Lough Derg is a haven for a range of local craft producers, artisan food makers and artists. Spending some time in this peaceful area allows you an opportunity to really engage in a journey of discovery into a rich vein of surprises in the neighbouring counties of Galway, Clare and Tipperary.
One can experience all this as part of a cycle or touring route along the lake shores and some examples that we can recommend are:
It’s official! The Lough Derg Blueway, a collaboration between Galway, Clare and Tipperary County Councils, designed to develop quality on and off water trails and activities all around the majestic Lough Derg, on the River Shannon is open for business.
The Blueway is a network of canoe trails, walks, cycle routes and tourism service with one aim in mind: ‘Get out and about’! This area is so accessible, unspoilt and peaceful with some many natural attractions on offer and we believe it is the ideal destination for your activity break. Just watch the video and see for yourself!
Waterways Ireland, Canoeing Ireland and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland have joined forces with outdoor centres and canoeing clubs across the island to create the Blueway 10k ‘learn to paddle’ programme for people seeking a new adventure in the outdoors.
Blueways are multi-activity trails running on and alongside water, with cycling and walking complementing the paddling trails. By the end of 2016 there will be over 200km of trails on the Shannon and Shannon-Erne waterways managed by Waterways Ireland.
A 12 week canoe training programme is available in 30 centres nationwide starting on 28th May culminating in a 10k paddle in 7 key locations across the inland waterways. This no nonsense workout that will allow people to turn up in regular workout clothes, put on a buoyancy aid, grab a boat and paddle, and go for short intensive work out.
Although the programme is written for kayaks, the Blueway 10K can be completed in any paddlesports craft including sit on tops, open canoes and stand up paddle boards.
The training partners delivering the programme are clubs, outdoor recreational centres all run by experienced paddlers, check them out online or follow the links on the website to get more information.
Canoeing is an aerobic sport which can be practised either in a club outdoor recreation centres to develop a range of skills which can be used for fitness or competition with sprints, white water, marathon & canoe polo activity or for recreation, short and long-distance self-guided or guided touring and adventure. With a range of options this wide there are loads of ways to find the paddling experience that matches a person’s fitness and recreational needs.
Each year Paddys Bar hold a charity fundraiser ‘The Wild Food Night’ in conjunction with the local Game and Conservation Club where a free buffet featuring the best of local, wild game, seasonal produce and home baking is provided for all. This year all proceeds contributed on the night go to support North Tipperary Hospice movement which provides valuable services and supports to those battling cancer.
Portumna’s Shorelines Arts Festival, Sept 17 to the 20th, now in its 8th year, is recognised as East Galway’s premier boutique arts festival. As well as nurturing local talent and providing a platform for performance and exhibition, Shorelines stages the best of Irish theatre, music, art, film and literature.Shorelines 2015 will feature readings by authors Joseph O’Connor and Paul Kingsnorth. They will be joined by poets Grace Wells, Louis dePaor and poet and writer John MacKenna and a feast of words is guaranteed. Grace and John will both facilitate writing workshops in poetry and prose.A special Yeats event to celebrate Yeats 150 will include a lecture from well known poet and scholar, Bernard O’Donoghue. You are also invited to nominate your Shorelines Yeats Poem for the Yeats 150 event. A selection of those nominated will be featured at the festival.For music fans, Shorelines plans to stage performances from renowned Mary Coughlan, the up and coming Lost Brothers. Local musicians and songwriters will feature too. Shorelines welcome RTE Radio 1 to the 2015 festival where a live recording of the much loved Sunday Miscellany is scheduled featuring voices and talents of local and not so local talent.Drama comes from Fishamble’s new show Underneath as well as Curlew’s show The Muse & Mister Yeats. Local drama group The Half-Day Thursday Group will stage Kent R. Brown’s Seduction of Chaos.For the family, events include a 2-day programme of Street Theatre from Circus Outside The Box, Creative Writing with Betsy Cornwell, The Barbara Kennedy Writing Awards, a Flea Circus from PigNut Productions, Face Painting, Story Telling and Little Gem Puppets.
Shorelines will also feature a Minecraft/Lego Workshop during the festival. And young singer/songwriters and musicians will take part in café sessions and recitals throughout the weekend as the festival enjoys giving emerging talent a platform to perform.The Gallery at the Workhouse will again host visiting and local artists at the Shorelines Arts Exhibition. Among the talks and demonstrations planned are talks with artist Aideen Monaghan and photographer Mark Granier and a bead making demonstration with Mags Mannion. Exhibitions from invited artists include, to date: Galway Print Studio, John Brennan, Aideen Monaghan, Mark Granier and Frank O’Sullivan.Heritage Boats of Ireland also plan to visit Portumna during Shorelines 2015. They will bring 30 heritage boats to Portumna’s Lough Derg, adding colour and atmosphere to the festival.Shorelines Shorts 2015 will feature a loop of short drama films on the theme of Childhood and a loop of documentaries on Changing Ireland. All are guaranteed to entertain and delight.
Other regular events include the annual Nicholas Treacy Recitation Competition, which will test the reciting skills of the entrants who must learn a recitation written prior to 1937.New programme additions include early morning sessions of Yoga, titled: Golden Apples of the Sun and a workshop onBotanical Art. Local archaeologist, Christy Cunniffe will launch a photo exhibition based on medieval carved heads. Portumna Vintage Club are planning a day at the Festival too. Finally, all of the businesses in the town are invited to decorate their windows to complement the festival.Check out our Facebook page for further updates: www.facebook.com/shorelinesartsfestival
Throughout the months of June, July, August and September a series of food events will take place to showcase some of the food being produced in the Lough Derg Lakelands region. From chocolate making to cheese tastings, the events will be enjoyable, educational and open to everyone. Make the most of this opportunity to explore the Lough Derg area while getting a taste of it at the same time!
This is the second year of A Taste Of Lough Derg and it involves the coming together of various businesses around Lough Derg to highlight the food produce from the area through a series of food events over the Summer. The calendar of events is packed with a great choice for both locals and visitors to choose from. Here’s the list of the enthusiastic foodies from Lough Derg who are involved:
• Killeen Cheese, Portumna
• Paddy’s Bar, Terryglass
• Wood Brothers Cafe, Killaloe
• Le Bouchon Restaurant, Portumna
• Cais Na Tire, Terryglass
• The Derg Inn, Terryglass
• Coolbawn Quay & Tipperary Food Producers
• Brookfield Farm, Coolbawn
• Wilde Irish Chocolates, Tuamgraney
• Larkin’s Bar, Garrykennedy
• Dromineer Village
• Tuscany Bistro, Ballina
• Scarriff Harbour Festival
• East Clare Community Co-op
• The Ring of Lough Derg BBQ
• Flanagans on The Lake, Ballina
• The Washer Woman, Ballina
• Lakeside Hotel, Ballina/Killaloe
• The Brasserie @ Annacarriga, Killaloe