Hillsborough Enjoys Another Great Oyster Fest


UPU Industries joins with The Plough Inn to host the ‘UPU Plough Fest’ in aid of Hillsborough International Oyster Festival.

An estimated 3,000 enthusiasts of the annual Hillsborough International Oyster Festival gathered at The Plough Inn from Thursday to Saturday 24-26 August to get behind a one-off ‘festival for a cause.’

Anna Rea and Philip Orr of UPU Industries (sponsors) pictured at the Hillsborough Oyster Plough Fest.

Following the recent announcement that this year’s 25th Hillsborough International Oyster Festival was cancelled due to funding arrangements, Oyster Festival faithfuls, including event sponsors UPU Industries and The Plough Inn, rallied to raise funds for next year’s Oyster Festival and keep the spirit of the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival alive.

Derek Patterson and Colin Shirlow holding up David Allen, winner of the UPU Oyster Eating Challenge and £1000 cash prize.

In attendance at the event were local supporters of the festival, members of the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival Committee, and local businesses including UPU Industries, Phoenix Natural Gas, Bodel, Dillon Bass, Coca Cola, Diageo, Schweppes, Hannan Meats, and Direct Wine Shipments.

With £10,000 raised over three days of activities including a pop-up restaurant hosted by internationally renowned Brazilian chef Andre Lima de Luca, a salsa evening complete with mojitos, auctions to raise funds including two unique paintings by local artist Emma Spence, and a Saturday ‘Gin and Jazz’ event which featured local craft gins and the UPU Oyster Eating Challenge – a twist on the traditional annual oyster eating competition – the UPU Plough Festival was declared a success by its organisers and attendees alike.

They all  worked to preserve the annual spirit of the festival which has brought thousands of guests from around the world to Hillsborough each summer since its inception in 1992.  Following the outpouring of support from attendees at the UPU Plough Fest, the Hillsborough International Oyster festival organising committee aims to make the festival’s 25th year bigger and better than ever in 2018.

Andy Rea of Mourne Seafood Bar at the Hillsborough Oyster Festival.