Festivalfit A smorgasbord of shellfish was on display at Dublin Bay Prawn festival, but Mark Graham just wanted an old radio
In Co Kerry they hoist a crowned goat above Killorglin, and for three days he becomes king o’ the town, doing as good a job as any Healy-Rae. In the leafy suburbs of north Dublin they have a similar tradition. Here the prawn is held aloft and Howth enjoys a period of langoustine lionisation. The Dublin Bay prawn is a crustacean with class, an arthropod that’s more svelte lobster than shrimp. You’ll never find this fella in a scruffy auld prawn-pot; he’s more partial to a well-heeled creel, something befitting his postcode.
The first year I attended Dublin Bay Prawn Festival I overheard a local make a startled exclamation to one of the shellfish slingers: “This is actually working, isn’t it?” It’s still working. Thousands of people pass through the large pierside marquee, grazing on scrumptious seafood as they go. I’d fasted before hitting Howth, in order to guiltlessly fill my boots with tasty quayside morsels. Prawn curry, prawn chowder, prawn pancakes, prawn tacos, prawn paella, prawn balls (who knew?), prawn pasta, prawn salad and just plain old prawns were