Aw shucks, it's that time of year again. The launch took place yesterday of the Galway Oyster Festival, which is sponsored by Guinness (naturally), amongst others.
Local businessman Michael Moran, who runs Moran's Oyster Cottage in Kilcolgan, will be out to defend his title of World Champion oyster shucker.
Try saying that after sinking a few pints of stout.
The festival will run all weekend from Thursday, September 26th. It provides something of a boon to Galway’s tourism industry – last year the festival attracted about 22,000 visitors to the city.
Not that it appears to need the boost, mind you. I recently tried booking a hotel in Galway – the most expensive for accommodation in Ireland where rates surpass those even of Dublin – for an October weekend.
No room at the inn, was the stock refrain. Another green shoot?
Moran’s title is up for grabs on the Saturday, for whoever fancies their chances. The festival’s organisers say it is the “Olympics” of oyster shucking.
By all accounts, Moran is the Usain Bolt of his field. I think I’ll stick to the stout.
According to Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Ireland is the second-biggest producer of oysters in Europe, with 7,500 tonnes.
Imagine how difficult it would be trying to pop open all those shells? Shuck that.