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HomeFarming NewsOyster farm visitor centre to become ‘true’ tourist destination
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Oyster farm visitor centre to become ‘true’ tourist destination

A new innovative oyster farm visitor centre, which is set to become a “true destination drawing tourists from far and wide”, has opened its doors in the west of Ireland.

Michael Ring TD performed the official opening of Croagh Patrick Seafood and Tours on Friday, July 28th, 2023.

Based at the existing Gannon family oyster farm in Rosslaher near Westport, the tourist attraction is located on both the Wild Atlantic Way and the Great Western Greenway.

Croagh Patrick Seafood and Tours is a family business run by Padraic Gannon and his son, Mark, producing fresh Clew Bay native oysters and award-winning Pacific oysters.

For a quarter of a century, the Gannon family has produced shellfish in aquaculture sites on the shores of Clew Bay near Croagh Patrick, for which, the company is named.

Supported by South-West Mayo Development Centre (SWMDC) and the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), it is part of BIM’s Taste the Atlantic Trail celebrating Irish seafood.

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Tours – what to expect

The newly built visitor centre was designed to fit in with the existing vernacular buildings which comprised the original Gannon homestead.

The welcoming centre offers a self-guided oyster farming tour, including a captivating aerial photograph of the site and a full-size currach named ‘Padraicín’ after the late Paddy Gannon.

Nearby is a sympathetically renovated heritage farm building which was previously a milking shed.

The visitor tour consists of a guided tour along the idyllic foreshore where the Grade A oysters are produced, oyster picking, and an oyster shucking lesson followed by a chance to browse the self-guided tour.

A delicious seafood tasting menu with oysters, mussels and smoked salmon is available and the farm shop extends the experience with an opportunity to “bring the taste of the Atlantic home”.

Launch

The launch itself was a glorious tribute to Padraic and the entire Gannon family as friends, neighbours and guests celebrated the new centre with warmth and enthusiasm.

Only one of the nine siblings was absent; Christopher, who lives in New York, and it was an example of a community coming together to applaud one of their own.

Padraic Gannon thanked everyone for their assistance and support, funders, family, particularly his wife Sheila, neighbours, and the wider community, and said that building the new centre was “like launching a boat on a rising tide”.

Tours are 90 minutes long and take place daily at 12 noon. They can be booked online at www.croaghpatrickseafoods.ie.

Croagh Patrick Seafood and Tours is in Rosslaher, halfway between Westport and Newport and just a 5-minute cycle from the Greenway.

See more farming news on www.thatsfarming.com

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