Sunday 28 December 2014

Hogwarts comes to Galway for Harry Potter convention

Published 31/01/2014 | 17:46

Pictured at the opening of Potterfest, Irelands only Harry Potter Convention, are NUI Galway students Pilar Aldesete-Diez as Luna Lovegood, Ned Walsh as Mad Eye Moody and Eriu Morton as Bellatrix. 

Photograph by Aengus McMahon
Pictured at the opening of Potterfest, Irelands only Harry Potter Convention, are NUI Galway students Pilar Aldesete-Diez as Luna Lovegood, Ned Walsh as Mad Eye Moody and Eriu Morton as Bellatrix. Photograph by Aengus McMahon
At the opening of Potterfest at NUI Galway, Irelands only Harry Potter Convention, are NUI Galway students Billy Stewart as Quirrell and Stephanie Reilly as Minerva McGonagall. Photograph by Aengus McMahon
PotterFest156: At the opening of Potterfest at NUI Galway, Irelands only Harry Potter Convention is student Billy Stewart playing the character of Harry Potter. Photograph by Aengus McMahon

NUI Galway has been transformed into Hogwarts this weekend, as Ireland's only Harry Potter convention returns for its second year.

PotterFest Galway is organised by the university's Harry Potter Society, which has around 820 members, making it one of the biggest societies in Galway. This is the first time the convention will be open to the public, with last year's event open to students only.

The weekend's festivities will kick off with those taking part being sorted into their wizarding houses. Throughout the weekend there'll be 'muggle quidditch, writing workshops and a debate on all things Potter.

Around 200 people are expected to take part in the convention, according to society committee member Aine Kilbane.

"We're expecting a lot of students, staff and mainly young people, but we're very excited to see how many people actually come along," she said.

"I'm really excited to see the costumes. There's already plenty of Hogwarts students, a few Lunas, a Hedwig and a Mad Eye Moody."

Although the event is not actually affiliated with author JK Rowling or Warner Brothers, Aine, in her third year year studying biomedical engineering, said there has been a large amount of interest in it.

"There's been steady momentum and interest in it over the months," she said.

Events like this are not uncommon in the Galway campus, according to Aine, as there are so many societies in the university.

"There are active anime and manga society on campus to, so I think an average student would look at this and just think it's cool. This kind of thing is pretty normal here," she said.

Weekend tickets to the convention cost €15, while day tickets cost €10. All proceeds will be donated to charity.

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