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CROWDS OF BETWEEN 2,000 TO 3,000 people are expected in Clarecastle this weekend for the return of the Regatta.

Clarecastle is almost in party mode, the Regatta will be held for the first time since 2019 when it celebrated its tenth birthday. The Scanlan family have erected the flags to signal that the return is edging closer, the decorations have also been noted in the Tidy Towns report for the village.

When it comes to important events and organisations in the village, the Clarecastle Regatta is similar to the GAA, Donal Carey noted. “When we started in 2010, we were trying to revive an event which hadn’t taken place for a long time, it hadn’t been held since 1980s,” he recalled.

A wide range of events are planned for Saturday June 25th including live music, market stalls, a dog show, vintage cars, a hanging tough challenge, children’s races, kayaking, amusements, fancy dress parade, challenges in hurling and football plus competitions for best dressed lady and bonny baby.

Donal has been Chairperson of the committee for the past thirteen years, earning the gig after proposing at a GAA meeting that efforts be made to revive the Regatta, it had been a firm fixture in the local calendar three decades ago prior to its revival.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Donal singled out the contributions of his colleagues on the committee including Paddy Quinn, Pascal Russell, Paul Murphy and Vice Chair Fergal Griffin who he said the events couldn’t proceed without.

He explained that the Regatta is viewed as a day to reconnect with families, this occurring after they linked with The Gathering in 2013. “The Regatta is a day to call families home from abroad, it has become synonymous with family days out”.

With this being the first Regatta in over two years, it has heightened the desire of families to meet up. “We have first cousins coming from Westport and Dublin, we haven’t seen these people because of COVID so it has allowed us as family to pick a date and have a few more Careys around the place. Loads of families are doing something similar. The Regatta is synonymous with the area we live in, we have the fishing village which Dalo talks vehemently about it”.

Between 2,000 to 3,000 people are estimated to attend the festivities. Donal said, “We’ve been very lucky with the weather, the weather has really smiled on us, record breaking heat in other days. They come from all over, you’d see people from various county coming to it, we have currach races that people from Ennis or Clarecastle wouldn’t traditionally see, Clarecastle Fergus Currach Club is part of our community, people can try out these boats this weekend, it is a massive opportunity for this club to bring people in and invite to join”.

Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) forms part of the committee behind the event, this Saturday he’ll be tasked with the barbeque where all proceeds from the food go to Clare Crusaders Clinic. There is no entry fee but all donations will go towards local charities, the former Mayor of Ennis explained.

On the importance of the event, Paul said, “This is huge, this is a real local family day, we get others from around the county to come, it’s a day that is very affordable for families, anything that is charged for is done at cost, it’s not a profit making exercise”.

Both Murphy and Carey voiced praise of the group of retired man Quay known locally as ‘Popeye and the Troops’ that maintain Quay. “The whole community is working towards enhancement of making the place visually better. The Quay and Clarecastle really benefit from the work of Tidy Towns,” Donal flagged.

 

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