A giant screen has been organised by Scariff Harbour Festival Committee for festival patrons unable to travel to Thurles for the hurling semi-final replay against Galway on Sunday 5th August.
It is expected that large crowds will come to support the Banner Boys and their joint managers, Scariff man, Donal Moloney and Killanena born, Gerry O’Connor.
‘It will be fantastic climax to the Harbour Festival if we could witness Clare go forward to another All-Ireland,’ said an excited GAA man and Chair of the Harbour Festival Committee, Mike Rodgers. ‘To accommodate our festival goers, we are erecting a 15ft x 9ft screen on the Fair Green. The atmosphere is expected to be electric, if it’s anything like the heart-stopping games we have witnessed in the last week,’ he said.
It will top off a bumper line-up of events, a mix of hair-raising adventures, activities and a diverse range of music. Kayak on the Scariff River, bob in a water zorb or scale a climbing wall are some of the thrills and spills you can have in the east Clare town with Get West. For the less energetic, there are boat trips, walks, talks and tours or simply ramble among the street stalls, watch traditional crafts in the making or a pig being roasted on a spit!
‘It is a true family festival with something for everyone. No matter what age, we can guaranteee that no one is excluded and all for the price of €5 wristband,’ said Organising Committee Treasurer, Donie Bane. ‘It has got to be the best value week-end around,’ he said.
The 16th Harbour Festival will be opened on Friday evening by former Armagh footballer and Sports pundit, Oisin McConville. This follows a unique evening performance on Thursday, at the Church of the Sacred Heart by Louise Morrissey, the only paid ticketed event of the Festival.
The fact that Oisin is coming to Scariff is testament to a commitment made back in 2003 to maintain a link with Northern Ireland through the navigable rivers developed and maintained by Waterways Ireland. The North/South Implementation body formed in 1999, post the Good Friday Agreement has been a loyal supporter of the Festival since its inception.
Oisin McConville, who has his own story to tell, will read from his book The Gambler and engage with the audience at Scariff Library. He will also attend the Game of Three Halves, an initiative first introduced by former Ireland and British & Ireland Lions rugby player, Trevor Ringland when he came to Scariff in 2012.
The idea behind the initiative was to bring young people together from different communities through sport. It has continued at Scariff Festival since then. The Armagh Rhymers will also be in full flow at this year’s festival.
Jake Carter and Bressie and the Blizzards will ensure that Scariff pops and rocks over the week-end. Now a household name as winner of Dancing with the Stars this year, Jake Carter is a pop star in the ascendency and is expected to draw a big following to the Fair Green on Friday night. While Ironman, Bressie and the Blizzards, who come into their own in live performances will rock-up the town on Saturday evening.
Come to East Clare and there is always trad music. The Star of Munster Céilí Band will play for an Open-Air Céilí on Sunday evening followed by the Kings of Connaught, young east Galway lads who are keeping alive the culture and heritage of the Irish ballad. Having launched the Manchester Irish Festival, they are planning their next tour of the UK to include Europe.
One of the highlights of the Scariff Harbour Festival is the Queen of the Waterways event culminating in the crowning of the 2018 Queen on Sunday evening. On Friday evening they will be introduced to the audience at the Opening of the Festival at the Harbour, followed by an interview selection process on Saturday, ahead of the on-stage public interview by Ciana Campbell on Sunday evening after which this year’s Queen will be crowned.
Karena O’Brien, who is the current Mayor of Tuamgraney and a member of the Harbour Festival Committee, first introduced the concept to the Festival line-up many years ago and has been co-ordinating this event ever since. ‘It’s always exciting and a wonderful opportunity for the young women of east Clare to express themselves with confidence and pride,’ she said. ‘They come from all over east Clare, from Scariff itself, Mountshannon, Whitegate, Killanena, Tuamgraney and Tulla and they form a great bond and on-going friendships,’ said Karena. ‘I am so grateful to Joanne’s Boutique in Killaloe and Martina in ‘In-Season Flowers’ for helping us make this part of the Festival possible,’ she said.
Waterways Ireland Scariff Harbour Festival runs from Thursday night 2nd August to Sunday 5th August. Other musical acts include Static Vision, the Gearóid Devanny Band and Trad at the Harbour. The highly successful Kids Fun Zone is back, Fishing for Kids, Creative Arts & Craft Workshops, MET Trainer, Noel Collins, Mass at the Cappabane Mass Rock, Irish Dancing and hosts more. See www.scariffharbourfestival.ie