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.


Various Dublin venues, March 13th-16th

St Patrick's Festival launch. 

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.

Singer Thomas McCarthy will perform over the festival. 

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

Dublin Gospel Choir. 

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.

Celtic collaboration

Scottish piper Brìghde Chaimbeul and fiddle player Aidan O’Rourke. 

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.

The Breath will perform at the concert. 

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.


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.

Kilkenny Tradfest
Venues around Kilkenny city, March 12th-17th, various prices,
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

HOME OF ST PATRICK: The stunning Navan Centre & Fort in Armagh is just one of a range of iconic venues to feature in an outstanding programme of 30 spectacular events as part of this year’s Home of St Patrick Festival celebration in Armagh, which runs for 10 days from Friday 8 March. There are walks, talks, tours, music, song, comedy, dance and unlimited festival fun to entertain everyone, every day. With plenty of things to do, places to visit, see and enjoy, this year’s festival provides local, national and international visitors with an unrivalled chance to mark St Patrick’s legacy the best way there is. For more information on free and ticketed events, and to book, visit
Navan Centre and Fort in Armagh is one of a range of venues to feature in the programme of 30 events as part of this year’s Home of St Patrick Festival. 

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.

NO REPRO FEE The ‘Home of St Patrick Festival’ goes stratospheric for 2017 and launches at Armagh Planetarium and Observatory today with St Patrick himself (Martin Burns from Castlewellan, Co Down). Armagh Planetarium and Observatory is where one event of many, the Observatory Tour, takes place as part of this 17-day festival. Come and be immersed in a unique experience for all while celebrating the life of Ireland’s patron saint. Set in his adopted homeland, runing across County Armagh and County Down from Mar 3rd until March 19th. For more information go to PHOTO: Mark Stedman
St Patrick himself (Martin Burns from Castlewellan, Co Down) at the Armagh Planetarium and Observatory to launch the festival. 

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,
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,
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 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.

See also information on:,,,, irelandshiddenheartlands

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