Sunday, 3 August 2008



August 2nd saw the kick off of the Malin Head 5th Annual Festival. The Festival at the Top,as it is known, takes place not only at the most northerly part of our peninsula, but also the northernmost extremity of our island of Ireland. Visitors to Malin Head come for the experience of the wild beauty where it feels like they are standing at the edge of the world. There is a rugged, isolated beauty and Malin head is excellent for windy and winding coastal walks. Beware when walking of the large chasm in the cliffs known as Hell's Hole and there are views of the now deserted Inishtrahull Island.


The festival began back in 2004 and is a community led and community based initiative. Each year has seen more and more events and visitors as the craic is mighty. So what is happening for the rest of the week?


"We hope to see you back in "The Head" for the Festival at the Top 2008!"


Tomorrow sees the children chalking their cues as they prepare for the Pool competition at the Seaview Tavern. Maybe there is a new Ronnie O'Sullivan in the midst?


On Thursday the Seaview Tavern hosts a Talent Competition. With the popularity of karaoke and the chance to show off your spoon balancing skills or your fire jugglig act we should see some budding stars emerge from the audience.

Everyone stands a chance of winning so if you are a bin man, a shy girl from next door, a young break dancer or even a small choir; get those vocal chords loosened up. I'll bet there are a few magicians there too. If you are the shy, retiring type, why not come alng for a good evening of fun.

The talent spotting doesn't end there either as you will get another chance to polish your act on Thursday the 14th when Farrens Bar pulls back their stage curtains. The star struck finalists will then head back to the Seaview Tavern on Saturday for the grand final. It promises to be a great nights entertainment and let's hope they do the same as the X Factor and bring out a few of the gallant losers too for a final medley.


If gambling is your thing then there will be a Saturday Night at the Races, again in the Seaview Tavern. It's all in a good cause as well as the proceeds will be going to Muscular Dystrophy.


Are you a bit of an egghead? Why not exercise the grey matter and take part in the Fun Quiz on Wednesday the 13th of August. The proceeds from this fun event will be going to the Malin Head Community Association.


The Sports Day on Friday the 15th promises to be a challenging and enjoyable event. All age groups will be taking part and the participants have been working hard to be in top form for the event.


On the pier at 12 noon on the 16th there will be a Fun Car Wash. How exactly they will find fun washing cars, we are not sure. Maybe they will be dressed up as giant sponges and throw themselves at the cars. I'll be taking my car down there anyway as it hasn't been washed for over a year. The whole fun soaked event is in aid of the Malmar Foundation.


If you like a good mystery then the Treasure Hunt on Saturday 17th of August will help to end the Festival at the Top in style as you drive around Malin looking for clues. Cars will be leaving Farrens Bar at 4 pm and I you want more information you can contact Ali Farren for more information.


The weather station at Mali Head (built in 1955) is an important element of the Irish meteorological service, providing weather reports for Met Eireann and official forecasts.Banba's Crown on Malin Head is Ireland's most northerly point. Banba was one of the mythical queen's of Ireland. She was the wife of king MacCuill, and the Goddess who represents the Irish spirit. She is considered to be the first settler in Ireland.

A tall derelict building known locally as The Tower was built at Malin Head in 1802 by the British Admiralty. During the second world war the small huts were built and used by the Irish Defence Forces to protect Irish neutrality.

Marconi Wireless built a radio station beside the tower in 1910. This was relocated later, to a few miles away and is now operated by the Irish Coast Guard

Inishtrahull Island (the name aptly translates to Island of the Yonder Strand) to the North East, used to have a community of over hundred men, woman and children and they were first to get pickings on local shipwrecks. There was a herd of deer living until very recently on the island, which is now home to seals and prolific bird life. ]

Below Banba's Crown to the east lies Ballyhillion beach, a unique raised beach system of international scientific importance. The very distinct shorelines show the changing relationship between the sea and the land from the time the glaciers began to melt, some 15,000 years ago.The largest sand dunes in Europe are at Lagg, along the north of Trawbrega Bay.

Malin Head is one of the few places in Europe where you may hear the elusive Corn Crake.

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