Going out: Something for the weekend
National Heritage week:More than 1,500 events will take place across the Republic for Heritage Week, which starts today. This year events will focus on Ireland’s built heritage, with many historic sites and houses open to the public for the first time.
Some of the properties open for guided tours this weekend include Courtown House and Demesne in Kildare, once home to film director John Huston, and Stradbally Hall House. Most events are free, but some tours need to be booked in advance. heritageweek.ie
Adventure athletes will gather in the west today for the largest one-day race of its kind in the world. Competitors take off from Glassilaun beach in Galway, and cycle, run, hike and kayak for 67km through bogs, across Killary Harbour and up Croagh Patrick, before crossing the finish line at the pier in Westport.
Rose of Tralee International Festival
The festival kicked off yesterday with a packed programme of craft food markets, live music, fashion shows and tea dances. Children will be well entertained with daily treasure hunts in Pearse Park, a funfair, circus and fireworks display, which takes place on Denny Street at 10.30 tonight.
Festivities will continue until the 2012 Rose is crowned by Dáithí Ó Sé on Tuesday evening. roseoftralee.ie
Phoenix Park Motor Races
A crowd of more than 60,000 is expected to attend the annual motor races, which take place today and tomorrow after a two-year hiatus. The event is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year.
The highlight of the weekend will be the Dublin Grand Prix tomorrow, with other action-filled races by Strykers, Irish touring cars, GTs, Supercars and classic bikes.
Spectators can get a glimpse of the cars up close and meet the drivers at the paddock in Farmleigh, and Irish driver Aron Smith will brief visitors on safety in motorsports. The event is free. phoenixparkmotorraces.ie
All-Ireland hurling semi-final
Munster champions Tipperary will be hoping for a win against holders Kilkenny in Croke Park tomorrow, after losing to them in the final last year. Throw-in is at 3.30pm, and tickets are still available at €40 for adults and €5 for under-16s. gaa.ie