Saturday, 26 July 2008



Ideally situated on the western shore of Lough Foyle, Moville is accessible from all areas North and South and is frequently visited by people from all over the world. Originally just one street, Moville has grown into a thriving town with a diverse mixture of businesses, industries and services that are successfully providing employment and self-sufficiency for the area.

Over the last few years Moville has successfully run some diverse festivals. Last year was the hugely popular Dylan Fest and they were also one of the first towns to host an “Oyster Festival”. The one event that everyone looks forward to every year is the popular Summer Festival. Started in the 1950’s as a Sea Angling Festival the event has grown to be one of the most popular events of the year and it also includes the Moville Regatta.


The Moville Summer Festival was originally The Foyle Sea Angling Festival and was started by Father Rafferty in the 1950’s. It also holds the accolade for being the oldest festival in the peninsula.

Local men, Father Rafferty, Jim McGettigan and Tony Meehan were concerned at the plight of the families of the many fishermen lost at sea. So much so, they decided to start the Angling Festival to raise money for the families. This proved to be such a success that the Festival continued year after year. Angling Clubs from all over the North, Bangor and Co. Down used to attend and one regular visitor was Father Willy McDonald who travelled from Southampton every year, even during the years of the troubles.


This year we have fantastic live bands performing outdoors at the festival. It’s bigger and better than ever! Eddie Harkin – chairman of the festival

“I wouldn’t miss this wacky event for the world. I come over every year from Scotland and have a fabulous time” – Larry Lumley, sunbathing on the street in Moville


Although events begin on Wednesday with the treasure hunt, the festival isn’t officially opened until 7:30 pm on Friday the 1st of August. Not that that will deter anyone from starting the celebrations. Ash McFadden from Greencastle’s Inishowen Maritime Museum & Planetarium will be setting off some of his rockets to mark the start of the weekend. This, like all things that happen in the festival are subject to weather conditions and if the wind is up they might have to find something else to mark the opening as the rockets tend to get blown out into the Foyle. Ash always remains positive though and he will be studying the wind reports up until the moment of launching.


Even before the official opening of the festival there is still plenty to do. If you have a car and an inquisitive mind then you night like to join in the Car Treasure Hunt that starts from McGettigans bar at 6 pm tomorrow Wednesday 30th. The list of questions will tax your brain as you scour the countryside for clues. Although the finishing time is supposed to be 9 pm, we would imagine that there will still be people lost for a few hours afterwards as they try to solve the clues.


If you have a cute baby then why not enter the Bonny Baby Competition at 3pm on Saturday. This year the organisers have opened up the event to include loads of categories, even including children up to 4-7 year old. This section is aptly named “Masters of the Universe”.

There are some old favourites to look forward to on Saturday. After the regatta Cruiser Race which starts at 2pm, the vintage tractor and building display will be on show at Quay Street near the pier. The old Massey engines are sure to rekindle a bit of nostalgia for some and show us what life used to be like when we were more open to the elements.

All aboard

Sunday may see people thrashing around in the Foyle if some of their home made rafts sink into the murky water. If you stand around the pier at 4pm then you will witness a large group of hardy men, women and children who are not afraid to risk their dignity whilst straggled across a few rusty 52 gallon drums. There has never been so much fun in the water. For anyone participating and not suffering hypothermia, there will be a presentation to the winners afterwards.

A bit of history
For those of you who like to keep on the move there will be an historic walk around the town tracing Moville back to 1754 when the property on which the town of Moville now stands was purchased by Samuel Montgomery, A Derry merchant, who was Sheriff of the City in 1754. He built “New Park” in 1776 - the family residence ever since. The walk begins at 12 noon on Saturday the 2nd.

All the fun of the fair
All through the weekend there will be a fairground to excite the children and turn the stomachs of the parents, as they are reluctantly forced to sit in with their offspring. A bouncy castle will give a bit of welcome relief to adults, as generally they are not allowed to bounce as it ruins it for the toddlers, as they tend to fly uncontrollably in the air.

Live music
Live music will be playing all around the centre of the town over the weekend. There will be stages on James Street, Market Square and the Malin Road. The committee have booked come choice acts this year, which include a Bon Jovi tribute band, a Robbie Williams tribute and Flash Harry, a tribute to Queen.

In the bars
For people not wanting to stand outside, most bars around the town will be will be hosting live sounds. Check out the Waterfront, Caisal Mara, The Town Clock, Rawdons, The Trawlermans, Rosatos Bar, and the Corner Bar to see what’s on over the course of the festival. If it’s boogying the night away then McGuire’s and the Bar -a -Cuda will be venues for DJ action.

Late Licences – but please be sensible
Late licences have been obtained for the duration of the Festival and the committee wishes to emphasise that the Moville Summer Festival promotes sensible drinking and requests that stewards and gardai are co-operated with at all times.


Last year one band controversially pulled out of the event because the Strippendales were performing. However a recent survey showed that 10 out of 13 Movillians were relaxed about male strippers.

The first steamboat service Derry to Moville started in 1832, this has nothing to do with the festival but wouldn’t it be great to see it back in action. What an attraction it would be for the festival….

The Gaelic name for Moville was originally Bun an Phobail (pronounced bunafobble) ("the foot, or end, of the parish). What a great name.

The Moville Festival is the oldest in the peninsula, dating back over 50 years.

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