Music, dance and the art of oyster schucking at the Galway Oyster Festival.

In September 1954 Brian Collins, manager of the Great Southern Hotel organised the first oyster festival in Galway on the last weekend in September to celebrate the oyster harvest season in the west of Ireland.

This year the festival opened with a pageant performed by players from Dunguaire Castle and a ceremonial tasting of the first oyster by Mayor of Galway Alderman Robert Molloy. This was followed by Guinness and oyster tasting at Paddy Burke’s pub in Clarenbridge, with entertainment in the form of traditional music and dancing.

Chief oyster opener at the festival is John Cumins of Clarenbridge County Galway. He also represented Ireland at the International Oyster Opening Championship yesterday, competing against contestants from the United States, Canada, France, Germany and England.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 21 September 1968. The footage shown here is mute.