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Ballycastle to Host First Gluten Free Open Day of 2016

Founders Derek and Christina Thompson with marketing director, chef and son, Michael Thompson.

Founders Derek and Christina Thompson with marketing director, chef and son, Michael Thompson.

Founders Derek and Christina Thompson with marketing director, chef and son, Michael Thompson.

The Marine Hotel, Ballycastle in County Antrim will once again host this years’ first Gluten Free Ireland Open Day on Saturday 16th April.

Now in its’ third year, the Gluten Free Ireland Open Days are a miniature food expo for sufferers of Coeliac disease and those on a gluten free diet. Attracting over 300 visitors from around the country, the family event showcases local and international gluten free food producers as well providing advice and support on living gluten free.

Visitors can access the stands on display from 1pm to 4pm and chat with producers, suppliers and agencies involved in gluten free food production and distribution.

The Marine Hotel is the first hotel in Northern Ireland to receive accreditation from Coeliac UK, the main organisation which licenses the grain symbol for food producers in the UK. The hotel restaurant offers a range of Coeliac meals and show visitors can eat or stay during the weekend with a range of activities available in the area.

With Coeliac disease affecting one out of every hundred people in Ireland, the need for gluten free options in catering venues is paramount. Finding those venues and getting peace of mind can mean the difference between enjoying a   day out and simply not leaving the house in fear of debilitating reactions to gluten intolerance.

While the after effects of eating food containing gluten varies from a painful rash to full blown sickness and joint pain, many people not diagnosed with Coeliac disease choose to lead a gluten free lifestyle to ease similar symptoms they experience.

Gluten Free Ireland was started by husband and wife team, Derek and Christina Thompson from their home in Ballynahinch in 2010. Since then www.glutenfreeireland.com, built by their son Michael, has become one of the best known and most active communities for people with Coeliac disease in Northern Ireland and Ireland. By building on the success of their hospitality database, a comprehensive list created by hand, Derek and Christina published the first guide book for eating out gluten free in Ireland.

The event will be open from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday 16th April in the Marine Hotel, Ballycastle. Free parking is available at the hotel. Entry is £2 for adults. For more details go to http://gfr.ee/ballycastle16

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