About Us

Slow Food Galway Committee 2017

Leader/Chairperson Kate O Dwyer
Secretary : Trish Kirby
Treasurer :Emilia Furey
Membership Secrectary: Cathal Walsh
PR Officer: Rachael Webb

Slow Food Galway Committee 2016

Chairperson:  Kate O Dwyer
Secretary:   Cait Curran
Treasurer:   Amelia Furey
Membership Secretary:  Aine Ni Cheannabhain
PR Officer:  Maria Conneely
Other committee members Cathal Walsh

Early days of Slow Food Galway

The 14th century English proverb states that “Great oaks from little acorns grow” but as we all know, oak trees grow slowly but steadily.  We, in Slow Food Galway, would like to think that our convivium is also growing steadily from its slender beginnings in 2009.

Membership records from Slow Food International show that Thomas Creedon and Irene Jordan from Gort joined SFI in November 2006.   In October 2007, Kate O’Dwyer became a member shortly followed by Michelle Smyth and Matt O’Connell.   By the end of December ’07, three more had joined bringing the Galway numbers to eight.
In 2008 some more food-interested people joined SFI among who were Declan and Aoife Droney of Kinvara Smoked Salmon, Graham and Saoirse Roberts of Connemara Smokehouse, Ballyconneely, Mary Cahalane, Deirdre McGrath (previously a member in Amsterdam) and Ronan Byrne – the Friendly Farmer.   Also among the new recruits in 2008 were Ron and Mona Wise who took out a three year membership – the first to do so in the Galway region

At this stage, these early members did not have a local convivium whereby they could meet formally or informally to share their interest in and appreciation of good, clean and fair food. They did not have a platform from where they could follow the ethics of the Slow  Food Movement and its belief in the sustainable process of food provision.  So in early 2009, the Galway members of SFI applied to Italy to establish a convivium in Galway.   This was formally ratified in April 2009 and the first Convivium Leader was Mona Wise ably assisted by Ron Wise, Aoibheann McNamara (Ard Bia),  Kate O’Dwyer and Cáit Curran.
In a 2009 communication from SFI it was stated that “Ireland was experiencing its worst recession in the history of the state”.    In spite of this, SFI hoped to increase their national membership from 410 to over 600 in two years.  The Galway convivium alone which started with about 20 members had about 75/76 member by the end of 2012. 
From early 2009 the stalwart members of SFG set about their convivial activities.  Their Grandmother’s Day held at Ballybane Enterprise Centre allowed the partaking grannies to share their baking skills with their grandchildren and some SFG members.  In May, they visited McGeough’s Craft Butchery in Oughterard (pictures above in BLOG ARCHIVE).  After a demonstration in butchery and meat processing, the members headed off to Cnoc Suain, the idyllic home of Dearbhaill Standún and Charlie Troy where a sumptuous meal was had by all.
In September, a wine-tasting event accompanied by wonderful food was hosted at Ron and Mona’s house where 14/15 members enjoyed the hospitality of the Wise household (pictures also in BLOG ARCHIEVE).

And then:

On Sunday 18th October the first of our “biggies” took place - the first of what has become an annual event.  This mushroom forage was lead by Louis Smith of GMIT assisted by Barbara Buckley (GMIT) and Michael Mulholland (chef).  In spite of heavy rain and very damp conditions, all present enjoyed their forage followed by a delicious spit roasted Connemara lamb.  While actual numbers of members and guests present on the day is not definite, the “catering brigade” believe that approximately 120 people partook of the roasted lamb, buttered forest mushrooms and delicious side dishes provided by members.  Members still talk of the day as one of the “greats”.
This inaugural year was wrapped up with “the Spirit of Christmas” event once again hosted at Dearbhaill’s and Charlie’s Cnoc Suain.  In addition to tasting spiced beef, hams with members’ winter dishes and the sipping of some home-made seasonal drinks, the AGM was held.   Kate O’Dwyer was selected as the new SFG leader replacing Mona Wise who felt that due to study and family commitments, she could no longer give the time necessary to head up the convivium.  

Therefore in 2010, Kate with committee members Deirdre Mc Grath, Barbara Griffin, Cáit Curran, Cobie den Heyer and Mairéad Uí Dhomhnaill commenced a busy new year with 6 events lined up, a potential visit to Terra Madre and other selected visits to producer members.  
Subsequent events on subsequent years are covered chronologically in our web site and hardly need further reporting here.  
Finally, if you feel that I have given inaccurate information in any of the above please feel free to contact me at:  galway@slowfoodireland.com

Barbara Buckley

1 comment:

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    Sakkarin Sº