Category - Festival
Date - Friday, June 22, 2018 - Sunday, June 24, 2018 All Day

This is the 64th Annual Rally of Grace’s famous family – The O’Malley Clan, which is taking place in Westport, Co. Mayo over the weekend of 22nd to 24th June 2018. Westport’s own Pearce O’Malley is this year’s clan Chieftain and is looking forward to what promises to be an exciting weekend of events for all tastes and interests. The weekend takes in historic tours exploring Grace O’Malley and her family’s Castles and Abbeys, including the iconic Westport House, where Anne Chambers will be giving a talk on Grace O’Malley and her family at the Chieftain’s Reception on Friday, June 22nd at 7pm. We are also delighted to include two special Westport Walking Tours with Stephen Clarke on Friday, June 22nd at 2pm and 4pm. This top-rated Walking Tour is an absolute must for visitors AND locals to our fabulous heritage town.

The Clew Bay Heritage Centre, led by Brónach Joyce and Aidan Clarke will be giving a specially organised Castles and Abbeys tour, the bus for which departs the Town Hall on Saturday morning at 10.30am Sharp.

The Westport Story will return on Saturday, June 24th at 4.30pm starting at the Town Hall. This is an animated, theatrical tour of the streets of Westport led by actors Aoife Carr and Pat O’Malley who play various historic characters of significance to Westport – Including Grace O’Malley!

The pinnacle event of this particular weekend will be held at Westport Town Hall Theatre on Saturday, June 23rd. Féile Cuan Módh – Grace O’Malley, A Legacy” is an original Theatre and musicial presentation produced as a collaborative legacy project to honour one of Ireland’s most famous women: Grace O’Malley (Granuaile). The show will have its world premiere as the headline event of the O’Malley Clan Association’s 64th Annual Clan Rally on 23rd June 2018 at 8pm. The production features original pieces of music and drama that tell the true story of Grace O’Malley – the script for which has been written and is directed by author and biographer Anne Chambers. The main theatre piece is an exerpt from Anne Chambers play “Matriarchs”. It is a drama about ageism and sexism, as experienced by two powerful women; Grace O’Malley (played by Regina McCormack) and Queen Elizabeth 1 (played by Brónach Joyce). It is set on the eve of the famous Battle of Kinsale, 1601. Talented young local actress Eva McCormack, daughter of Regina McCormack, will take centre stage as she performs a monologue, also written by Anne in character as a young Grace O’Malley. Local storyteller Séamus McNally will also be on hand to perform one of his much loved self-composed resortations.

The concert will also include a local orchestra and newly-formed MacLuí Youth Choir performing excerpts from Shaun Davey’s world-renowed “Granuaile Suite” – with Shaun Davey himself having given his blessing to this production including his musical scores. Gerry McNally has taken the reins as Musical Director of this entire production. Another key performance on the night will be by Ellen O’Malley-Dunlop, Chairperson of the National Women’s Council and Guardian Chieftain of the O’Malley Clan, who will perform a song written for her called “Farewell to Clare Island”.

Members of the Clew Bay Pipe Band will perform with local World Class Cresham Irish Dancers, having produced dance pieces to be performed on stage in honour of Grace O’Malley and Clew Bay. After the concert everyone is invited back to Mill Times Hotel by Joe O’Malley and his family to enjoy some lively music with the band “Crooked Trad” and maybe even partake in some traditional Irish dance and craic with some of the performers from the show!

On Sunday, June 24th there will be a family Mass at Murrisk Abbey at 12pm officiated by Fr. Richard Gibbons. It will be preceded by a procession by some members of the Clew Bay Pipe Band from the famine monument to the Abbey.

There will also be a barbecue in Gracy’s as part of a specially organised family-friendly day at Westport House and Pirate Adventure Park from 2-4pm on Sunday 24th June.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend any of the events for this all-inclusive celebration of family and heritage. Full details on bookings etc on / or call 09828459