A weekly round-up of Castlebar Chamber's business news and events
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Féile na Tuaithe – Bringing the Museum to life


21-22 May 2016

Féile na Tuaithe -Turlough Park, one of the biggest free family festivals in the West, returns to the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life outside Castlebar in Co. Mayo on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd May 2016. Entry and car parking are free of charge and crowds of up to 30,000 are expected over the two day event. A combination of familiar offerings with new and innovative attractions packs the programme. All elements have a direct connection with the exhibitions within the Museum itself which showcases traditional country life since the 19th century. 

Féile na Tuaithe brings the Museum to life effortlessly connecting with visitors of all ages.  The extensive site is full to bursting with the sights and sounds of traditional Irish life, and a full programme of entertainment, demonstrations, workshops, music and art for children and adults alike.

A dozen live demonstrations showcase a living history of strong Irish craft traditions ranging from a modern take on traditional weaving from Claremorris-based Wild Cocoon, to the time honoured traditions of Nephin Whiskey’s master cooper. Vintage farm machinery and a visit to the Animal Village with horses, cows, donkeys, Moiled Cattle, Blackface Sheep, pigs, and poultry, provide a glimpse into agricultural history. Woodland trails full of mythical creations and large-scale artwork provide the perfect reason to explore the Museum’s grounds, and then continue that exploration within the Museum’s galleries. Younger visitors can enjoy hands-on art and craft activities, face painting and traditional games, and the Craft and Food Villages provide exceptional opportunities for a bit of shopping and perhaps an outdoor meal enjoyed alongside a live performance from one of the musical acts in the Entertainment Village.

Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director of the National Museum, is a strong supporter of the Museum’s flagship festival, “If the Museum of Country Life is very much about the lives of ordinary people in rural Ireland in the relatively recent past, Féile na Tuaithe is the natural extension of the Museum’s remit to bring the craft dimension of the lives of our recent ancestors to public attention in an enjoyable and family friendly way,” he said. Tony Candon, Manager Keeper of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, is proud of the strong connection between the festival and the Museum itself, “Féile na Tuaithe is grounded in the National Folklife Collection which we are proud to have here in Mayo. Everything in Féile derives from the collection and truly brings the Museum to life during this, the most joyful of festivals. With nearly one hundred different participants, there is something for everyone, young and old.”  He also was fulsome in his thanks to all sponsors, saying, “I want to sincerely thank all our sponsors and our principal partner, Mayo County Council, without whom Féile na Tuaithe would not be possible”.

Féile na Tuaithe is supported by Mayo County Council, Local Enterprise Offices (Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Donegal),, Bord Bia, Teagasc, Music Generation, Mayo Artsquad, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Connaught Telegraph, MidWest Radio, Spear Design and Cashin Print.


Volunteers are required for Féile na Tuaithe on May 21st and 22nd.Click here for more details!

Free Open Day at Westport House in aid of Western Care
May 29, 2016 from Noon to 6:00 pm
Westport House is holding its annual Open Day from 12pm to 6pm on Sunday, May 29th. The Browne family and their onsite adventure partners open up “The Best Family Holiday Destination in Ireland*” and all of its facilities for absolutely free in the hope that you’ll dig deep for this year’s charity partner, Western Care who are celebrating 50 years of providing services for people with disabilities and autism across Mayo. 

Olivia Coyne, Fiona Hughes, Christopher Clynes, Sheelyn Browne, Westport House, Joe Brett, Western Care, Biddy Hughes, Westport House and James Roughneen

This amazing family day out includes free use all of the rides, slides, boats and trains of the Pirate Adventure Park, entry to the stunning historic house or the zip wire ride, high ropes climbing frame and archery tag, live music and entertainment – all for absolutely free!
The Open Day is a great opportunity to make a donation in aid of Western Care.  Participants are invited to give generously to help fund the delivery of services devoted to empowering people with a wide range of learning and associated disabilities in Co. Mayo to live full and satisfied lives as equal citizens.  There will be opportunities to donate to volunteers shaking buckets, buy raffle tickets for fantastic prizes and make a donation for face painting – 100% of the proceeds will go to Western Care. 
The FREE Open Day provides hours of fun and entertainment for all of the family:
  • With over 30 architecturally stunning rooms and 6 permanent exhibitions open to the public, the House truly is the jewel in the crown of the estate.
  • The Pirate Adventure Park will entertain the little ones with its splash-tastic Pirates Plunge, Pirate Queen Swinging Ship, 30 foot Cannon Ball run slide, Westport House Express train, Go Karts, Pirates Den indoor soft play area, bouncy castles, playgrounds and much more!
  • Westport House’s newest adventure activity, Archery Tag, will be available free of charge to all the brave souls who dare to try it on the day along with the High Ropes climbing frame, courtesy of Westport House’s adventure partner, The Adventure Islands.
  • Adventure West will offer you a screaming ride on one of the longest zipwires in Ireland.
  • Additional attractions on the day will include live entertainment at the house with very talented musicians and groups from across the county, a raffle and face painting for the kiddies.
Sheelyn Browne, Westport House, Joe Brett, Western Care, Lorraine Tiernan, Noel Lydon,  Christopher Clynes, Fiona Hughes, James Roughneen, Olivia Coyne and Biddy Hughes, Westport House

Western Care Association is a long established Mayo-based charity that delivers internationally accredited services and supports to more than 1,100 children and adults with intellectual and associated disabilities and autism in a community setting through a network of more than sixty day centres, group and respite homes and other living solutions in all the major towns around the County.  This year Western Care celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation in 1966.   Please keep your eyes peeled for the Western Care volunteers. You’ll know them by their high-vis jackets and their buckets – there will be a plenty of opportunities to make a donation to this wonderful cause.
Westport House, the home of family fun in the West, is open for business in 2016 and very much looking forward to welcoming you. Westport House is open daily from 10am, the Westport Train Tour runs the entertaining sight-seeing tour of the town at weekends, the Pirate Adventure Park and Adventure Activity Centre opens from Wednesday to Sunday in June and daily during July & August, and the 3 star Caravan & Camping Park is now open for the season.  Of course, we are busy preparing for the Hooley at the House in conjunction with MidWest Radio – on June 12th – another date to put in the calendar for a fantastic afternoon of the best of country music and family fun.  The Browne family and team look forward to welcoming you on the 29th May and hope that you’ll come back to visit again during 2016. 

Westport House’s Open Day promises to be a fantastic day out for all the family, and is in aid of a fantastic cause, so come on me hearty, get on board.

*Winner of Best Family Holiday Destination at the 2015 Boots Maternity & Infant Magazine Awards as voted and tested by parents


Meet Your Mayo Heros Tonight!

This evening at Páirc Josie Munnelly (Next to Elverys McHale Park) will host an opening evening for Mayo supporters. The opening evening kicks off at 6 pm until 7 pm and will be an opportunity for all Mayo supporters to grab an autograph from managers and players alike as well as test your skills as the Mayo GAA coaches put your through your paces with their skills testing! Music on the evening with lots of freebies to giveaway. The latest Mayo GAA merchandise will be available to view thanks to their sponsors Elverys Sports. An event not to be missed!




VISUAL ART: FOYER Monday 23rd May - Saturday 18th June

In the early months of 2015, Alison Laredo captured a moment as it unfolded in history. Lesbians and gay men and their supporters came together all over rural Ireland to campaign for a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality Referendum. Yes Equality Mayo took up the fight here and Alison was there every step of the way, from a determined beginning to the victory that emerged from the count on May 23rd.

Alison’s photography is renowned for getting to the emotional core, for telling the personal story. Ten Weeks That Changed the World charts the journey of a social movement with beautiful photography. But there is an intimacy here. We see the people who spoke out, who stood out, visible in the community. Alison’s photographs take us to that point where the personal becomes political, where solidarity becomes community and where that translates into revolution.

Alison Laredo is a professional photographer based in Castlebar, Co.

Adm. Free


Local Castlebar woman needs your votes! 


Can you help us meet Sir Richard Branson?

Local Castlebar woman Olive O'Connor is in need of your votes. Olive is the creative founder of MediStori based at the Ihubs GMIT Castlebar campus. She is in competition with several other growing companies for the top spot of the #voom 2016 and a chance to meet Sir Richard Branson! 

Watch Olive tell her story here -

"If I only got 1% of you to VOTE for me, that would be so amazing. I have only 3 days left and so would love if I could start moving up the ranks. I need to be in the top 60 to make it to a possibility of pitching in front of Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island."

Quirky Nights Glamping Village in Enniscrone are  #1 in the Startup category so far while MediStori are #18 in the Grow category! Why not make it a West of Ireland Winner in each category! Lets get voting!! 

Thanks so much, 


#VOOM #virginmedia #virginbusiness 

Please vote:

It takes less than a minute and costs nothing (though if you want to pledge that's okay too!) 

Please share with as many as you can, far and wide - THANK YOU SO MUCH!




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Register for the event here!

Time for a Tune – An evening with Charlie Lennon

On Thursday May 26th @ 7.30pm, Mayo County Council Arts Office is delighted to welcome Charlie Lennon to
Ballina Arts Centre for an intimate interview with Joe Byrne,
to talk about his immense contribution to traditional music and to play some of his well known tunes. 
Lennon is a well known composer from Kiltyclogher, North County Leitrim, who has worked for the past thirty years in both Irish traditional and classical music. A must for music lovers!
Booking strongly recommended please contact Mayo Arts Office on 094-9047558 | .

To Community based organisations in County Mayo

Mayo County Council is inviting Expressions of Interest from community-based organisations to support the delivery of a resettlement programme for Programme Refugees in County Mayo. The main objective of this initiative is to support refugees from Syria who will be resettled from UNHCR camps to various locations in County Mayo over the coming year.
Based on the expressions of interest a community based organisation will be selected to employ a Resettlement Worker to oversee the local Resettlement Programme. The deadline for submission is 27th May 2016 at 12 noon. Please see attached link for specification and requirements.
Copyright © 2016 Castlebar Chamber, All rights reserved.

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