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2014 Rose of Clare, Joanne O'Gorman with International Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh at the launch of the Clare Festivals and Events Guide 2015. Photograph by Catherine O'Hara

Lots to see and do in Clare in 2015

THE reigning International Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh, officially launched the Clare Festivals and Events Guide 2015 in Glór at the weekend.

More than 150 events are featured in the new guide, which is produced by the Clare Tourism Forum, with the support of Shannon Airport.

The new guide is being made available at visitor attractions, accommodation providers, tourist offices, libraries and council area offices throughout Clare. Thousands of copies of the guide are also being distributed to Limerick City and Galway tourist offices, as well as to various locations throughout the world.

Some of the event and festival highlights during the coming weeks include the third annual Concertina Cruinniú in Miltown Malbay (February 13-15), Bunratty Chess Festival (February 18-22), Corofin Traditional (March 2-8), the 54th West Clare Drama Festival in Doonbeg (March 7-16), Killaloe/Ballina St Patrick’s Festival (March 16-17) and the Doolin Writers Weekend (March 27-29).

Other highlights for the remainder of 2015 include the Festival of Finn in Corofin (April 30 – May 4), Carrigaholt Oyster and Shellfish Festival (May 1-4), Mountshannon Arts Festival (May 23 – June 1), Inis Fest (June 26-28), Féile Brian Boru in Killaloe/Ballina (July 2-5), Scariff Harbour Festival (July 31 – August 2), Dan Furey Weekend of Set Dancing in Labasheeda (August 21-23), Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival (September), Ché Do Bheata Festival in Kilkee (September 25-27) and the Bunratty Bluegrass Festival (October 9-11).

Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, John Crowe said the new guide “showcases the breadth of activity taking place year-round in communities all over County Clare”.

“I am delighted to see that many of the events held during 2014 will take place again this year. These events will help to draw additional visitors to the county and will also inject new life into towns and villages in every corner,” he added.

Donnagh Gregson, chair of the Clare Tourism Forum, noted that thousands of copies of the new guide are being distributed throughout Ireland, with a view to promoting Clare to the growing domestic visitor market.

“The Clare Tourism Forum would like to thank its members and communities across Clare who are contributing to the promotion of the county as an attractive location to visit at any time of the year. I would particularly invite Clare people living abroad and those planning a trip to the county during 2015 to find out more about the events taking place. There is much to see and do in Clare, as this guide demonstrates,” added Ms Gregson.

Welcoming the initiative Marie Slattery, head of marketing, Shannon Group PLC said, “We are delighted to participate in the Clare Festival & Events guide. It is a great asset in our overseas marketing campaigns with key international travel industry. It is also very beneficial in our promotion of Shannon as the international gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.

“This guide can be very persuasive when passengers want to take in a traditional music festival, or a food trail with some amazing great Wild Atlantic Way coastal scenery. They are just spoiled for choice in Clare,” added Ms Slattery.

Visit www.clare.ie to see the new guide and for further information on the range of festivals and events taking place in 2015.

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