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Ballylongford Oyster Festival back with a bang as locals hail 2022 outing’s success

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Locals pictured taking part in the oyster swallowing competition in Ballylongford at the weekend as part of the village's annual oyster festival. Photo by John Kelliher.

Locals pictured taking part in the oyster swallowing competition in Ballylongford at the weekend as part of the village's annual oyster festival. Photo by John Kelliher.

Michelle Kate McGibney, Raymond McGibney, Leon Cussenking and Louis Keary enjoying a night out in Ballylongford at the weekend as part of the town's annual Oyster Festival. Photo by John Keliher.

Michelle Kate McGibney, Raymond McGibney, Leon Cussenking and Louis Keary enjoying a night out in Ballylongford at the weekend as part of the town's annual Oyster Festival. Photo by John Keliher.

Tammy Fletcher and Sean Feeney enjoying a pint in Finucanes Bar during the Ballylongford Oyster Festival at the weekend. Photo by John Kelliher.

Tammy Fletcher and Sean Feeney enjoying a pint in Finucanes Bar during the Ballylongford Oyster Festival at the weekend. Photo by John Kelliher.

Owen Moriarty, Andy Walker, Shane O Neill and Bob Bolt pictured enjoying themseles at the Ballylongford Oyster Festival at the weekend. Photo by John Kelliher.

Owen Moriarty, Andy Walker, Shane O Neill and Bob Bolt pictured enjoying themseles at the Ballylongford Oyster Festival at the weekend. Photo by John Kelliher.

Garry O Dowd, Mark Dillion, PJ Cremmin, Patrick Kernahan, Ragler Sherry and Elouisa Sherwood pictured enjoying a night out in Ballylongford as part of the annual oyster festival. Photo by John Kelliher.

Garry O Dowd, Mark Dillion, PJ Cremmin, Patrick Kernahan, Ragler Sherry and Elouisa Sherwood pictured enjoying a night out in Ballylongford as part of the annual oyster festival. Photo by John Kelliher.

Committee Members for the Ballylongford Oyster Festival: Paul Mulvihill, Marie Hanrahan O Neill, Noel Lynch, Elaine Stack and Cllr Mike Foley pictured at the festival over the weekend. Photo by John Kelliher.

Committee Members for the Ballylongford Oyster Festival: Paul Mulvihill, Marie Hanrahan O Neill, Noel Lynch, Elaine Stack and Cllr Mike Foley pictured at the festival over the weekend. Photo by John Kelliher.

Sisters Noreen Allen and Josephine Murphy pictured in Finucanes bar in Ballylongford at the weekend as they enjoyed the return of the popular Ballylongford Oyster Festival. Photo by John Kelliher.

Sisters Noreen Allen and Josephine Murphy pictured in Finucanes bar in Ballylongford at the weekend as they enjoyed the return of the popular Ballylongford Oyster Festival. Photo by John Kelliher.

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Locals pictured taking part in the oyster swallowing competition in Ballylongford at the weekend as part of the village's annual oyster festival. Photo by John Kelliher.

kerryman

WITH so much happening over the bank-holiday weekend, people would have been hard pressed to make it to everything, but here’s hoping that they managed to squeeze a visit to Ballylongford and its Oyster Festival into their agenda because, if not, they missed out on one hell of a weekend.

The hugely popular event ran from Friday until Monday and had a jam-packed schedule of events to keep people entertained, including the annual oyster-swallowing competition on the first day, the Friday. This was followed up by the women’s darts competition.

The next few days saw the village enjoying activities such as the Conor Heaphy Memorial Football Tournament and the Ballylongford Oyster Seafood Banquet in the parish hall followed by the inaugural Mike O’Neill darts tournament.

The festival finished up with activities such as the car treasure hunt at the church yard and the milk-churn race, and the barman’s race at 9pm, which was held in honour of James McNamara.

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Speaking to The Kerryman, Maria Hanrahan O’Neill, a member of the festival organising committee was effusive in her praise of how the 2022 outing of the festival went, with high praise too coming from the locals themselves

“It’s been absolutely unbelievably brilliant. The place has been hopping for the last four days, and we don’t know our head from our elbow at this stage it’s been so busy. We’ve been burning the candle at both ends,” she said.

“It was like being at the Rose of Tralee, it was packed and mobbed with people. There’s been great craic throughout and a lovely, lovely atmosphere. We were all starved to be out and about after COVID kept us all locked down for so long, so this is just releasing all that pent-up energy,” she continued.

“I met someone outside a pub last night and he said that the Oyster Festival was back with a bang!

“The fella alongside him then said that he didn’t think there was a festival anywhere around the country that could beat the Oyster Festival, so high, high praise right there,” she added.


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