific research which is being done in and out of Galway and the city’s location as an ocean gateway makes it an ideal location to stage an event like Seafest.

“Especially”, he said “as it is happening at a time when Ireland is becoming a global hub for blue technology, with a number of companies providing world-class expertise in specialised areas of the marine sector such as data analytics, marine electronics, and the design and build of offshore vessels”.

Experts in this field will be addressing the The Digital Ocean Conference in Galway today (Thursday 29th June )and will be outlining the enormous opportunities that exist in this exciting new field where science and technology converge. It is something that Galway and Ireland are both well posed to capitalise on”.

As well as the public festivities, SeaFest includes a number of marine industry events which focus on research, the marine industry and marine technology. The fourth annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit takes place on Friday 30th June at NUIG and will look at strategy, innovation and policy formulation to create a sustainable marine economy for Ireland.

These ambitions are recognised in the Government’s integrated plan for Ireland’s marine sector, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, which aims to double the value of the marine economy’s contribution to GDP by 2030.

Alongside the Digital Ocean Conference at NUI Galway, will be a Marine Trade Show with exhibits from more than 60 organisations. The Trade Show will also mark the first gathering of a newly established Irish Marine Industry Network, which seeks to position Ireland at the forefront of marine innovation.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara’s National Seafood Conference, ‘Winning in a Changing Environment’ will also take place today ( Thursday 29th June). Leading seafood industry experts and commentators will focus on sustainability and innovation and the latest polices shaping the global seafood industry.

Life and the Sea – A Commemorative event at SeaFest

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A civic and military service to remember all those who have lost their lives at sea and recognising the heroism of the men and women of our rescue services

Date:                 Friday 30th June 2017

Time:                 6.30pm

Location:         Central Pier, Galway Harbour

The major maritime festival which opens in Galway tomorrow – SeaFest – is to hold a civic and military service on Friday to remember all who have lost their lives at sea and to recognise the heroism of all in the rescue services.

Mayor of Galway, Pearce Flannery, will address the special commemoration which will take place at 6.30pm at Galway Harbour.

Poems will be read by Tony Hiney, the Community Fundraising Manager of the Western Region of the RNLI and Megan Grinrod, Coastguard Volunteer with the Doolin Unit.

There will also be musical performances while Minister of State, Sean Kyne, accompanied by Mayor Flannery, the RNLI, Coastguard, Naval Service and Air Corp Representatives will lay a wreath.

A lone piper will play on the deck of the LE Ciara and this will be followed by Ship Horns and a flyover by the Air Corps.

SeaFest set to make a splash this weekend

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Thousands of visitors will flock to Galway this weekend for what is expected to be the “biggest and most spectacular” sea festival ever staged in Ireland. The national maritime festival, SeaFest, returns to Galway, Friday June 30th to Sunday July 2nd with a packed programme of free, family friendly activities and entertainment on offer for all ages.

A relative new comer to the festival scene, SeaFest is only in its third year, but it has already inspired the hearts and minds of many.  Having grown from a relatively small event, attracting 10,000 visitors in 2015,  it is now one of the biggest family friendly festivals in the country, and is expected to attract between 80,000 and 100,000 to Galway this weekend.

Visitors can enjoy famous ships, flyboarding, seafood, sailing and lots more as Galway Harbour and docks transforms into a giant, interactive “sea world” for the three day festival with the entire waterfront awash with non-stop water based activity. Every inch of the port will be crammed with boats, over 100, of all shapes and sizes, including sailing, scientific and navy ships. Visitors can climb aboard and explore the tall ship The Phoenix, the Irish naval vessel LÉ Ciara, the Commissioners of Irish Lights Granuaile and the Marine Institute’s research vessel the Celtic Explorer. Free sailing and kayaking sessions will get people out on the water and amongst Galway’s ship-filled harbour. The Irish Sailing Association’s ‘Try Sailing’ sessions will also offer disabled access for budding sailors over the weekend.

For the first time ever Galway will see the world’s Ladies Flyboard champion Kristen Smoyer and veteran Mark Baxter in action, powering through the air on swirling jets of seawater and performing breath-taking acrobatics in a number of thrilling performances planned each day over the festival.

BIM and Bord Bia will host a showcase of the finest of Irish seafood and live cookery and fishmongery demonstrations with top chefs Rory O’Connell, Oliver Dunne and Michael O’Meara. LookWest.ie will present a line-up of talks and displays from marine-inspired entrepreneurs. There’ll be traditional boat building demonstrations, a huge display from the Defence Forces and RNLI and Coast Guard air and sea rescue demonstrations.  There’s plenty of fun activities for children of all ages in the dedicated Kids Zone including the Seven Seas Art Workshop, the Sea Sanctuary Zone and a touch tank of marine animals to name a few. Roving seafaring entertainment including sword-fighting buccaneers, the colourful and comic ‘Claddagh Clan’, and giant sea-themed puppets exploding onto the streets will all add to the exciting carnival atmosphere.

The festival also features the Wild Atlantic- Sea Science, a new marine science gallery at Galway City Museum, and a unique exhibition on polar explorer Roald Amundsen at NUI Galway. Festivities will also extend across Galway, with activities taking place in the Latin Quarter, Salthill and Rusheen Bay.

Festival-goers can make the most of the SeaFest experience by downloading the new SeaFest App. The free App, available on Google Play and the App Store, will provide easy access to the full festival programme of activities, visitor information and maps, and all the latest news and social media updates.  You can also find out more and see the full programme of activities on www.seafest.ie

Ireland’s Biggest Tented Sea Village Gets Under Way

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Work on construction of the SeaFest dockside Tented Village got under way on Monday as construction teams moved in erect the  pavilions and marquees which will house interactive marine exhibitions; business and “creative entrepreneur” presentations and shows  as well as a daily seafood extravaganza and cookery demonstrations.

The first of the 100 ships and boats which will cram the harbour during SeaFest arrived on Monday afternoon.

The beautiful traditional, wooden, gaff-rigged  sail training ketch ”The Brian Boru” had sailed from Sligo with  12 trainees on board. When it leaves Galway at the end of SeaFest it will take another 12 trainees on its next voyage to Limerick. They will include children from the Aran Islands and members of the migrant community now living in Galway city.  The boat is operated by Safe Haven Ireland, an organisation that empowers young people through youth development initiatives including voluntary sail training.

According to Galway Harbour Master, Captain Brian Sheridan, “every inch of the port will be crammed with boats, probably over 100 in all, including sailing, scientific and navy ships, while the entire waterfront will be awash with spectacle, razzamatazz and non-stop water based activity. It is going to be an extraordinary sight”.

Among the ships due in during the week – all of which will be open to the public – will be the naval vessel the LÉ Ciara; The Marine Institute research vessel the “Celtic Explorer”, The  Commissioners of Irish Lights vessel, “Granuaile” and the famous Tall Ship “The Phoenix” which is sailing from Liverpool and will be making its first ever stop over in Kilronan on the Aran Islands.

All week Johnny’ Donnelly’s Arcana events management team have been working on the dramatic water based and street performances which will be among the highlights of the festival.

He says” Galway continues to produce some of the country’s greatest festivals based on everything from street theatre and the arts to horse-racing and oyster eating.  Seafest offers visitors the incredible and unique opportunity to engage with the sea and all it affords us.

“It has created  a way of getting across some very serious messages on the  state of our oceans, the natural environment and our planet in an amazing entertaining, educational and fun-filled way.

“It is going to be a great place for families to spend the weekend. It really is a unique festival.”