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    Gabriel Faherty

    Gabriel FahertyEnthusiastic Atlantic Food Ambassador | Inir Mor, Aran Islands, Galway

    It is hard to imagine a more apt food champion for the Wild Atlantic Way than a farmer, turned fisherman, turned farmer-cheesemaker – with a side-line in visitor tours – from Aran island of Inis Mor on the county Galway coast. 

    Gabriel’s grandfathers were both farmers and he farmed until he was sent to the mainland for secondary school. When he returned for summers, he would bring tourists around the island in his own pony and trap, bought at the age of 12 with a loan from his mother.

    His father was a fisherman and when he spent one summer fishing, he got hooked. He was to spend twenty years in the fishing industry until the downturn in fishing and the realities of family life eventually forced him to ‘stay ashore’ and brought him back to the farm. Gabriel made the unusual move of putting goats on the farm, beef being the mainstay of farming on Aran. He bought his first goats seven years ago and is now milking one hundred of them and producing Aran Island Goats Cheese (Cais Gabhair Arann), which comes in a number of styles and varieties, including one made with the local dulse seaweed, and is served in top restaurants around the West.

    Gabriel has kept up his summer business doing visitor tours, eventually having traded his second pony and trap for a bus. A visit to the farm has become a popular stop on his tour of the island, which has led to plan to develop of a full food tourism experience; with a farm shop opening June 2016, and a visitor centre to follow. In a short few years Gabriel – and his cheese – have become a strong enthusiastic presence in the Galway food scene and he, and a number of other Galway producers he collaborates with, can be found at almost every festival and food event on the West coast.