Youghal Mackerel Festival 2013
The wonderfully vigorous mackerel fish have been a very important part of
Youghal’s Heritage and way of life for hundreds of years. Its very unique
that they actually come into the town itself and right up to the quay walls
in the town centre. Fishing for mackerel is a popular tourist attraction.
“In years gone they by were vital to the economy because everybody made a
little money from them” comments Kevin Murphy, a local fisherman. For locals
and regular visitors to Youghal, Mackerel fishing is an event where young
and old, spectators and fishermen, boats people and terraferma people alike
gather along the waterfront to land fresh and tasty mackerel. Memories of
the mackerel from times past include the fish jumping onto the quay at the
height of the season and as we go to press kids knee high in the water
scooping them up with their hands to land them on the smaller town centre
To celebrate the wonder that is Mackerel a voluntary group would like to
“reel” you in to join in a fun festival. The festival is in its 3rd year and
is going from strength to strength with lots of free events for all the
family. A big part of the programme is two days of local chefs preparing
mackerel dishes outdoors in the town centre and offering tastings for the
general public. Previous festivals saw the town centre filled with delicious
aromas as barbeques and open air fires cooked mackerel tickled by a
wonderful variety of spices and herbs. There will appealing fish dishes,
wonderfully garnished, to savour and recipes to take away.
The festival, running from Friday 30th August to Sunday 1st September, will
be a fun-filled affair with the delicious food trail, plenty of live music
and family entertainment , childrens amusements and a market of local foods.
Beginning Friday 30th August from 7.30 p.m, participating restaurants will
offer the free mackerel starters and you can expect many specials on the
night. Join the delicious Fish Trail at local restaurants where the fish
starters will be presented in mouth watering diplays.
Saturday 31st August at 2.30 p.m. the opening ceremony commences with Tim
Tim has been the travel and destination dining columnist as Man In A
Suitcase for the last three years. Previous to that he was a restaurant
reviewer. He written about dining and hospitality for many publications. Tim
was one of this year’s Hospitality Heroes at Ireland’s largest industry
conference where he was invited to debate restaurants trends with Dylan
McGrath. The Opening Ceremony will be followed by announcing the winners of
the ‘Name the Mackerel Competition’ for kids who are helping to pick a great
fun name for the Mackerel Mascot who will appear at the Mackerel Festival
Saturday and Sunday there will be some fishy goings on with the barbeques on
Market Square The barbeques will be fired up and the mackerel will be
flavourful and juicy. You can enjoy a range of sweet and savoury goodies
from the local food stalls in the square.
Delicious home baking, freshly baked bread and savouries, local honey,
home-made Ice-cream, hand picked salad leaves and tasty summer salads, hot
popcorn and lots of treats.
Family fun on both days includes Puppet Shows, Kiddies Amusements, balloon
making and face painting and a visit from Perkie Bear. On Saturday, on the
water there will be the Aquatrek Sailing Competition and, for land lubbers,
the Volleyball Competition. On Sunday kids can make creative pottery pieces
on the Potter’s Wheels and decorate each piece to take home. Great music
throughout the weekend will include bands live on the town centre stage. The
committee have thought of everything and have secured alternative venues in
the event of poor weather. Looks like Youghal is the place to be this year.