Fine weather and high spirits at Dingle Regatta

Jeaic MacGearailt, Emily Nic Gearailt and Paudie MacGearailt (Cumann Ramhaíochta Chorca Dhuibhne).
Jeaic MacGearailt, Emily Nic Gearailt and Paudie MacGearailt (Cumann Ramhaíochta Chorca Dhuibhne).

NEWLYWEDS Omar Proty and Shauna Drummond from Michigan, USA were among the hundreds that lined the breakwater last Sunday in Dingle to witness the staging of one of the West Kerry's proudest traditions, the Dingle Regatta.

It was day two of the annual regatta, the highlight of the naomhóg racing season in Corca Dhuibhne, and competitors and spectators alike were in fine form and high spirits.

Indeed among those to witness the excellent exhibition of rowing on the day were the Haughey family - including Conor, Ciarán, Seán and Eimear Mulhern (nee Haughey) - who keep the beacon lit by their father, the late former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey (a great bastion of the regatta) burning brightly.

Indeed, the Haughey's were among those to welcome newlyweds Omar and Shauna to Dingle. The couple, who flew into Shannon post nuptials, have literally circumnavigated the Irish coastline, heading up the Wild Atlantic Way into Donegal, from there into Northern Ireland down the east and south coast and up to Dingle.

As they enjoyed the fine rowing on show, Ciarán Haughey asked Omar – a nuclear engineer by profession – where in Ireland were the best pubs...

"Dingle, of course!" Shauna and Omar replied diplomatically, in unison.

Of course while all of this was playing out on the sidelines so to speak, the real action was on the water.

Saturday had seen underage clubs set the pace with a race-card featuring seven bouts which were hotly contended by members of Cumann Ramhaíochta Chorca Dhuibhne, Maharees and Brandon.

And there was no let up on Sunday with top racing action playing out on Dingle's choppy ocean waves as the LE Roisín and the marine research vessel the RV Celtic Mist, which was kindly donated to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group by the Haughey family.

One of the big races of the day elicited plenty of thrills and spills as Conor Haughey sounded the starters rifle to herald the commencement of the Men's 4-Hand Championship of Kerry.

The Maharees crew of John Joe Hussey, Michael O'Leary, Patrick Hussey and Kieran Browne edged a lead in the early stages but a jostle which saw the Dingle and Cork crews get tied up at the buoy enhanced their lead further, ensuring an eventual strong and commanding win.

Shortly afterwards it was time for the Women's 4-Hand Championship of Kerry as crews vied for the Charles J Haughey Memorial Cup. Despite a good display from the water, there was little doubt about the eventual result as the Dingle crew of Maunza Heidtke, Aoife Ni Mhuircheartaigh, Elaine Waters and Gillian O'Brien powered home.

It was another weekend to remember in Dingle; fine weather and great rowing, sure what more could you want?


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