Video Clips


    Below is a listing of just some of the locations offering accommodation in or near Claregalway.

  • B&B, Claregalway: Billy Greally: phone: 087-2221313 

2015 National Organic Soil Conference

Venue: Claregalway Castle, ClaregalwaySoil Matters.
Date:   Monday, 06/July/2015
Entrance: €40 for NOTS menbers, (unemployed free)
Booking: SOLD OUT!   096-40868, website:
As part of the Galway Garden Festival, 2015.

   The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation declared 2015 the International Year of Soils.  To mark this event, the National Organic Training Skillnet in conjunction with the Galway Garden Festival, Mayo Organic Group and Klaus Laitenberger have organised a soils conference on Monday 6th July to discuss issues around soil protection and enhancement.

   The main problem humanity is currently facing is not global warming, extinction of species or any other environmental crisis – the main problem we will have to face is the degradation of our soils. The world population continues to increase while we destroy more and more topsoil. If this is allowed to continue there won’t be enough fertile soil left to feed a growing world population.

   Some disturbing facts are:

  • 24 billion tonnes of fertile or 12 million hectares topsoil are lost every year.  
  • 25% of the earth’s surface has already become degraded.  This could feed 1.5 billion people.
  • The UN FAO calculated that we have about 60 years of harvests left – and then?

   The organic movement is increasing throughout the world.  One of the key concepts of organic farming is the care for the land and recognising that our soils are the givers of life.  They need to be kept healthy and alive.  Only a fertile soil can produce healthy crops and only with healthy crops can we have healthy animals and people.  The mantra of organic farming is‘to feed the soil which in turn will feed the plant’.  The reverse is true for conventional farming where the soil is considered just a medium on which plants grow and anchor themselves.  The soil is considered as an inert sponge on which plants are force fed like being on a drip.

   Over the last few decades our soils have suffered immensely and are close to the brink of collapsing.  As a matter of urgency we need to learn how to care for our soils. Alex Lavarde appropriately called for the need to learn how to “bring soil back to life”.

   Soils Matter Conference will take place in Claregalway Castle, Co. Galway on Monday 6th July following the Galway Garden Festival on the 4th and 5th of July.  During the Galway Garden Festival there will be talks and demonstrations for children and adults about the importance on how to keep our soils healthy. The Galway Garden festival is a great family event for all those with an interest in the outdoors.

   The conference space is limited therefore early booking is recommended. Places are €40.00 with limited free places.
There are excellent speakers and poster sessions organised throughout the day.

  • Dr. Elizabeth Stockdale (Soil Scientist at Newcastle University)
  • Ian Tolhurst (Organic Grower and Author from the UK)
  • Jim Cronin (Organic Grower)
  • Pat Lalor (Organic Farmer)Frank Macken (Organic Unit – DAFM)
  • Dara Molloy (Celtic Priest)
  • Clive Bright (Organic Farmer)

For more information or to book a place contact NOTS on 0719640688, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or

NOTS - National Organic Training Skillnet

Skillnets - Subsidised Training for employees.


  • 10:00 - 10:30  Arrival, registration and refreshments.
  • 10:30 sharp.   Welcome and Introduction by Klaus Laitenberger
  • 10:50 - 11:50  Presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Stockdale
  • 11:50 - 13:00  TED style talk. Q&A session PANEL A
  • 13:00 - 14:00  Lunch. Available from Vendors
  • 14:05 - 14:10 Introduction of Ian Tolhurst by Klaus
  • 14:10 - 15:10  Presentation with Ian Tolhurst
  • 15:10 - 16:10 TED style talk. Q&A session PANEL B
  • 16:10 - 16:30 Presentation by Darragh Molloy
  • 16:30 - 17:00 Dr. Eamonn O'Donoghue of Claregalway Castle


Fancy Fancy Dress?

Fancy that!

Sunday, July 5th, 12pm - 4pm: Join the fun and dress as you whatever you like... street urchin, chimney sweep, the unknown or the famous, a Roman soldier, Cleopatra, Long John Silver, Mad hatter, any time, any person..

Arrive by carriage, by rickshaw, with you wish.


Left, Look at them! Entrants ELIMINATED for arriving at the Festival in an overloaded vehicle while under the influence of FANCY DRESS FUN! And will you look at yer wan in the hat... Disgraceful you know, making a show of themselves like that... And not a road-tax disk to be seen, covered as it is by that hussy...

Prizes include:-


  • Prize 1 here

  • Prize 2 here

  • Prize 3 here

  • Prize 4 here


Judges will be roaming incognito to select the winners.

Prizes will be presented on site around 5.30pm


January 2015 Press Release on hand over of funds to charities involved with the Galway Garden Festival

All gate profits of Galway Garden Festival go to local and international charities who have to date received over €110,000. The 2014 beneficiaries were Claregalway Day Care Centre, Galway Simon and CBM Ireland.

Galway Garden Festival was first held in 2009 and was the brain child of garden enthusiast Padraigin O’ Donoghue and her brother Eamonn. Over the past 5 years it has evolved into a unique and multi facetted event. At its core, it is a showcase for the very best of rare and special plant traders from all over Ireland.

This is coupled with a speakers programme that has featured many internationally renowned experts. It also offers a feast of outdoor melody with the best of Brass Band, Classical, Jazz and Traditional Irish musicians. A surprising aspect of this festival is that there is so much to delight children with entertainers, open air performance and educational role play. In parallel there is a superb Artisan Food and Crafts arena and an excellent variety of catering facilities.

This festival is truly an explosion of colour, scent, sound, texture and tastes.

A festival of small and large surprises with an emphasis on excellence and affordability

Claregalway Day Care Centre is open everyday providing hot meals, entertainment, activities and a social outlet for those that may need this in the community. There is welcome for everybody in a safe holistic and caring environmnet.

CBM Ireland

CBM is an international Christian development organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world. With over 100 years of professional expertise, CBM addresses poverty as a cause, and a consequence, of disability, and works in partnership to create a inclusive society for all.

“Being involved with a local garden festival that brings colour, fun and community involvement that the clients of Galway Simon who become volunteers during the festival look forward to palying a key role as part of the huge volunteer festival team every summer” say Hazel Hendy form Galway Simon.

2015 Annoucement of Summer Festival dates

The 2015 Galway Garden Festival will be held on the 4th and 5th July with gate profits to partner charities, which in 2015 will again be Claregalway Day Care, Galway Simon Community and CBM Ireland.

In the meantime why not see Claregalway castle in winter? Come this weekend 13th & 14th December 12 noon – 8 pm for a memorable Christmas Fair.


For more info:

(086) 2020999


We are delighted to announce that the exhibitors below have confirmed that they will be showcasing their products and services as they support the Galway Garden Festival. Please give them your support.







  • There will be Food & Drink stalls open all-day, each day of the Garden Festival.


  • The Galway Baytones
  • St. Patricks Brass Band
  • Castlebar Brass Band
  • and others. Watch this space...

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Back Garden

The first three letters of the ancient Irish Ogam alphabet were not A, B, C but B, L, N. Every letter of Ogam had a word associated with it, and many of these words were tree-names.

B was known as Beithe ‘Birch’, L as Luis ‘Rowan’, and N as Nin ‘Ash’. The whole alphabet was often called Beithe Luis Nin.

The letters were termed feda ‘trees’, and a single letter-score was called flesc ‘twig’. The Modern Irish word for ‘hyphen’ is fleiscín.--Seanchas.

“A society grows great when old men plant trees, under whose shade they know they shall never sit”. - Greek proverb.

“Maireann an crann ar an bhfál ach ní mhaireann an lámh a chuir”. --Seanfhocal

“Not that I want to be a god or a hero. Just to change into a tree, grow for ages, not hurt anyone”. --Czeslaw Milosz - ‘Longing’