KDA Seafood Festival
Pictured are Cliff Coulter – President of Kilkeel Chamber of Commerce; Diane Coulter – Chairman of Kilkeel Development Association ; Margaret Ritchie; Donna McConnell – Chief Executive of Kilkeel Development Association ; Wesley Newell – Director of Kilkeel Development Association; Ewan Atkinson – Secretary of Kilkeel Chamber of Commerce

After a successful first year Kilkeel Seafood Festival will now be an annual event. Cookery demonstrations, live music, indoor cinema, storytelling, exhibition, net mending, children’s entertainment, touch tank and a plethora of finest local seafood and artisan delights filled the harbour side.

Our award winning Mourne Seafood Cookery School of the year for 2017/2018 headed up by resident Chef Roger Moynihan certainly cooked up a storm in the sea food pavilion. Accompanied by top local chefs; Trevor Orr, Carlton Wells, Mik Cliffe and Lochain McGinn, visitors certainly weren’t disappointed in sampling mouth-watering dishes. If anyone is looking receipts please visit the Mourne Seafood Cookery School Facebook page for more information.

A welcome addition to the harbour to celebrate the maritime theme was the sailing vessel ‘Soteria’ a community sailing ship for NI as part of the Silvery Lights Sailing project. Visitors also had the opportunity to preview the ‘the secret of kells’ local archive footage of Kilkeel harbour being stormed by Vikings and footage of the Prawn & Lobster festival dating back to 1962. Local couple Leslie and Margaret Campbell displayed an exhibition of ‘A Day in the life of Kilkeel Harbour’. The exhibition will now be on display for the next few weeks in the Marine Heritage Centre so make sure to call into the Nautilus Centre as you won’t be disappointed and spot a familiar face or two.

The traditional Oyster eating contest attracted a good crowd as spectator’s watch Ewan Aitkens win the contest and the prawn tailing competition was won by Davy Hill. A special note of thanks goes to sponsors Rooney Fish Ltd, Seasource and JN Hire who kindly sponsored the competitions.

Chairperson of Kilkeel Development Association (KDA) Diane Coulter stated that the response for the inaugural Kilkeel Seafood Festival received has been fantastic. Kilkeel Harbour is the perfect setting and we really do have the best local seafood offering Northern Ireland has to offer. The weather didn’t fail to dampen the spirits and it was great to see visitors from as far as Coleraine, Dundalk and Dublin. On behalf of the KDA I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our sponsors, local businesses and every single person who contributed to day activities, and our dedicated staff members for a real team effort.

The KDA is excited that the Kilkeel Seafood Festival will become an annual event and are excited to work in partnership with everyone involved and start planning for next year’s event to build upon the success of this year’s event.