For over 150 years the parishes of Carraroe, Co. Galway and Kinvara, Co.Galway engaged in commercial trade across Galway bay. The majestic Galway Hookers (Bád Mór, Leathbhád, Gleoiteog, and Púcán) laden with turf were sailed from Carraroe and traded in Kinvara.
In 1957 due to the advent of bottled gas and a greatly improved road network, the tradition was lost.
In 1979 local man Tony Moylan (RIP) established the ‘Cruinniu na mBad’ in an attempt to re-enact / retain this tradition that had spanned over five generations.
Cruinniu means a gathering in Irish, and the idea was to bring all the old boats together to celebrate this wonderful tradition
His efforts have been very successful, and this year, 2024, we will be celebrating the 45th Anniversary.

Whilst the primary focus of the festival is based on the sea events since 2017 the current committee have been expanding the tradition on the Land and have successfully broaden the event to the wider audience.
Today the festival weekend includes a focus on;

• Workshops focussed on sea based local businesses ie Oyster farmers, Mussel farmers
• Workshops based on unique local traditions ie Climín building, Climín racing
• Tradition Irish entertainment ie Sean Nos singing and dancing
• Village fête for local community groups
• Green Island Swim (this had been lost for 25years)
• Annual Horse Shoe throwing (this had also been lost for years)
• Cooking demonstration of local produce
• Arts exhibition of local artists
• Family events ie Local magicians, local entertainers

Tony Moylan, sitting with local woman Nonie May, explains how the photograph he is holding inspired the idea to hold a boating festival, centred around the traditional hookers, the native boat to the Galway Bay area