The Annual Sand Festival at Bettystown Beach is one of our favourite events of the year and this year, the 16th, it drew a record number of both contestants and onlookers to the beach yesterday, Sunday July 18th.
Thousands of men women and children flocked to the beaches to enjoy the Summer Sunshine and build sand castles.
Sixteen years on now and still going strong, the Sandcastles and Sand Sculpturing Competitions are testament to the vision of the late Dick O'Reilly and act as a great show case for our beaches and encourage young and old to enjoy our beautiful amenity.
When one of the winners of the bigger prizes was asked how did it feel to win, she replied "It's not about winning it's about making memories for our children" And what memories we will have after such a wonderful day on the beach of Laytown-Bettystown.
The Chair of Meath County Council Cllr Tom Kelly was on hand to present all the prizes in the various categories for both sandcastles and sand sculpturing. This Year's Prizes for the Senior Sand Sculpturing were sponsored by Liz and Roger Pickett, The Cottages Laytown and Jimmy Gilna The Cottage Inn Laytown. All Junior Sculpturing prizes were sponsored by Macari's Takeaway in Bettystown.
The National Sandcastles and Sand Sculpturing Festival organisers want to thank the other sponsors: F.L.A.G. The Fisheries Local Action Group,UNITAS, Patrick and Margaret Smith Riverside Home and Gift Mornington,Tresses and Tallons of Bettystown, Aileen Smith - The Flower Yard in Mornington, Harrys' Centra Mornington, Pat's Centra Bettystown, Boyne Valley Foods, Cllr Sharon Tolan and Cllr Tom Kelly.
The prize for overall winner of the Sandcastles Competition was presented with the "Dick O Reilly Perpetual Cup" - The Hennessy Family from Kentstown Co Meath. This is presented each year to the individual or group who showed or displayed best effort on the day.
The organisers want to say thank you to Meath County Council and The Beach Wardens for their assistance with the event with a special note of thanks to Gerry Keoghan who was on hand on the day to assist with setting up and First Aid if we needed it.
Thank you to all the judges who gave up their Sunday Afternoon to assist and judge the various categories. Not an easy task. The winners for 2018 were as follows:
1st - Eiva, Kristia and Oli from Latvia - Polar Bears
2nd - Conor Duff, Bettystown - Beached Whale
3rd - Michael and Greg Sherry, Drogheda - Wall of Love
1st - Aaron and Sophie, Bettystown - Aligator
2nd - Dan De Val, Dundalk - Betty The Squid
3rd - Colin, Brad and Josh, Bettystown - Jurassic World
1st - Dillon and Emma, Bettystown - Mammy's Castle
2nd - James, Laytown - Rockcastle with Cars
3rd - The Bedfords, Dublin - Titantic Boat
1st - Grace and Rose, Bettystown - Shark
2nd - Imogen Feehan, Laytown - Terri the Talking Car
3rd - Jensen, Blanchardstown - Meteor Impact
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1st - Amy Doyle, Dublin - Starfish
2nd - Ealanor, Mornington - Sand Well
3rd - Thomas and Lily, Dunsaney - Mini Sand City
1st - The Hennessy Family, Kentstown - Sandcastles - and the Over All Winner too !
2nd - The Melia Family, Donacarney - Mermaid
3rd -The McCarthy Family, Cavan - Sandcastle Fort
Martina Maguire and Susan Wogan of the organising team ask that anyone who was on the beach for
the festival and took any photographs of sandcastles or sculptures to please share on their Facebook Page - Sandcastles Bettystown. The website is www.nationalsandcastles.ie