THE grounds of Glenarm Castle Estate are set to quake this July as teams of leading strongmen go head to head in a battle worthy of the legendary Finn McCool.
Taking place on Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14, the Clash of the Celtic Giants Highland Games will make a welcome return to Glenarm Castle Estate as part of the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival, in partnership with UTV.
Glenarm has played host to the world famous Highland Games for 14 years and is promising to put on the toughest challenge yet for teams from Scotland and Ireland who will compete in the grounds of the historic estate.
The Clash of the Celtic Giants Highland Games was launched this week at Glenarm Castle with the UK’s strongest man Glenn Ross throwing down the gauntlet to his Scottish counterparts who will be making the trip across the Irish Sea this summer.
Adrian Morrow, Glenarm Castle Estates managing director said: “I can’t wait to see how our own strongmen fair against the mighty Scots.
“This is a new twist on the traditional Highland Games with teams competing for the title and we hope that visitors will come along and enjoy the spectacle.
“The Clash of the Celtic Giants is just one part of the P&O Ferries Dalriada Festival in partnership with UTV and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to what promises to be one of the UK and Ireland’s biggest cultural events.
“Come rain or shine there will be something on offer for visitors to the Estate and this year we have worked hard to make sure that even if the rain does come you can still enjoy the events with covered areas all around the Estate – so make sure to come along and see a legendary battle.”
The festival is a celebration of music, sport and fine food and includes a headline performance from international pop star Ronan Keating with special guest star Sharon Corr on Saturday, July 14.
This is Ronan’s only performance in Ireland this year and promises to be a night to remember – all under cover of a big top, so you don’t need to worry about the weather.
Also launched was Northern Ireland’s first-ever Sheep Fashion Show - Chic Sheep - which will see a flock of woolly models putting their best hoof forward along with their handlers on Friday, July 13, The event is sponsored by Edinburgh Woollen Mill and in partnership with Ulster Young Farmers.
Participants need to register online at www.dalriadafestival.co.uk where you can find out more details about the competition.
Arthur Murphy of title sponsors P&O Ferries said: “As operator of the shortest, fastest and most frequent crossings between Ireland and Scotland, P&O Ferries is delighted to sponsor the Dalriada Festival for the 10th year running.
“Since the start of our sponsorship of the Highland Games in 2002 we have witnessed the event grow in size, stature and popularity attracting even greater audiences to the picturesque coastal village of Glenarm.
“Operating on one of the oldest traditional trade routes between Ireland and Scotland P&O Ferries has been bringing these two Celtic nations together for many decades. We are delighted to have played a part of the continuous evolution of the games now known as the Clash of the Celtic Giants Highland Games and celebrate we are offering a series of ‘one time only’ rates which will allow even more people to come to Co. Antrim and take part in the fun.”
Visitors to the Clash of the Celtic Giants will also be treated to the finest food that Northern Ireland is famous for with demonstrations from TV chefs The Fabulous Baker Brothers as well as a line up of award-winning Taste of Ulster Chefs, local producers and artisans, who together will celebrate some of the exceptional produce of the Glens of Antrim and Northern Ireland as a whole.
In addition to this, it will be an opportunity for visitors to enjoy the Estate’s own produce which will be available throughout the two days as well as Glenarm Organic Salmon.
The week-long festival also includes a free Gospel Concert on Saturday, July 15, with a headline performance from singer songwriter Brian Houston as well as a show-stopping fireworks finale on July 21. The week includes a rowing regatta, horse hunt chase, triathlon and much, much more.
Tickets for the concert are available at www.ticketmaster.ie, while tickets for the Clash of Celtic Giants can be purchased on the gate. The festival week events will incur no admission charge. Further information on the festival and concert can be found at www.dalriadafestival.co.uk
Tickets for Ronan Keating can also be purchased at the Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau and Woodsides Pharmacy in Ballymena.