Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative 2016

Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative offered to Loughrea Medieval Festival

Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative offered to Loughrea Medieval Festival

It’s grant funding season and Loughrea Medieval Festival are delighted to receive news, via Galway County Council Evaluation panel for the Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative, that the Loughrea Medieval Festival (26th – 28th August, 2016) has been approved for the maximum sum of €1000.

The Community Tourism Diaspora Initiative 2016 is a joint partnership between Galway County Council (galway.ie), IPB Insurance (ipb.ie) and Fáilte Ireland (failteireland.ie).

The amount awarded will be based on the number of overseas visitors attending the Loughrea Medieval Festival weekend. The minimum offered under this initiative is €500 and the maximum €3,000.

Galway County Council support Loughrea Medieval Festival under Community Support Scheme 2016

Support from Galway County Council under the Community Support Scheme 2016

Support from Galway County Council under the Community Support Scheme 2016

Great start to the grant application process – on Friday last, April 8, 2016 Loughrea Medieval Festival committee received written confirmation that the Loughrea Medieval Festival been approved heritage support funding by Galway County Council under the Community Support Scheme 2016.

This funding will make a healthy difference to the free events planned for the public on the last weekend of August, Friday 26th – Sunday 28th August.

Loughrea Medieval Festival is set to return for a third year and would like to thank and acknowledge the support of Galway County Council.

Loughrea Medieval Festival Food & Craft Market

Loughrea Medieval Festival Opportunities for Local Businesses

Loughrea Medieval Festival Opportunities for Local Businesses

Loughrea Medieval Festival are actively seeking involvement from the local business sector for this year’s festival.

With almost 15,000 people passing through the 2015 Festival in just 3 days, it is a great opportunity to connect with customers, meet new customers and market your business. Loughrea Medieval Festival is a fun and educational family free event, which will take place from Friday, 26th August to Sunday 28th August, 2016 in Loughrea, County Galway as part of The Irish Walled Towns Network celebrations of National Heritage Week.

Ways your business can get involved
– Food Trail
– Inn Trail
– Friend of the Festival – show your support for the festival
– Best Dressed Medieval Window Display Competition
– Food & Craft Market Stall on Walled Towns Day @ Fairgreen
– As an inclusive festival, the festival committee welcome any suggestions/ideas you may have

To get your business involved in the Loughrea Medieval Festival 2016 email loughreamedievalfestival@gmail.com

Loughrea Medieval Festival Food & Craft Market

River Art Supplies announced Best Dressed Medieval Window Display Competition Winners

River Art Supplies announced Best Dressed Medieval Window Display Competition Winners

On the run up to the Loughrea Medieval Festival 28th-30th August, businesses in Loughrea were invited to take part in the Best Dressed Medieval Window Display Competition.

Loughrea Medieval Festival Committee in partnership with Loughrea Chamber of Commerce are delighted to announce the ‘Best Dressed Medieval Window Display Competition’ Winner is River Art Supplies, Main Street, Loughrea.

River Art Supplies Best Dressed Medieval Window Display Competition Loughrea

Due to the effort and standard of window displays this year, two ‘Highly Commended’ awards have also been announced (in no particular order)
Brogan’s total health Pharmacy, Main Street, Loughrea

Brogan's total health Pharmacy Loughrea
It’s U Hair Salon/It’s U Mo Chúisle, Dunkellin Street, Loughrea

Big thank you to Loughrea Chamber of Commerce and to all the businesses in Loughrea who supported the Loughrea Medieval Festival this year.

Loughrea’s Second Medieval Festival a Great Success

Loughrea’s Second Medieval Festival a Great Success

Loughrea’s Second Medieval Festival a Great Success

Loughrea was packed to capacity last weekend with 14858 people from at home and abroad attending the various events held in the town of Loughrea as part of Loughrea’s Medieval Festival.

Cllr. Michael Maher, Chairperson Loughrea Medieval Festival Committee said that ‘The partnership between local businesses, local communities, Galway County Council, The Irish Walled Towns Network and the Heritage Council in developing the Medieval Festival is very welcome and much needed to promote and sustain our community, our heritage and be a driver for tourism for the town and hinterland.’

The weekend commenced with a wonderful Medieval Banquet in the Loughrea Hotel and Spa. Over 250 people attend this night of fun and merriment and several dressed up in very impressive medieval costumes.
The Temperance Hall was the centre of medieval creativity for over 450 children where they part-took in medieval games and archaeologist Anne Carey introduced a number of them to the skills of medieval calligraphy and investigated the amazing gold works of the period. Over 400 people attended the jousting picnic at the ‘Walks’ where medieval Knights battled it out on horse-back.

The Temperance Hall was also the venue for an outstanding puppet shows and paper bag puppet making by Carmel Balfe. Carmel and her puppet show was a great hit with all the children and the adults on the day.

Loughrea Library hosted two packed to capacity heritage lectures one was a fascinating lecture by Clodagh Doyle from the National Museum about early hair hurling balls, while Dr. Jim McKeon gave a very insightful talk on the archaeology of medieval Loughrea. This was followed by genealogical workshops from Western Family History Association, East Galway Genealogical Centre and Ireland Reaching Out.

Several restaurants, pubs, bakeries and businesses offered medieval fine dining and sustinance over the weekend and a number of shops decorated their windows with various medieval themes.

Over 100 people took the opportunity to visit Clonfert Diocesan museum and view their wonderful medieval collection that includes the Kilcorban Madonna that dates from c1180AD and the ‘Matheus Macraith’ chalice that is over 500 years old.

New additions to the weekend this year was the medieval tavern trail, the tug-o-war and the medieval busking competition that drew large crowds.

In excess of 240 people attended a wonderful Latin mass in the ruins of the Carmelite Abbey. It was a very moving and atmospheric event with mass commencing at dusk. There mellifluous singing of the choir added to the ambience of the mass. Many of those in attendance had never been in the ruined abbey previously.

People had the opportunity to travel back in time to medieval Loughrea where they could see a 3D model of the town with its moat, earthen banks, the priory, castle and see the inhabitants who lived in the town. This project is being developed by Realsim, a gaming company and is being funded by Loughrea Medieval Festival Committee, Galway County Council and the Heritage Council.

Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer, Galway County Council said ‘Galway County Council, the Heritage Council and the Irish Walled Town Networks are very pleased to work with and assist Loughrea Medieval Festival in developing this excellent festival for the Medieval town of Loughrea’. She added that ‘it was important to raise awareness, understanding and knowledge of the incredible medieval asset the town possesses and to use this potential for educational, tourism and economic benefits’.

Sunday saw a group of over 100 people start the day off with heritage walks around the town with Colman Shaughnessy and Joe Loughnane. This was followed by a Grand Clan Parade and then by a Walled Towns Family Fun Day. There was an exciting and varied number of displays and events held during the day such as a medieval weapons talk and demonstration, butter making, spinning, basket making, leather works, archers, potters, blacksmiths, woodturning, traditional crafts workshops, archaeological dig, bee keeping, circus skills workshops, traditional games, bubble blowing with fairy stilt walkers, the medieval photo booth, medieval Olympics, boat trips on the lake and an amazing falconry display.

It also saw the launch a special commemorative Loughrea Medieval Coin by Cllr. Peter Roche, Cathaoirleach, Galway County Council. This was followed by the launch of Dr. Fiona Beglane’s magnificent book on ‘Anglo-Norman Parks in Ireland’. The publication includes Earlspark townland near Loughrea which is the best preserved example of a deerpark from this period.

Michelle Mitchell, Loughrea Medieval Festival Committee said ‘the Festival was designed to appeal to people of all ages and was very much inter-generational and family focused. It was also programmed to be interactive and to have a strong medieval educational and awareness building theme’. She added that ‘the committee is very pleased with the number of people attending the event’ and commended all the local people who gave so much of their time in a voluntary capacity to make the weekend an amazing free festival for all.’

Digital 3D Reconstruction of Medieval Loughrea

Digital 3D Reconstruction of Medieval Loughrea

Digital 3D Reconstruction of Medieval Loughrea

Few buildings in Loughrea survive from the medieval period and so Loughrea Medieval Festival committee, with support from Marie Mannion, Heritage Officer with Galway County Council set about providing a 3D vision on the town’s heritage. Thanks to funded by The Heritage Council and Galway County Council, RealSim Galway created a Digital 3D Reconstruction of Medieval Loughrea.

The PhD thesis of Dr. Jim McKeon, ‘Anglo-Norman Frontier Urban Settlement in the Plantagent Realm: Studies from South Connacht’ was used as the main reference document, with Dr Jim McKeon himself acting as advisor on the project.

The use of digitally recreated models not only provides an historical interpretation of Loughrea, but also allows for an interactive educational experience.

Phase 1 of this project gives an overview of Loughrea town and its surrounding landscape and places focus upon St. Mary’s Medieval Carmelite Abbey.

This project was officially launched as part of Loughrea Medieval Festival, on Saturday, 29th August, following Medieval Mass at St. Mary’s Carmelite Abbey. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, a Visual Presentation of the project was viewed on the night by 240 people. A preview was shown to 250 people at the festival Medieval Banquet on Friday, 28th August.

View Phase 1 of Digital 3D Reconstruction of Medieval Loughrea online

An Introduction to the Sacred Art of County Galway

An Introduction to the Sacred Art of County Galway by Dr. Christy Cunniffe, Galway County Council.
St. Mary’s Cathedral, Wednesday, August 26th @ 8 p.m.

This presentation will present and discuss some of the great riches encountered as part of the Galway Ecclesiastical Heritage Audit. The audit has been ongoing for a number of years and has been completed for churches in the Connemara, Gort and Loughrea areas.

The Heritage Office of Galway County Council in conjunction with the various churches commissioned Zena Hoctor (Dare Ltd.) to conduct the audit. Christy Cunniffe, part of that audit team, will discuss some of the many treasures encountered.

Galway is fortunate to have many wonderful examples of Celtic Revival stained glass, and also many other forms
of Church Art executed by an array of important artists and sculptors which will also be discussed.

As part of this special Heritage Week event, Jarlath Canney will also conduct a tour of the beautiful St. Mary’s Cathedral before the lecture. An excellent opportunity to see some of Tuam’s great treasures in an under‐appreciated location.

August Lecture, 2015
Old Tuam Society

Heritage Week Talks form part of Loughrea Medieval Festival 2015

Loughrea Medieval Festival talks form part of Heritage Week

Loughrea Medieval Festival talks form part of Heritage Week

National Heritage Week 2015 will run from August 22nd to 30th. 28th-30th August, Loughrea’s 2nd Medieval Festival will include a number of heritage talks.

Hair of the Bog – Examination of the Collection of Early Hair Hurling Balls in the National Museum of Ireland by Clodagh Doyle
Date: Saturday, 29th August Time: 12.30pm-1.15pm Location: Loughrea Library, Church Street

This talk complements the National Museum of Ireland’s exhibition that is currently on display in the Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, County Mayo. There are currently fourteen hair hurling balls in Irish museum collections. This talk will look at provenance, size, weight and structure of these early hurling balls. It will also look at hurling balls now in use. Cloddagh Doyle is curator in the Irish Folklife Division at the National Museum of Ireland, Castlebar

The Medieval Archaeology of Loughrea

Date: Saturday, 29th August Time: 1.30pm-2.15pm Location: Loughrea Library, Church Street

Looking at the archaeological fabric and historical evidence for Loughrea’s medieval past, this presentation looks at why Loughrea was built, where buildings of importance once stood and how it appeared in its formative years. Dr. Jim McKeon is an experienced archaeologist and a graduate of NUI Galway. His PhD research was on the medieval walled towns of south Connacht and he has published several papers on this topic.

Genealogy and Clan History Workshop

Date: Saturday, 29th August Time: 2.30pm-5pm Location: Loughrea Library, Church Street

Join the Western Family History Association and Monica Hynes from East Galway Heritage Centre for a Genealogy and Clan History Workshop. Expert mentors will be available for individual consultations, to advise visitors on sources and strategies for tracing their family history. The event is open to all, from beginners to those with a more advanced knowledge.

A Heritage Walk and Talk of Old Loughrea
Date: Sunday, 30th August Time: 12.45pm Start Location: Latimer Gate (outside St. Brendan’s Cathedral), Barrack Street
Discover the remnants of the historic medieval town of Loughrea with Colman Shaughnessy and Joe Loughnane, our knowledgeable local guides from Loughrea Memorial Group. This is a walking tour so please wear suitable footwear and clothing.

Talks by Claíomh’s Dave Swift
Date: Sunday, 30th August Location: Loughrea Walled Towns Day, Fairgreen, Gort Road
1.30pm The Crannóg in the Age of Tudor Reconquest
3.00pm Comparing Native Irish Styles with English Tudor Fashion
4.30pm Arms and Armour in the Irish Wars of the 16th Century

Loughrea Medieval Festival, 28th-30th August, 2015, in partnership with The Heritage Council, Irish Walled Towns Network and Galway County Council.

View full programme of events: Loughrea Medieval Festival 2015

Loughrea's 4th Medieval Festival gets go-ahead after Council funding boast

Loughrea Medieval Festival Brochure 2015

Loughrea Medieval Festival 2015

Loughrea Medeival Festival – ‘Gathering of the Clans’
Friday, 28th August – Sunday, 30th August, 2015

Click on the image above, or View the 2015 Loughrea Medieval Festival Brochure

Thanks to partnership with the Heritage Council, Irish Walled Towns Network and Galway County Council, all events on Saturday and Sunday are free of charge. With events ranging from a medieval clan banquet at the Lough Rea Hotel on Friday, 28th August, engaging talks, a special commemorative coin and traditional games, there is something to keep the whole family entertained. Experience all that the middle ages has to offer at Loughrea Walled Towns Day on Sunday 30th, with the grand can parade, living history demonstrations, circus skills workshops, hands on crafts, falconry demonstrations, a food and craft market and lots more.

Medieval Busking Competition

Medieval Busking Competition

Medieval Busking Competition

The Loughrea Medieval Festival Committee is association will local taverns have announced that they will be adding a Medieval Busking Competition to this years festivities.

The search is on to find Loughrea’s best medieval busker. Forming part of Loughrea Medieval Festival ‘Gathering of the Clans’ 28th-30th August, the Medieval Busking Competition is open to all musicians.

The competition will take place around the medieval streets of Loughrea on Saturday 29th and Sunday, 30th August.

Finalists will perform in An Sibin, Dunkellin Street on Sunday, 30th August from 6pm. The short-listed acts will be competing for €750 cash prizes and the coveted prize of being crowned Loughrea’s Best Medieval Busker 2015.

Thanks to partnership with the Heritage Council, Irish Walled Towns Network, and Galway County Council, all events on Saturday and Sunday are free of charge. With events ranging from a medieval clan banquet at the Lough Rea Hotel on Friday, 28th August, engaging talks, a special commemorative coin and traditional games, there is something to keep the whole family entertained. Experience all that the middle ages has to offer at Loughrea Walled Towns Day on Sunday 30th, with the grand can parade, living history demonstrations, circus skills workshops, hands on crafts, falconry demonstrations, a food and craft market and lots more.

View the 2015 Loughreaa Medieval Festival Brochure