Electric Picnic: tailored entertainment. Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Enlightening encounters in Stradbally

 A different kind of blue: Festival-goers getting into the swing of things during day one of the Electirc Picnic Festival in Stradbally Co.Laoise. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Patrick Freyne on a festival filled with mud, music, madness ... and a bleeping Deprogramming Machine

235: Wahey! Shaun, an Englishman who’s in Temple Bar to celebrate his 40th birthday, with 10 of his friends. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

It’s different things to different people: party zone, bohemian quarter, workplace and home to 2000 people. We spend a day and (...)

Projected images of people in a replica first-class cabin in the Titanic Experience. Photograph: David Moir/Reuters

The Titanic Experience in Belfast is one of the most visited tourist sites on the island, and surely one of the loudest

Philadelphia Maria Walsh: the winning Rose at the 2014 Rose of Tralee International Festival. Photograph:Domnick Walsh

Fellow culchies know this festival is all about renewing the land for another year

Bonnie Tyler singing for the UK at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden. Photograph: Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images

Tyler was a country-rock chanteuse before an operation to her larynx transformed her into the husky queen of the power ballad. She(...)

The tour (including Patrick Freyne, far right) gathers around guide Philip McComb at Cushendun, Co Antrim. Photograph: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker

The Trip: We visit the place where Melisandre gave birth to a shadow assassin, drive slowly past the site of Castle Black, and see(...)

Catholic formula: Mrs Brown’s Boys

What’s the difference between ‘Fawlty Towers’, ‘The Office’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’? From the way they’re m(...)

More articles