10 things to do this June bank holiday weekend

From Bloom and Cat Laughs to Táin hillwalks and marine-themed festivals

Forbidden fruit: the music festival takes over Royal Hospital Kilmainham this weekend. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Forbidden fruit: the music festival takes over Royal Hospital Kilmainham this weekend. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

DUBLIN

Bloom
Phoenix Park, Dublin 8; until Monday, June 3; bloominthepark.com
Ireland’s answer to the Chelsea Flower Show, Bord Bia’s annual extravaganza of gardening and food in the Phoenix Park, Dublin has become a firm favourite amongst gardeners and foodies over the last 12 years. The show gardens aim to impress and inspire while the food stalls offer tastings of new Irish artisan foods. There are plenty of fun events for children too and opportunities to stock up on plants for your garden. Bloom: Everything you need to know

Concerts in parks and on piers
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, and St Anne’s Park, Dublin 3; Friday, May 31-Monday, June 3; ticketmaster.ie
Dún Laoghaire, in south Co Dublin, will be thronged for three open-air concerts on the pier this bank-holiday weekend. Deacon Blue, Basement Jaxx (with a DJ set) and Stereo MCs play on Friday; Madness, Lightning Seeds and Something Happens follow on Saturday; and Primal Scream, The Charlatans and Fun Lovin’ Criminals wrap things up on Monday. Read more here.

Across the Liffey, in north Dublin, Kodaline give it their all on Friday, in the first of two concerts they’re playing this weekend in St Anne’s Park, in Raheny. James Morrison plays support on both nights, with the rising Irish artists Flynn and Roe joining the Friday line-up, and Somebody’s Child joining the Saturday bill. Read more here.

Forbidden Fruit
Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin 8; Saturday, June 1-Monday, June 3; forbiddenfruit.ie
The grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin are transformed into a multistage concert venue for this three-day music festival. Skepta headlines the original stage on Saturday night; Mura Masa closes out on Sunday. Elbow, Fontaines DC, Saint Sister and I Have a Tribe all feature on Monday. Read more here.

Women’s Mini Marathon: Garda Martin Mooney with Clonliffe Harriers runners at the 2018 race. Photograph: Tom Honan
Women’s Mini Marathon: Garda Martin Mooney with Clonliffe Harriers runners at the 2018 race. Photograph: Tom Honan

Women’s Mini Marathon
Central Dublin; Sunday, June 2, 2pm; vhiwomensminimarathon.ie
The biggest event of its kind in the world, this all-women 10km city race embraces all kinds of athletes, from elite runners to just-about-get-there joggers and walkers. That many of them are taking part to raise money for charity only adds to the conviviality. The starting point is Fitzwilliam Street Upper, in Dublin 2. If you’re not registered to run and you live within reach of the route, come along to cheer everyone on.

AROUND IRELAND

Kilkenny Cat Laughs
Various venues, Kilkenny; until Monday, June 3; thecatlaughs.com
Billed by the Guardian as the “best little comedy festival in the world”, Cat Laughs attracts all the big names. Dara Ó Briain, Lucy Porter, Tommy Tiernan, Rose Matafeo, Dylan Moran, Angela Barnes, Nish Kumar, Alison Spittle, Alan Davies, Lou Sanders, Jason Byrne and many more will all be performing – and, no doubt, checking out the rising talent.

Open Ear
Sherkin Island, Co Cork; until Sunday, June 2; openear.ie
Concertgoers looking for a more adventurous listening experience should take the ferry from Baltimore, in Co Cork, to this intimate electronic-music festival. The line-up includes Radie Peat, Garies, Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands, Jennifer Walshe, Maria Somerville and Donal Dineen.

Hooked on the Sea
Hook Peninsula, Co Wexford; Friday, May 31-Monday, June 3; hookpeninsula.com
With marine-themed events both on and off the water, seafood stalls and children’s events, the Hook Peninsula is a perfect place to be this weekend for families with young children. Head for Fethard Festival Field for bouncy castles and merry-go-rounds, Duncannon Fort for a craft fair and archery, and Hook Lighthouse for a barbecue and pirate games. Clean Coasts will lead clean-ups on Duncannon, Booley and Boyce beaches on Saturday, and the lighthouse will launch its Eco education station on Sunday.

Vantastival: the Co Louth music festival is one of the friendliest and most relaxed around. Photograph: Alan Betson
Vantastival: the Co Louth music festival is one of the friendliest and most relaxed around. Photograph: Alan Betson

Vantastival
Beaulieu House, Queensborough, Co Louth; Friday, May 31-Monday, June 3; vantastival.com
Vintage and modern camper-van enthusiasts join fellow travellers for this music festival on the banks of the River Boyne. Regulars say it’s one of the friendliest and most relaxed in the country, with woodland venues adding to the atmosphere. King Kong Company, Afro Celt Sound System, Sharon Shannon, Wallis Bird, Lisa O’Neill, We Cut Corners and David Keenan will perform alongside lots of emerging talent.

in International Hillwalking Festival
Cooley Mountains, Co Louth; Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2; visitlouth.ie
This new three-day walking festival has three graded guided walks each day, catering for all levels of fitness. Register on eventbrite.ie or at the tourist office on Market Square in Dundalk each day from 8am; buses depart for the starting points of the walks at 9am. No under-18s and no dogs.

Sea Bangor
Bangor, Co Down; Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2; visitardsandnorthdown.com
This popular maritime festival brings people of all ages to the seafront of the Co Down town. Highlights include the AeroSuperBatics wingwalking team, who will swoop over Belfast Lough in their modified Breitling Stearman biplanes at 4.30pm on Saturday and 3pm on Sunday. Other attractions are the Phoenix of Dell Quay tall ship, the rowing challenge, the Royal Yachting Association’s sailing experiences, kayaking, street-theatre performers and sand sculptures.

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