For generations the Gannon family has farmed on the shores of Clew Bay on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Today Padraic Gannon has transformed the business from farming the land to farming the sea and harvesting from the pristine Atlantic waters.
His father, and his father before him were dairy and mixed farmers, running a small herd of milking cows and supplementing their income by selling seaweed from the seashore. It wasn’t easy to eek a living from their modest acreage in a very challenging environment. The local tradition of seasonal emigration was looking like a possibility, but Padraic’s deep connection to the sea and Clew Bay made him determined to find a way to stay where his heart lay. As is so often the case, the solution was simple and once he turned his attention away from the land and towards the vast Atlantic on his doorstep everything changed. He switched from farming animals to farming oysters and Croagh Patrick Seafoods was born.
Today Padraic heads up a thriving family business which grows exceptional oysters and supplies them to the retail and wholesale trade in both domestic and international markets. In the last few years, he has begun offering guided tours to visitors who are fascinated by the story of oyster farming – and the Gannon’s own story.
The waters of this beautiful section of Clew Bay at Rosslaher are graded A, meaning they are pristine and free from any contamination. As the oysters grow, they take on the particular characteristics of the bay, acquiring a unique and unparalleled taste. The Gannons operate a sustainable and environmentally friendly oyster farm.
Operating out of Roslaher, Kilmeena, and harvesting oysters daily, year-round in Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick Seafoods farm the tried and tested Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), which has a long shell with a rough deeply ridged exterior. The company also farms the native oyster (Ostrea edulis), which has a flatter, rounder shell and is only harvested in months with an ‘r’ in them.
Croagh Patrick Seafoods are founder members of the Gourmet Greenway, local producers along the celebrated Great Western Greenway walking and cycling trail. It’s a genuine taste of place experience. They are also proud members of BIM’s Taste the Atlantic
It is a family business producing Clew Bay native oysters, Pacific oysters, mussels and clams. For a quarter of a century the Gannon family has produced shellfish in mari-culture sites on the shores of Clew Bay beside Croagh Patrick for which the company is named.