Lots on for Festival of Finn
Organisers are anticipating record crowds for this year’s Festival of Finn which will be officially opened by Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Arkins at the Teach Ceoil, Corofin on this Thursday night at 9.00pm. The festival has a packed programme of events which continue over the Bank Holiday week-end and features a mix of activities, entertainment and competitive fair having local, national and indeed international interest. Should the recent spell of fine weather continue over the next five days a great week-end is in prospect and the hard work of the organising committee will be rewarded. Programmes for the festival can be found in all local businesses.
The Corofin festival introduced the Best Irish Beard and Moustache Championships last year and beard-related events will be very much in evidence over the next few days. This will kick off with the May meeting of The Irish Beard & Moustache Association taking place at Crowley’s Bar, Corofin on this Friday night which will also feature a live band. On Saturday afternoon from 3.00pm to 6.00pm, Corofin GAA complex is the venue for two world record attempts. The first is to try to beat the biggest gathering of beards and moustaches at a single event which currently stands at 462 while a second record attempt will be to form the longest chain of beards ever recorded. This event will feature open air music from The Hooch Hikers as well as other festive activities. On Sunday The Farmyard visitor centre outside Corofin village will host the second Irish Beard and Moustache Championships sponsored by Clare Spring Water and Rochfords Pharmacy.
The annual Pike Angling competition takes place at Lake Inchiquin on this Saturday May 3rd commencing at 10.00am. The organisers stress that buoyancy aids must be worn by all competitors and u-18s must be accompanied by an adult. The prize-giving will be held after the competition at Bofey Quinns in Corofin Village.
The Farmer’s Market returns to Corofin Village on this Saturday from 10.00am with all kinds of local produce and goods on offer. An addition to this event, which is being held at Church Street will be a traditional dancing display from 1.00pm.
Marie McGauran will be the guide for a walk in the Burren National Park also on Saturday for those wishing to taken in some exercise and enjoy the beauty of the Mullaghmore area. Participants will meet at St. Patrick’s Hall at 10.30am and everyone is advised to wear suitable clothing and foot-ware.
Car Treasure Hunt
A popular activity which can be enjoyed by all the family is a Car Treasure Hunt and one such event commences near the Grotto in Corofin Village on Saturday evening at 6.30pm. Prizes will be awarded for the best three finishing teams which will try to solve the fifty or so clues set out for them.
While The Farmyard is the venue for the beard championships on Sunday there will also be plenty of other activities for all the family to enjoy there from 12.30pm on Sunday May 4th. These activities include Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Children’s Dog Show and Story-telling as well as Sheep and Goat racing.
World Stone Throwing
The 15th annual World Stone Throwing Championships take place at Campbell’s Yard in Corofin Village from 4.00pm on Sunday. With both ladies and gents titles to be won competitors are expected from home and abroad. It is hoped that last year’s winners will return to defend their titles in 2014. Proceeds from this event go towards improving and maintaining the Christmas Lights in Corofin each year.
Andy Irvine Concert
Andy Irvine, formerly of the well-known group Planxty, will be the star performer in the traditional music concert which will take place the Teach Ceoil in Corofin on Sunday evening at 8.30pm. The local venue has hosted a series of very successful concerts over the past number of months and Sunday’s event seems likely to be sold out.
Finn Meets Brian
The theme of this year’s Festival of Finn parade through Corofin Village is ‘Finn McCool Meets Brian Boru’ in keeping with the 2014 millennium celebrations. However the organisers will welcome floats and competitors in all kinds of fancy dress for this event which gets under way from the Grotto at 12.30pm on Monday May 5th. While floats go free there is a small entry fee for individual competitors.
Lark At The Lake
Weather permitting a very enjoyable outing is in prospect at Lake Inchiquin Car Park where a host of fun activities are planned on Monday from 2.00pm, including open air music, boat rides, horse-shoe throwing, bouncy castle, bar-b-que and much more. It is planned to provide car parking facilities en route to the lake which everyone is asked to avail of in order to avoid traffic congestion at the venue.
Corofin Camogie Club is organising a sponsored Duck Race as a fund-raising initiative in conjunction with the afternoon entertainment at Lake Inchiquin on Monday at 3.30pm. Sponsorship cards are available from club members as well as being on display in local shops. Meanwhile on the playing front it was a very busy weekend for Corofin Camogie. The Junior team qualified for the League semi-final with a good win over Clooney/Quin on Saturday evening in Clooney on a score of 2-08 to 0-05. Féile was very enjoyable for the U14 side with five games in two days. The Corofin team recorded two victories and a draw and must now wait to see who qualifies for Féile finals.
Following on from the very successful Soccer Sisters training courses organised locally by Corofin Harps a number of challenge games are being arranged on Monday next May 5th to give the players a taste of competitive action. Kilmaley side Fern Celtic will provide the opposition with games taking place for u-8’s, u-10’s and u-12’s and the support of parents and families will be welcomed.
The Burren Tug-O-War Club has returned to competitive action with a bang in recent weeks. On Sunday week they competed in senior competitions at Watergrasshill in Co. Cork in both 640kg and 700kg classes and emerged victorious in both. Thurles race Course in Co. Tipperary was the venue on Sunday last where the local side repeated their success winning out in both senior competitions.
Dromore Wood Nature Reserve
The visitor information centre at Dromore Wood Nature Reserve at Ruan will re-open for the 2014 season on Saturday 3rd May at 10.00 am. The reserve comprises 400 hectares of mature species-rich woodland, wetlands and limestone pavement which can be explored via 20 km of woodland walking trails. The visitor centre will open during May from Wednesday to Sunday 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and daily from Thursday 5th June until the end of August. The nature reserve is open daily although closed to vehicles from 7.30 pm to 8.00 am.
National Park Bus Service
The free Burren National Park Bus Service will return on this Saturday 3rd May for the 2014 season. It will run daily from the Information Point in Corofin between 10.15 am and 6.00 pm until Friday 29th August. The bus services the five way-marked walking trails in the park that allow the visitor to explore the limestone pavement, hazel scrub, deciduous woodland, wetlands and species-rich grasslands. The bus timetable can be downloaded from the information centre website at www.burrennationalpark.ie/visit.html. On Sunday 4th May at 2.15 pm there will be a free guided walk along the Nature Trail in the Burren National Park. For more information and to book contact 065 6827693 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.