|Rory O'Connell, a regular at SeaFest|
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Thursday, January 4, 2018
SeaFest Rotation Gone by the Bord?
Millions Slip Through Cork Nets as Galway Gains
Ireland’s national maritime festival SeaFest attracted 101,113 visitors to Galway Harbour during the three day event in 2017, generating €6.3 million for the city.
The figures, details here, showed a phenomenal 68% growth in attendance in just one year. The 2016 SeaFest saw 60,000 visitors attend the festival in Galway, and in 2015, its inaugural year, it netted 10,000 visitors.
It has been confirmed that SeaFest 2018 will take place in Galway from 29th June to 1st July. It incorporates a series of marine-related business and research events, the annual Our Ocean Wealth Summit, as well as a maritime festival.
Run by the Marine Institute, with major partners BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mara) and Bord Bia, the initial Seafest was held in Ringaksiddy, County Cork, in 2015 when The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was Simon Coveney TD. Report on the Cork event here.
There was much more than fish demos in Ringaskiddy with linked events around the harbour including Captain Your Own Ship in the Simulator of the National Maritime College, the base for the event. There were SeaFest Science Talks, the BIM Beaufort Scale Hurricane Experience, Marine Recreation and Tourism and much more.
It was a two day event and the impression given then was that this festival would “tour” Ireland annually and “plans are in hand to bring it to Galway in 2016”. So Cork is not the only loser as the Festival now seems set for a permanent stay in Galway. Fishing places such as Killybegs (Ireland’s largest fishing port), Dingle, Kilmore Quay, Howth, Greenore, Castletownbere, Burtonport, Dunmore East and Greencastle, and Cork of course, will be wondering and, one suspects, waiting.
Read all about SeaFest and its success in Galway here.