Food and crafts festival sees Ballyferriter on the rise

Diarmaid Mac an tSaoir dishing up ‘Biddy’s Old Irish Stew’ to Mary Reilly and Gary Granville, along with Dude the dog.
Diarmaid Mac an tSaoir dishing up ‘Biddy’s Old Irish Stew’ to Mary Reilly and Gary Granville, along with Dude the dog.

Baile an Fheirtéaraigh put its best forward as local businesses came together to host the Féile an Bhuailtín food and crafts fair on Sunday.

The village was alive with people who moved easily from premises to premises in the village, making the most of the fair weather that brightened the day. The five pubs (four in the village and Tig Bhric in Riasc) provided entertainment and food/drink samples to whet the appetite of visitors.

The aim of the activities was to raise funds for development of the area and to this end a desk was busy selling raffle tickets for €10. The major prizes of artworks given by West Kerry artists Tomás Ó'Ciobháin, Carol Cronin, Liam O'Neill and Martine Moriarty were all won locally by Betty Keane, Siobhan Ní Chathalláin, Celine Bambury and Fergal Mac Amhlaoibh, respectively.

Adrienne Heslin, of West Kerry Brewery and Tig Bhric was delighted with the €550 euro raised for the development fund by the 'blind' auction of a work by Maria Simmonds-Gooding. The highest bid for this limited edition print was from a lady who has recently purchased a house in the area.

The activities on the day included a craft fair, face painting, pumpkin -carving, craft demonstrations and ceol. Children excitedly discussed the disco - a first for some who were heard to enquire, "cad a dheineann tú i disco". The query received the knowledgeable reply: "Dancing. Deineann tú dancing sa disco".

A delighted Helena Uí Dhálaigh, manager of Ostán Ceann Sibéal, made 350 mutton pies and just "had enough left to give one to someone to take home". "There was great community spirit" she said giving credit for a new lease of life in an Bhuailtín to the opening of the new shop that "has brought great life to the village".

In the shop, Micilín Muc sold out all they had brought to the Féile and other stall-holders in the craft fair in the hotel reported a brisk trade as well as delight at the warm and cosy venue.

There was a sense that Baile 'n Fheirtéaraigh is on the rise as the community and visitors settled to the warmth of the pub and the accompaniment of great tunes from Tigh an tSaorsaigh to Tigh Uí Catháin. "Next year it will be even better" said Helena.