Festival fever falls on Inishowen

Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher with at the launch of the Moville Lighthouse Festival.  (1207JB63)
Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher with at the launch of the Moville Lighthouse Festival. (1207JB63)

Inishowen will be buzzing this weekend as festival fever has descended on the peninsula.

With a full programme of the events taking place in Moville, Muff, Clonmany and fun days in Culdaff and Burt, tourists and locals will be spoilt for choice for something to do.

Founders of the Muff Festival, Bernard Breslin and Phyllis McKenna who were presented with gifts to mark their retirement after 30 years service to the committee. Also included is Andrea Ward, festival Mascot. (1704SL25)

Founders of the Muff Festival, Bernard Breslin and Phyllis McKenna who were presented with gifts to mark their retirement after 30 years service to the committee. Also included is Andrea Ward, festival Mascot. (1704SL25)

Organisers have been working hard for months to get all the final details fine tuned however the main thing on all their lips is the weather. Currently fingers are being crossed, prayers are being sent and childs of Prague being left out in order for a dry, sunny and wind free day.

Dennis Foynes, chairperson of the first Moville Lighthouse Festival is looking forward to a fun packed weekend.

“We’ve all been working hard to put the festival together and now hopefully people will show up. We have the marquee up now in Moville square, and its a good size, about 2500 feet and we will have the stage in one side of it, so it should all go well.

“We have John Hume opening the festival which we’re delighted about and some great acts so we’re really looking forward to getting started at this stage.”

Despite encountering many barriers along the way, the committee have battled through for the past few months to get all the final last minute details in place.

“It can be difficult to get people involved but we have all come together now. We have the Inishowen carnival group, Brian Sheerin, John Hume and the Knights of Leon and that is only Friday night. There has been a lot of work and fundraising put into it, and perhaps what makes us different is we are a fully self funded festival.

“We’ve had no funding and we haven’t asked businesses for money so it’s been difficult but we’ve got here and so far so good. We’ve done as good as we can, through advertising signs and facebook, so hopefully will come along on the nights. This is all about promoting the area and the town in general. Fingers crossed now the weather will be good.”

Praying for good weather in Muff

Similarly in Muff, the committee have been flat out in recent months putting getting the show together. The festival kicked off last night when the winner of the Mayoral Campaign being announced.

Tara Reddin, chairperson of the Muff Festival, believes it all depends on the weather.

“We have our opening parade happening in the town tonight so I’d like to remind people of the traffic disruptions from 7pm onwards, but hopefully we get a turnout. We have a junior talent competition and the crowning of the Festival Queen.

“Also this year we have a TV production coming to Muff to film the events of the festival for a documentary they are making. It is a bit of a change which helps us and hopefully help the festival.”

Other popular events also include the Community BBQ and soapbox derby on Saturday and Sports Day and strongman competition on Sunday.

The 44th Clonmany festival is all about forgetting the doom and gloom as they are determined to get on with things and seek out solace wherever we can.

The Clonmany Festival has been going from strength to strength for 44 years and now in 2011 it is bigger and better than ever with top acts and a full line up of events for the whole family.

For more information on the festivals see the Inishowen focus feature in today’s Derry Journal.