Féile na mBád, An Cladach, Cathair na Gaillimhe

The Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival,

Wednesday May 24th to Sunday May 28th 2017

Claddagh Basin, Galway


The Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival,

Wednesday May 24th to Sunday May 28th 2017

Claddagh Basin, Galway

  Hooker Festival   BÁDÓIRÍ AN CHLADAIGH

Hooker Festival


 The Vikings are Coming!

Bádóirí an Ċladaiġ’s ( The Claddagh Boatmen) Regatta 2017 will not only showcase the most beautiful Galway Hookers and Gleoiteogs in the West of Ireland, but an invasion of 2 Viking Long Boats will give this year’s event a decidedly Nordic feel.

The annual regatta will now encompass the inaugural Claddagh Traditional Boat Festival.


From Wednesday evening 24th May to Sunday 28th May 2017 the Claddagh Basin, in the heart of Galway city, will showcase twenty uniquely Galway traditional Irish boats. They will include the 5 Galway Hookers and Gleoiteogs built and refurbished by Bádóirí an Ċladaiġ to date.

The talented ship builders are on track in their plans to build a total of fourteen of these iconic vessels, representing the fourteen 14 Galway Tribes, in time for 2020, when Galway will be the European Capital of Culture.


The 2 Viking Long Boats and their crew, from Ardglass in Northern Ireland, are joining their boat making brethren in the West as guests and invaders. The Claddagh Basin will also host a Viking village for the period of the festival. Their presence will be inescapable, with a (weather dependent) full Viking invasion of Salthill on Saturday 27th May.

  Hooker Festival   BÁDÓIRÍ AN CHLADAIGH

Hooker Festival


The Traditional Hookers, Gleoiteogs and Púcans have been described as  “moving sculptures,  living and usable artefacts of our heritage“.

This will be the first opportunity to see their likes and number, in full sail, gathered and moored at the Claddagh Basin since 1920.

The Festival will also be an opportunity to demonstrate the City of the Tribes’ traditional Irish music prowess.

With the help of many of the local branches of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann there will be plenty of song and dance on the city’s street corners, and trad sessions galore.

On the quayside from Wednesday evening to Friday evening the Féile will also showcase some of Galway’s finest music and song talent.

This festival will engage with 14 primary schools in Galway, Kinvara and out the Connemara Coast so that they "adopt" one of the 14 main traditional boats to be moored in the basin. The school children will learn their history and learn about the boating tradition of the Claddagh and Vikings. They will then take a trip to the Claddagh Basin to see the boats for themselves.

Over 150 primary schools kids in Viking and Medieval Galway costume will, with the invaders from Ardglass Vikings, stage an “attack” and a “defence” of the invasion throughout the streets of Galway, from Lynch’s Castle, down Quay Street to the Spanish Arch on Thursday 12pm, Friday 12pm and Saturday 3pm of the Festival. Weather depending there will be a further invasion in Salthill on the Saturday at 6.00pm.

So at the heart of this festival is a real Galway community and voluntary sector vision and effort.

The 5 traditional Gleoiteogs and Hookers have been built, preserved or re crafted in Galway by the Bádóirí over the last number of years. This project is supported and funded by the Department of Social Protection. Galway City Council and the Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB) are also financial supporters of this endeavour and festival with the GRETB engaged in specific training and education in the marine sector.

The Latin Quarter, Galway’s Westend and The Village Salthill business groups have joined forces and all come “on board” as anchor sponsors of the event. Support for the 14 key traditional boats will also come from individual Galway City Centre and Salthill businesses.

For further details contact: 

For more information contact

Claddagh Boatmen

Peter Connolly: claddaghboatmen@gmail.com - 086 052 8004

Cóilí Hernan:  ohiarnain@gmail.com - 087 660 1725

Ciarán Oliver: ciaranoliver@gmail.com - 0872807028

Festival committee member

Caroline Mc Neill :  caroline.mc@live.ie - 085 2320131

Festival Claddagh Basin Music, School Liaison and Manuela Riedo Foundation

Eoin Durkin :   durkineoin@eircom.net  - 086 8054494

Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann

Sabhbh Ní Fhátharta:  sabhbhnif@gmail.com   086 1016891

Peadar Bric:  ailish24@eircom.net   086 606 4267

The Latin Quarter – Rep for Event Sponsors   

John Deely: dcstoregalway@gmail.com

Galway City Arts Officer   James Harrold :  james.harrold@galwaycity.ie

Ardglass Vikings: http://ardglassvikings.com/