St Patrick’s weekend without the parade: The events that are still on
These events are still going ahead this weekend, inside and outside St Patrick’s Festival
Here are some events that are still going ahead over the weekend and bank holiday – some within the St Patrick’s Festival, others not.
The Government has cancelled all St Patrick’s Day parades in the State in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19. In Dublin, the five-day, multi-faceted festival – this year loosely themed around the treasures of Ireland’s oral traditions, art, poetry and literature – has been severely curtailed.
At time of publishing, the events below are still on course course to take place, but advice may change. Check locally for changes.
ST PATRICK’S FESTIVAL, DUBLIN
Various Dublin venues, March 13th-16th
A new element to the Dublin festival this year focuses on traditional singing and storytelling, across the city and for all ages, exploring Irish oral folk traditions, curated by traditional singer Macdara Yeates, and featuring Traveller singer Thomas McCarthy, storytellers Liz Weir, Nuala Hayes, Eddie Lenihan and Jack Lynch, traditional harmonists Landless, poets Annemarie Ní Churreáin and Dermot Bolger, sean-nós singer Doireann Glackin, singer-songwriter Steo Wall, singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell, flautist, tin whistle player and singer Cathal Mc Connell and traditional singers Rosie Stewart, Dáibhidh Stiúbhaird and Len Graham.
Where We Live
Project Arts Centre, March 11th - 21st
Thisispopbaby’s mini festival within the festival, presenting new work in 22 shows over 10 days at Project exploring what it means and how it feels to live in Dublin and Ireland right now. Shows include Zero Zero: Crash Ensemble & Mango X MathMan in a creative collaboration between the worlds of street music, rap, spoken word and contemporary classical music.
Patrick’s Festival music
Two world premieres feature in the line-up: contemporary folk group This is How We Fly collaborate with singer Iarla Ó Lionáird at Liberty Hall Theatre; and Matthew Nolan and Adrian Crowley re-imagine James Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach with Lisa Hannigan and guests at the National Concert Hall. Other festival music includes Colm Mac Con Iomaire and his band performing The River Holds Its Breath / Tost Ar An Abhainn with guests ConTempo Quartet at Vicar Street; Dublin duo Mount Alaska (with Slow Moving Clouds) in the Pepper Canister Church; Dublin Gospel Choir with guests Kitt Philippa and UMAN. Also at Pepper Canister and a DJ Annie Mac-curated show at Guinness Storehouse.
A “celtic collaboration” with Wales and Scotland is two concerts: Northern Irish-English alt-folk duo The Breath with Scottish piper Brìghde Chaimbeul and fiddle player Aidan O’Rourke at the Pepper Canister, and Gruff Rhys and Richard Egan at Christchurch Cathedral.
Patrick’s Festival talks and clubs
A Treasury of Irish Voices in Dublin Castle sounds intriguing: broadcaster and historian Brendan Balfe talks to Dave Fanning about historic recordings of Irish writers, poets, performers and public figures. Broadcaster Marian Richardson interviews comedian/actor Deirdre O’Kane at the Pepper Canister. There’s also a new festival After Dark club series across the city, hidden Dublin tours and trails, and some eclectic (and some over-18s) exhibitions.
OTHER BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND EVENTS
Aware Harbour2Harbour Walk
March 17th, 9.30am-1pm, €27.14
The 15th annual Harbour2Harbour Walk in aid of Aware. Friends and family can choose to walk from Dún Laoghaire harbour to Howth harbour, or vice versa, along scenic Dublin Bay a 26km (16 mile) route suitable for most fitness levels. Stop at the Halfway Hooley hosted by Dublin Port Company for music and refreshments.
Venues around Kilkenny city, March 12th-17th, various prices, kilkennytradfest.com
Concerts, céilithe, sessions, Irish dance, pub gigs and more. Highlights include Christy Moore, Ruaile Buaile, Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, Kilfenora Ceili band, Horslips, Iarla O Lionaird and Steve Cooney, Kila.
Home of Saint Patrick Festival
Armagh, March 6th - 17th
A 12-day festival in Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital, Armagh, celebrating the life and times of St Patrick in city locations where he walked and worked. More than 30 events - music, song, art, drama, dance, spoken word - including singer Brian Kennedy at the Church of Ireland cathedral, a St Patrick’s Day sunrise event at Navan Centre and Fort, and a celebration of St Patrick at the Catholic cathedral with composer and presenter John Anderson and visiting international choirs. Candle making, storytelling, puppetry and object theatre for children, and a St Patrick’s Day procession, and family day in Armagh city centre on 17th.
St Patrick’s Weekend Racing
Greenmount Park, Patrickswell, Co Limerick, March 15th, from 1.40pm, €10/€15, limerickraces.ieNational hunt races including the Dawn Run EBF Mares Novice Chase Grade 2 and the Shannon Spray EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Grade 3.
Aon Mullingar Half-Marathon
Mullingar, Co Westmeath, March 17th, € 40/50, 10.30am, medal presentations from 12.30pm, mullingarhalfmarathon.com
The Mullingar Half-Marathon will raise funds for local charity team, which provides temporary emergency accommodation for women and children.
Snake Hunt at Hook Lighthouse
Co Wexford, St Patrick’s Weekend, hookheritage.ie
A search of the lighthouse lawns to hunt snakes from the peninsula (Sunday, March 15th , noon and 2pm). Any children who capture a snake can take it home as a pet. Plus if your name is Paddy or Patricia or Pat you get a free Lighthouse tour this St Patrick’s Day. Visitors can climb the 115 steps of the fifth-century tower where the monks of Hook Head in Co Wexford lit fires to warn ships off the rocks.
Competition for alternative events
For those looking for an alternative St Patrick’s Day that doesn’t involve big green hats and even bigger crowds, consider 7-Up Free’s competition for three bespoke experiences. Enter at 7upfree.ie for a chance to join folk duo Hudson Taylor for an intimate show in Urban Plant Life (100 prizes for two people), or a food event at Dublin’s Chocolate Factory, with dishes from William Murray of Currabinny (seven prizes for a group of three), or ‘hike life’ with well-being enthusiast Leanne Moore at Torc Mountain in Killarney, with an overnight stay in Victoria House Hotel (seven prizes, for two people).
Northern Ireland St Patrick events
discovernorthernireland.comEvents across the north include Derry’s 2020 spring carnival and parade, music and dance at Giant’s Causeway, steam train rides at Whitehead, Carrickfergus, and heritage celebrations at the Ulster Folk Museum in Cultra and Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh.