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Festivals

Further information for the festivals listed below can be found at the Clare information site(www.clare.ie) Also keep an eye out for the Kilkee festivals on http://www.kilkeefestival.com/ for updates on the festivals in Kilkee town.

Hell of the West Triathlon

The Hell of the West Triathlon has been run by Limerick Triathlon Club for 28 years making it the oldest race in the country. Voted by athletes as the Vodafone Race of the Year in 2010 it also deservedly has the reputation of having the best after race party in the country. Athletes will have to endure a 1,500m swim off the blue flag beach, a tough 44km cycle on quiet country roads followed by a hilly out and back 10km run on a beautiful cliff top road, where they will finish on the seafront of Kilkee where hundreds of supporters will cheer them home.

Kilkee Maritime Festival

The Kilkee Maritime Festival promises plenty of maritime activities to look forward to. Highlight is Currach Regatta on Sunday with BBQ on pier. Monster raft race, water activities including kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing & sailing. Sand castle competition, face painting, treasure hunt, street parade, pony rides, puppet shows, beach BBQ, Kilkee Marine Rescue Open Day & lots more.

Kilkee Beach Rugby

Part of the ITRA Festival Series, Kilkee Beach Tag is a hugely popular event each summer, due the local community’s wholehearted embracement of all things tag rugby for the weekend! Over 300 fit male and female tag players descend on the town with much of the local accommodation snapped up weeks in advance. The weekend kicks off as it means to go on with a Mixed Killer Pool Competition on Friday with great cash prizes to be won. Saturday is the main day of action with a Beach Tag Rugby tournament during the afternoon on the spectacular beach.

Nell Galvin Festival

Ellen (Nell) Galvin as she was locally known was born Ellen McCarthy and lived at Ballydineen, Knockalough, Co. Clare. She learned to play the concertina and fiddle at a very young age and her Teacher was Garret Barry the famous blind Piper from Inagh Co. Clare. At the age of 14 the Blind Piper insisted that she would be entered for her first “Feis” Competition in Ennis and she won the competition playing the fiddle. At the age of 18 she was again entered for the Munster Championships in Ennis on both the Fiddle and Concertina. Here she brought off a remarkable double, winning on both instruments.

Kilkee Strand Races

The Kilkee Strand horse races are one of the most colourful attractions in Kilkee. It is a one day racing festival with seven races on the card. The Kilkee promenade acts like a grand stand with a perfect view of all the races that take place on the beach. These races have been held continuously for over two centuries, even before the town was built. Today’s racing is a far cry from the informal challenges of the gambling gentry of years gone by. Nowadays they are run under Pony Club Rules and on course bookies are fully licensed.

Che Do Bheatha Festival

The festival celebrates not only Che Guevara’s visit to Kilkee in 1961 but also all things cultural from Latin-America. The iconic poster and tee-shirt image of Che Guevara was born as a result of a chance meeting between the artist Jim Fitzpatrick and Che Guevara in Kilkee’s Marine Hotel in 1961. Che Guevara and his entourage of 35 were on their way from Prague to Havana and were fog-bound en-route through Shannon Airport. They ended up staying in Kilkee overnight on 12 September, 1961 in the Strand Hotel in the town. 2011 saw the 50th anniversary of his visit and so the ‘Che do Bheatha’ Latin-American Cultural Festival was born.

Fleadh Nua Festival

Fleadh Nua is a festival which celebrates Irish Traditional Music, Singing and Dancing at the end of May each year. In 2014 we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Fleadh Nua in Ennis with a programme of more than 120 events, including concerts, ceilis, lectures, CD launches, singing sessions, set dancing & sean-nós dancing competitions, pub sessions and a host of other activities. The medieval streetscape, the friendly pubs and restaurants and the wonderful Glór theatre, make Ennis the ideal location for this famous festival.

Ennis Street Festival

The Ennis Street Festival represents the Art and Culture of Ennis and Co. Clare, and offers our whole community and visitors a family-friendly safe opportunity to enjoy something different during the first week of July in Ennis Town. More than 200 people, between local artists, the local community groups and the festival team are working hard to make sure everyone has the opportunity to take part and enjoy this fantastic week.

Willie Clancy Summer Festival

Learn of the traditional culture, arts, language and literature that County Clare is renowned for during this week long exposition.  The Willie Clancy Festival is held annually since 1973 in memory of the piper Willie Clancy.  The Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy is Ireland’s largest traditional music Summer School. During the week, students from every part of the world attend daily classes taught by experts in Irish music and dance.  In addition, a full program of lectures, recitals, dances and exhibitions are run by the Summer School.

West Clare Drama Festival

Three-act plays by Irish and international writers performed by amateur groups from around the country. Established in 1962 to foster, encourage and acknowledge the efforts of amateur drama groups in rural Ireland. Since its inception, the festival has grown from strength to strength developing from a 5 night festival to an 11 night programme. The West Clare Drama Festival has become a constant feature of the social and festival calendar of the locality with strong audience attendance each night as well as contributing patrons and a team of volunteers each year.

Doonbeg Jazz Festival

The Doonbeg International Jazz Festival will be inviting old friends and new to come together and celebrate 15 years of Jazz in Doonbeg, and, once again, the June Weekend promises to be a great one for Jazz fans. With excellent bands from Germany, The Netherlands and all over Ireland, and a full programme of performances throughout the weekend, as well as a Children’s Musical Fun Day, there will something for everyone to enjoy.