23rd July 2023

Croagh Patrick Seafood and Tours Opens New Oyster Farm Visitor Centre

Croagh Patrick Seafood and Tours new oyster farm visitor centre was officially opened by Mr Michael Ring TD on Friday 21st July 2023. Based at the existing Gannon family oyster farm in Rosslaher near Westport, this quality tourist attraction is ideally located on both the Wild Atlantic Way and the Great Western Greenway. Supported by South West Mayo Development Centre (SWMDC) and the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG), it is part of BIM’s Taste the Atlantic Trail celebrating Irish seafood. Croagh Patrick Seafoods and Tours is set to become a true destination drawing tourists from far and wide.

The newly built visitor centre was designed to fit in with the existing vernacular buildings which comprised the original Gannon homestead. The welcoming centre offers an attractive a self-guided oyster farming tour including a captivating aerial photograph of the site and a full size currach named ‘Padraicín’ after the late Paddy Gannon. Nearby is sympathetically renovated heritage farm building which was previously a milking shed. The fascinating visitor tour consists of a guided tour along the idyllic foreshore where the Grade A oysters are produced, oyster picking and an oyster shucking lesson followed by a chance to browse the self-guided tour. A delicious seafood tasting menu with oysters, mussels and smoked salmon is available and the farm shop extends the experience with an opportunity to bring the taste of the Atlantic home.

The launch itself was a glorious tribute to Padraic and the entire Gannon family as friends, neighbours and guests celebrated the new centre with warmth and enthusiasm. Only one of the nine siblings was absent; Christopher who lives in New York and it was a wonderful example of a community coming together to applaud one of their own. Speaking at the launch Mr Michael Ring TD warmly congratulated the family citing his own connections with them from his early days doing a bread round and calling to the family shop, Mulchrone’s, in James Street Westport. Saying, “Today is a special day for me as well”, he planted a kiss on the cheek of Padraic’s mother Annie Nora Gannon who is hale and hearty in her 90th year. He also fondly recalled her husband the late Paddy Gannon. Mr Ring went on to say, “Croagh Patrick Seafoods is a wonderful project and a great example of what South West Mayo Development Company do to support small local communities. It is a fabulous development and will provide much needed employment in this area”.

Padraic Gannon himself thanked everyone for their help and support, saying that building the new centre was “like launching a boat on a rising tide”. He included the funders, his family, particularly his wife Sheila, neighbours and wider community in his thanks.

Mr Paul Gibbons, Chair of SWMDC commented that, “This venture epitomises the enthusiasm and attitude found within the community. I am very proud of the work our local team have done and are doing on this project, it is the way forward for all of us and proves that rural Ireland is indeed alive and well”.

Colette Fahy spoke on behalf of FLAG, representing the Chair, Neil Cruise. She congratulated Padraic Gannon and his team, wishing them further success. Fr Jim Walsh performed an official blessing of the new centre.

Croagh Patrick Seafood and Tours is a family business run by Padraic Gannon and his son Mark producing fresh, delicious Clew Bay native oysters and award-winning Pacific oysters. For a quarter of a century the Gannon family has produced shellfish in aquaculture sites on the shores of Clew Bay near Croagh Patrick for which the company is named. Croagh Patrick Seafoods is a prime example in demonstrating how using the sea as a resource and developing this aquaculture enterprise is a real and viable alternative to land use and agriculture.

Tours are 90 minutes long and take place daily at 12 noon. They can be booked online at Croagh Patrick Seafood and Tours is in Rosslaher, halfway between Westport and Newport and just a 5 minute cycle from the Greenway.


Lesley Emerson, PR West
087 2263319

 Registered in Dublin 182222. Recognised by the Revenue Commissioners as a Charity No. CHY 10482 Copyright © 2021 South West Mayo Development. All Rights Reserved.