About the Rosses Point Shanty Festival
Rosses Point is Sligo’s maritime village. For generations its men and women have ploughed the seas in the service of the Merchant Navy and our festival celebrates this rich heritage. For its size and from its sailors Rosses Point has produced a great number of Master Mariners - the tradition of seafaring continues……
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the Charity saving lives at sea. Sligo-Bay RNLI Station is based at Rosses Point. The work of the RNLI is voluntary – our Festival promotes and supports the work of the RNLI.
The Merchant Navy
Many people ask what the Merchant Navy is. It is the body of ships and seafarers that traverses the oceans linking the world through trade. Many companies, based in different countries, with ships crewed by many nationalities are involved. If you look around almost all the goods you see - your cars, televisions, coal, oil, toys and foodstuffs - were all brought to Ireland by ships of the Merchant Navy.
In the days of sail and the tall ships, songs (Shanties) were employed to keep rhythm amongst the crew in the back breaking and tremendously physical work of hoisting and lowering sails, changing ships course, weighing the anchor or simply pumping for hours to keep the ships afloat. The shanties tell stories of life onboard, ports visited, fun times ashore and the challenges of a life at sea. Other sea songs developed (Forebitters), which were sung by sailors aboard, not during the hard work but in their times off, these too tell rich stories of life at sea.
Our festival runs - to celebrate our Maritime Heritage - to promote the work of the RNLI - to make new friends at home and abroad - and to have a lot of fun.
Sligo will enchant you.
It is a county that celebrates its independent spirit. A place steeped
in history and mythology, with a creative tradition that lives in the
music, art, poetry and expression of its people.
From lakes and rivers to beaches and dramatic limestone mountains,
Sligo is a place where ancient sites, spectacular landscapes and rolling
waves inspire stories, trails and adventures that will open your mind
and invigorate your body.
Come and join us in Sligo and set your spirit free.