What’s on around the Irish coast – July 2016

Festival season is well and truly here! July is packed full of exciting events around the coast with maritime & seafood festivals, as well as a whole host of interesting and exciting things to do. To help you get planning your summer weekends here’s a run down of some of the best things to do this July.

1. Earagail Arts Festival, Donegal     8th – 24th July


Earagail Arts Festival is a summer festival of music, theatre, visual arts, spoken word and outdoor spectacle for all ages on Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way.

From the ancient Mesolithic fort of An Grianán Aileach to the shores of Tory and Arranmore Islands, from small town halls and other unique spaces to big top tents in public places, Earagail makes the most of its breathtaking scenery and inspiring location to create a festival like no other since 1988.

This iconic festival is the largest bilingual, multidisciplinary festival in Ireland, which brings the very best of local and international performances to the people and visitors of Co. Donegal. With over 100 performances in 30 venues spread across Donegal, the festival reaches an audience of approximately 40,000 people in over 20 towns and villages annually.

More info: Earagail Arts Festival Home


2. The Irish Maritime Festival, Drogheda, Louth   9th & 10th July


The Irish Maritime Festival is Ireland’s largest annual maritime, food and family festival. It takes place each summer on the quayside at Drogheda Port. This is truly the big daddy of the maritime festivals.  The festival held in summer 2014 attracted in excess of 35,000 visitors and in excess of 40,000 visitors this year.  

For more information: Maritimefestival.ie

3. Foyle Maritime Festival, Derry/Londonderry    9th – 17th July


For the Foyle Maritime Festival, Queens Quay is transformed into a maritime wonderland full of fun, activities, music, arts and crafts. The festival will host the stopover of the Clipper Race 2015-16 as they near the end of their Round the World Journey. Prepare to welcome Team Derry~Londonderry for a special homecoming party! Expect water athletes displays, pirate style treasure hunt throughout the city, concerts, the Walled City Market and the Continental Food Market. This will be great craic!

For more info: Foyle Maritime Festival.com


4. Transatlantic Cable 150th Anniversary Festival   13th – 17th  July


This festival celebrates the 150 anniversary of the Great Eastern setting out from Valentia Island with maritime legend Captain Robert Haplin at the helm to lay the first transatlantic cables. The five day festival will celebrate the occasion a programme of events including music, lectures, walks and talks, a parade, fireworks display, robotic workshop, cable swim and so much more. Learn the full story of this amazing moment in history in the full cable exhibition in the island’s Heritage Centre.

The festival runs from 13th – 17th and it’s the perfect excuse to get away to Valentia Island.

For more infotelegraphcablefestival.ie  


5. Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival, Wexford    14 – 17th July

kilmore seafood

A seafood festival in Wexford with its rich maritime and fishing history is an absolute must.  Each July, Kilmore Quay, Wexford’s charming and picturesque fishing village, on the south east coast of Ireland, celebrates summer with delicious seafood platters, fishing and lots of fun activities for all the family.

Kilmore Quay is a really special little town and time spent here is well spent time especially in the long Summer days!

For more info: Kilmore quay Seafood Festival


6. Bray Air Display    23rd – 24th July


The Bray Air Display returns on the 23rd of July and this time it’s bigger than ever with the event begin extended to a two day event. The aerobatic extravaganza will feature 27 jets and 46 aircraft and pilots including the world class Red Arrows, death defying Breitling Wingwalkers and the Italian flamboyant Frecce Tricolori as well as our own crowd favourites the Irish Air Corps. The event is free and is one of the best airshows in Europe so make sure you check it out.
For more info: brayairdisplay.com


7. Skiffie Worlds & Strangford Lough Festival, Down   24th – 30th July

Launch at Strangford. Picture by Bernie Brown

With over 50 teams entered from around the world as part of the Skiffie Worlds, this years Skiffie Worlds & Strangford Lough Festival promises to be the best to date.  Join the global maritime community for this festival of boating and maritime heritage and see the colourful boat races with beautiful coastal rowing Skiffs from all over the world. There’ll be tall ships, an artesian food fair, music and craic.

For more info: Strangfordlough.org


8. The Red Sails Festival, Portstewart, Derry/Londonderry   24th –  30th July


In the picturesque seaside town of Portstewart, a festival that has grown so much since it’s inception in the early 70’s.  After many years known as the Carnival, the name was changed to the Red Sails Festival in 2000 to commemorate the famous lyrics written by Jimmy Kennedy in the song ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’, which was penned overlooking Portstewart Bay. Expect music, drama, Irish and Scottish dancing, art, cheerleading and fancy dress. There are lots of competitions and challenges for the whole family and a firework display finale.

For more information:  Red Sails

About the Author

Daniel Farrell
Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: Daniel@coastmonkey.ie // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews