AN FULACHT FIA INTERNATIONAL BBQ FESTIVAL 2013: The towns of Ballina and Killaloe are gearing up for the 2013 International Barbecue Festival, which will take place on Saturday, August 31st. This year’s festival packs a punch with a week-long programme of culinary events, starting with the arrival of the “Cannonball Run” charity “Supercar” event on Sunday, August 25th in aid of the Laura Lynn House when up to 140 supercars, including Masorati, Lamborghini, Mercedes and BMW will be on display. It will culminate with the International Barbecue Competition at Flanagan’s on the Lake on Saturday August 31. Twenty-five teams from the US, UK, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland will battle it out for the coveted prize of the International Fulacht Fia Cup. The competition will be overseen by the Irish Barbecue Association (IBBQA) who will be on hand throughout the week promoting and demonstrating safe and fun methods of barbecuing for all the family. A major feature on the day will be the re-creation of the Fulacht Fia, the ancient cooking pit of Na Fianna, the legendary soldiers of the High Kings of Ireland. The BBQ competition starts at mid-day Saturday, August 31st at Flanagan’s on the Lake, Ballina Quay. A great family fun-day is in store with live music by Lucky Bones. Proceeds from the main events at the festival will be donated to the Ballina-Killaloe RFC. Your support throughout the week will be greatly appreciated by the organisers of the Gathering International Barbecue and Food Fair. On Sunday, September 1st, Ken Switzer from IBBQA will give a barbecue demonstration and display, which will be followed by another BBQ Garden Party at The Lakeside Hotel.
For further information you may contact Cathal Quinn on 087 6445752.
KEEPING UP THE FAMILY TRADITION: Laura Mc Grath, daughter of Christy and Betty, Cloonfadda, Killaloe competed at the Regional Surf Lifesaving Nipper competition in Tramore on Saturday, August 10 where, coming in second place, she qualified for the National competition, which will take place at Brittas Bay on August 31st. Laura will represent Clare in the u.10 swimming competition. In Tramore over 70 young Surf lifesavers represented Clare and competed in Open Water events (sea) against Munster teams from Cork and Waterford.
The sport of Surf lifesaving is a unique and multi-disciplined one, which originated in Australia. Laura and her team mates have been training at Clare’s beaches with Clare Water Safety instructors since the beginning of the school summer holidays. She is an “all round” sports person who has competed this year on the Killaloe Girls’ Primary School camogie team and also came fourth in the Cycling category in Munster group Clare Community Games 2013.
Laura’s brother, Jonathan is currently competing at the IPC World Swimming Championships in Montreal, Canada where he is competing in the 400 Freestyle and a Relay event along with five other teammates. The Irish team all competed at the2012 London Paralympic Games and two members of the team, Bethany Firth and Darragh Mc Donald, won Gold in their events in London. We wish Jonathan and his team the best of luck in Montreal and hopefully he will reap the reward of his ‘gruelling’ training sessions that start as early as 5am.
For several decades the Mc Grath family members have been involved in the organisation of water-based activities on the Shannon. Laura and Jonathan’s father, Christy and his brother Paul are the main organisers of the annual Christmas Day Swim at the Two-Mile-Gate.
LOCAL INVOLVEMENT AT MILWAUKEE FESTIVAL: Killaloe-Ballina was well represented at the world’s largest Irish Culture Festival, which was held in Milwaukee from August 15 to August 18. Deirdre Scanlan, Michael Hackett and Paul Smyth represented Kincora Traditional Weekend Festival: Paula O’Regan and her daughter, Alisha Mc Mahon represented the local East Clare Comhaltas and historian, Una Kierse delivered a talk on Brian Ború.
The Milwaukee Irish Fest, established in 1981, continues to showcase the best of Irish music, dance, sports, culture, drama and history and attracts an estimated 150,000 festival-goers annually.
With the successful inauguration of the Kincora Traditional Weekend Festival in April, the Tipperary Fleadh Cheoil in May and the successful contribution of East Clare and Ormond Comhaltas, interest and involvement in traditional music is fast growing in our district. RTE’s Nationwide on August 14th featured an interview with Deirdre Scanlan who was conducting a singing workshop at the Derry Fleadh Cheoil prior to her departure to Milwaukee and also a short performance by her students. Her father Michael, a close friend of the late Robbie Mc Mahon was involved in recent tributes to the legendary singer/songwriter on RTE’s “Rolling Wave” programme and at the 2013 Feakle Festival.
QUAY ARTS MARKET: The first monthly indoor ‘Arts Market’ will be held at Quay Arts on this Sunday, August 25 from 11am to 3pm. A wide range of ceramics, jewellery, woodturning, glass and felting will be available. A Barbeque Week Art Competition will also run at Quay Arts. Junior pictures of “BBQ at Flanagan’s” can be entered during the current week at the “Drop in Art” from Wednesday to Saturday. Short listed Artists’ Wine Reception will be held on Monday, August 26. A popular vote during barbecue week will help determine the winners of the €300 prize fund.