Take a Voyages of Discovery in the First Ever Festival of the Pirate Queen with Entertainment, Craft Beer, Adventure Racing, Yawl Racing & more
It’s been over 500 years since the Pirate Queen, Grace O’Malley, commanded the seas from Scotland to Spain from the West Coast of Ireland. Can any modern day woman match the determination and bravery of this great Irish legend?
The organisers of a new adventure race have thrown down the gauntlet to the women of Ireland ! This unique event will take place on Saturday the 14th of September on Clare Island . The race course is over 26.6km and involves running, cycling, climbing and walking the plank…
The adventure race is part the “Festival of the Pirate Queen” which will run for the first time from the 13th - 15th September. This new festival - celebrating the life of Grace O’Malley, one of the most inspirational women in Irish history – will take place throughout Clew Bay , the land base for her sea-faring adventures and her old stomping ground. Enjoy a whole range of heritage events, outdoor adventure activity, sailing, entertainment, food & drink throughout the bay in Westport , Clare Island , Louisburgh and Achill Island .
There's something for everyone whether its sampling the delights of craft beer at the Grainne Ale Festival at Westport House, enjoying the spectacle of traditional Yawl Racing on Achill Island, learning the story behind the legend through the many heritage tours, shows and lectures on offer, not to mention heaps of live entertainment across Clew Bay including a medieval village with re-enactments, street performers, Irish music, song and dance.
Voyages of Discovery through Heritage & Historical Events
Learn about the life & times of Grace O’Malley through talks, displays and tours. Highlights include:
· A Maritime Icon – learn the historical reality of this extraordinary leader from her official biographer and historian, Anne Chambers. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about this fascinating icon woman from a passionate and engaging historian.
· Medieval Village – get a slice of 16th century life with displays of craft, cookery, games and even combat displays!
· The Grace O’Malley Coach Tour with Westport Heritage Centre – visit the sites of her castles throughout the bay and two exhibitions in Louisburgh & Westport House.
· Grace O’Malley at Westport House – learn of the connection between this historic house - still owned and run by her descendants, her 14th great grand-daughters – in a 30 minute tour and visit her statue and what is left of her dungeons.
Get Out There with the Active & the Adventurous
· Compete for the Crown of the Pirate Queen in the Ladies Adventure Race on Clare Island on Saturday, 14th.
· Enjoy the spectacle of traditional Yawl racing and celebrate its tradition by Grace O’Malley’s Achill Island castle in Kildawnet.
· Take the Pirate Queen’s Passage where you’ll first hop on your bike to cycle the Great Western Greenway, board a boat to see Yawl Racing in Achill, catch & cook your lunch before sailing back to Westport .
Enjoy a Pirate’s Hospitality with Craft Beer & Food
· The Grainne Ale Festival – taking place Saturday & Sunday afternoons in Westport House - will celebrate a return to traditional brewing methods and showcase a range of Irish ale houses with samples – and musical entertainment too!
· Enjoy a delicious Taste of Louisburgh with local foods & flavours provided on stalls in the centre of this pretty town.
· A Seafood Banquet fit for a Queen will be served in Patten’s Bar in Achill on Saturday from 9pm with traditional Ceili with Scoil Acla’s acclaimed musicians.
Be Entertained All Weekend Long
· Enjoy traditional music, Sean Nos and more modern Irish dancing in The Legend of Grainne Mhaol Show in Hotel Westport on Friday at 8:30pm
· Street Performers in Westport on Saturday will include the incredible Fanzini Brothers and the Monsieur Gusto Show, Funky Fii and Hakuna Matata
· Traditional music, ceili, photography exhibitions and more all weekend long.
For more information and full programme details, see www.piratequeenfestival.ie