SOME of Europe's best known angling experts will be among the star guests at the first ever Ballybunion Angling and Marine Show which takes place in the seaside town from March 23 to 25.
Lending their support to the event will be renowned angling photographer and TV presenter Harry Gibney, five times world fly tying champ Pete Dunne, angling personality Mary Gavin Hughes, former long distance fly fishing champion Glenda Power and angling journalist Jim Clohessy.
Also coming on board for the weekend will be celebrity chef, musician and film maker Bryce Collins, and renowned west Kerry surf and shore angler Bob Moss.
The brainchild of local angler Mike Enright, the upcoming angling event was launched in The Cashen Bar on Friday night. Among the highlights will be a photography workshop with Harry Gibney, a fly fishing workshop with Glenda Power and a seafood cooking demonstration by Tipperarybased Bryce Collins, who will also provide the food at a gala banquet on the Saturday night. Organisers have also planned a dedicated children's day at An Tinteán, with demonstrations by Dingle Aquarium, the Irish Water Safety Association and Dublinbased Marine Dimensions.
Mr Enright, the focus of the festival will obviously be on angling, with one of the highlights of the weekend being the angling competition for the Brian Martin Memorial Cup. Local man Brian died tragically while angling 17 years ago and the competition is Ballybunion's way of paying tribute to him, he said.
"This is the first festival of its kind to be held here in Kerry and we have already received fantastic feedback from angling experts who have all come on board to promote and support it," Mr Enright said. "Kerry has some of the finest angling facilities in the country yet it has never been promoted so we're hoping to change that."
The show, which is being organised in conjunction with Destination Ballybunion, is set to attract anglers from all over the country, and will hopefully become an annual event, he said.