Report by Rozalyn Williams, Castletownbere Development Association, Pics by Niall Duffy

Castletownbere Festival Of The Sea has drawn to a close again for another year after ten exciting days of entertaining events for all the family.


Friday, August 3rd saw the second annual Pint Drinking Whilst Wheelbarrow Racing Competition take place.

Congratulations to Winners Carlos Rodriguez and Tinzo Villanueva, representing MacCarthy’s Bar,  second place went to Donagh O’Connor and Vince Murphy, representing The Skippers Bar, and  third place to Stephen Randles and Aaron Hanley, representing Breen’s Lobster Bar.

A special congratulations to the winners of the Ladies Race, Andrea Lotty and Siobhan Murphy, representing O’Shea’s Bar.

Later in the evening was the Sheaf Throwing Competition, won by Donagh O’Connor.

No Lady competitors managed to successfully toss the sheaf, but a mention of thanks goes out to the ladies who took part, in particular Carmel Anne and Maureen Harrington.

The Reverse Egg Throwing Competition was won by Aaron Hanley and Deane Murphy, who was celebrating his 2 first birthday.

All in all the evening was a great success, the weather just held off for long enough, and special Thanks to the Old Convent Hostel for organising the events, Teddy Black for being the MC, all the competitors, volunteer stewards and local band Ginger Rich for concluding the evening with a great performance in The Square.


Saturday, August 4th kicked off with the Local Food & Craft Fair, with over 30 stalls filling The Square showcasing some fantastic local produce.  A huge thank you to all the businesses who took part.

Later the Children’s Fancy Dress Parade went ahead despite the unfavourable weather, Seán O Laoghaire and his many young artists put on a very colourful and creative display of sea creatures led by Mannan Mac Lir (The Celtic God of the Sea). All the puppets and art pieces were made during the course of several workshops over the past number of weeks.

They were made by the children of Beara helped by the adults from Seán’s Community Arts Practice courses.

All participating children can collect a Certificate of Participation at their convenience from Dorothy at Castletownbere Library.

Special thanks to The Board of Management of Scoil an Chroí Ró Naofa for facilitating the workshops and storage of the puppets and to Teresa O’Sullivan, Back To Education Initiative(BTEI) Co-Ordinator for her support.

Following the artistic talent of Sean and his troupe were the Fancy Dress competitors. All 23 entrants with the assistance of MC Teddy Black provided great entertainment.

A big thank you to all the children and their families.

Prizes were awarded using four headings, 1) Effort of dress, 2) Topical, 3) Entertainment /performance value, 4) Humorous In the under 5s, there were joint winners, “The Dolphin”, by Rupert Sanctuary and “Sonya O Sullivan”, by Ciara Murphy, (they tallied the same score from the judges totals),  second was Molly Power as “Ted” and  third was Hannah Power as “Dolly”. Under 9 winner was Megan Collinson as “Popcorn”.  second was Kyah Gonnelly as “Pirate”  third was Eve Cahill as “Maria.”  Under 13 winner was Sarah Kelly as “Cruella de Ville” and  second was Orla Sheehan as “Jessie from Toy Story.”

Winners of the group category, were Sophie, Sean, Patrick and Alesha O’Sullivan with their cousin Casey Harrington, as “Olympics”  second place (by only one point) were Millie, Katie, Aoife, Killian and Sadhbh O’Sullivan, as “Team Ireland.”

In  third place were Mikey and Sheana Orpen, Holly, Lily-Rose & John O’Sullivan as “The Rose of Tralee takes a detour.”  Prizes were sponsored by Berehaven Credit Union and the event was organized on the day by Friends Forever Community Childcare.

The sun came out briefly in time for the annual Net Mending, Splicing and Line Throwing Competitions.

Prizes in the Net Mending went to Alan O’Neill in  first place, Peter Lynch in  second, and Noel O’Sullivan in  third, sponsored by Swan Net Gundry.  In the Splicing  first place went to Peter Lynch,  second to Noel O’Sullivan and  third to Martin McDaid, sponsored by Betty O’Shea.

And in the Line Throwing Competition  first place went to Brendan Dudley,  second to Sean Bawn O’Sullivan and  third to William Power, sponsored by Twomey’s Ivy Bar.  The turn out was good again this year and a big thank you to all the competitors and sponsors.

Thanks go to Teddy Black, DJ Joanne, Drum Dance Ireland, and The Shamones who provided constant music and entertainment throughout the rest of the evening.


Sunday, August 5th was the annual Family Fun Day in The Square, thank you to Martin Hegarty who made it a great day for the families again as always.  Congratulations to the winner of the Bonny Baby Competition Lenny O’Neill, and his parents Joanne Hendrick and Aidan O’Neill, sponsored by Tina’s Boutique.

The Best Dressed Dog prize went to “Tara” and her owner Caoimhe Harrington, sponsored by Brian Murphy Vet.  In the Pedal Go-Kart Trials Under 8 competition prizes went to Mikey Orpen in  first place, Lee Kelly in  second and Darragh Collins in  third.  In the Under 12 competition the winner was Julie Orpen, followed by John O’Donoghue in  second place and Donagh Murphy in  third.  In the Adult Competition  first went to Alan O’Donoghue,  second to Chris O’Donoghue and  third to Anthony Harrington.  Well done to all the racers and thank you to sponsors O’Donoghue’s Garage.  Later in the evening Twomey’s Ivy Bar’s outside Ceili was a huge success again with the weather on their side, thank you to Scoil Rince Carney and all who took part.  Breen’s Lobster Bar held a fantastic Hawaiian Party, thank you to event manager Stephen Randles and Shay Spain and Royal Flush for concluding the evening with a great performance in The Square.


Monday, August 6th was Annual Regatta Day in Castletownbere.  Congratulations to Castletownbere Rowing Club for another exciting competition, find them on Facebook for results of the various races.

The Winner of the highly entertaining Pillow Fights was Vicky Power, congratulations on being our first ever Lady Winner, and the  first prize in the Pig & Pole competition went to William O’Sullivan.

Thankyou to all who took part and the sponsors.  Thankyou to Papa Zitas Motown Band who returned to Castletownbere again after being such a hit on the June Bank Holiday weekend earlier this year, and the Shay Spain and Abba Delicious for rounding off the evening.


Tuesday, August 7th‘s”Tour De Town” family fun cycle was a great success again this year with a fine turn out, thank you again to Martin Hegarty and Bike N Beara.  Later in the evening the Annual Paddy Power Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament took place in The Forge.

Well done to winner Anthony Ahern from Mallow.   second place went to Michael Lynch,  third to Paul Kelly, 4th to Norma Hanley, 5th to Eric O’Neill and 6th to Paul O’Sullivan.  Over 40 players took part and thank you to Helen and Seamus for the use of The Forge and all who helped out on the night.


Wednesday, August 8th saw the first ever Children’s Treasure Hunt around the town.  The winning team were Dion Murphy-Kelly, Jack Hanley and Jonathon Harrington with a time of 18 minutes.

second place went to Amy McGurn, Chloe Orpen and Meng Ting with a time of 20 minutes.

And  third went to Julie Orpen, Abbie Kane and Lorea O’Sullivan with a time of 21 minutes.  A huge Thankyou to the approximately 100 children who took part and Joanne Kelly for organising the event.  Later in the evening the annual Beara Ladies Fundraising Table Quiz in The Forge was, as always, a huge success.  Congratulations to the winning team Kate, Sean, Conor and Kathleen Twomey.   second place went to Joe and Ruth Power’s table and  third to Packie Finch and Gerard Murphy’s table.  Thankyou to Beara Ladies for organising the event and Helen and Seamus for use of The Forge and all the teams who took part.


Thursday, August 9th finally arrived and with it the much anticipated, fiercely competitive Car Treasure Hunt!  Congratulations to winning car Janice Lyne-O’Leary, Susan Power, Laura Power, Emer Fitzgerald and Julie Fitzgerald-O’Sullivan.

second place went to Irene Moriarty-Sheehan, Grainne O’Sullivan, Siuna Bartels and Linda O’Dwyer.

third place went to Sharon and Matthew Martin-Sullivan, Marney O’Donoghue and Cian Murphy.

Thankyou to organisers David Kelly, Ann Hanley, Deirdre Lehane-O’Neill and Sean Power for another great year.  A record of 47 cars took part.  Thankyou to DJ Joanne for playing into the evening in The Square.


Friday, August 10th saw Castletownbere’s first ever Take Me Out, organised by Stephen Randles and Breen’s Lobster Bar.

A huge crowd turned out to see the lads do their best to impress the girls, and over 1,000 euro was raised for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.  Thankyou to participants Maureen Hanley, Siobhan Murphy, Marie O’Driscoll, Megan Hegarty, Megan McCarthy, Fiona Buckley, Eve Donnelly, Bronwyn Mallon, Cara McGonigle, Callie Sarmaik, Emma Clarke, Ciara Randles, Fiona O’Sullivan, Kate Murphy, Jillian Jeffrey, Bridget Ryan, Aaron Hanley, Nevan Holland, Robert Murphy, Hugh O’Sullivan, Johnny Murphy, Colin Cronin and Ian Fahey.  Hard luck to Nevan as the only fella who did not get a date, and thank you to all who donated so generously on the night.  Well-done Stephen.


Saturday and Sunday, August 11th – 12th saw the festival wind down with various live music performances throughout local bars.


Castletownbere Development Association would like to extend their sincerest thanks to everyone who got involved to make this year’s Festival Of The Sea such a success.  Volunteer Stewards, Sponsors, Bars & Businesses, Competition Participants, Families, Bands, DJs, MCs, Organisers, even the lads who went down through the town emptying the bins, we could not have done it without you.  Apologies if we have overlooked anyone, it is not intentional.