Festivals and sports events braced for weekend rain


WITH MET Éireann predicting severe weather conditions, this weekend’s litany of festivals and outdoor sporting events will be braced for rain.

In Dublin, the Eurocultured Festival returns to Smithfield today for the second time, following recent events under the same banner in Manchester and Bratislava.

Critically acclaimed musicians from Ireland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Portugal will take part in the festival, which begins at midday and continues into the evening.

All the events – encompassing art, dance and music – are free, including a performance by singer Cathy Davey at 8pm.

In Carlow, up to 3,000 are expected to descend on the village of Clonegal for the weekend-long Solas Festival at Huntington Castle, which will include performances by musical acts including Kila, Autamata, God Is An Astronaut, Republic of Loose, Andy McKee, Gavin Glass and The Holy Shakers.

The 40th annual Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival in Co Offaly opened yesterday and continues until next Friday.

A vintage car rally takes place tonight through neighbouring towns and villages, arriving at The Thatch at 5pm and Emmet Square at 7pm.

Tomorrow will see an Army band vintage parade at 3pm, featuring brass and pipe bands, vintage cars and bikes, horses and carriages, floats and dancers.

The 41st Merriman Summer School begins tomorrow in Co Clare and continues until August 24th.

This year’s venues will be the Glór Theatre and the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, and the school’s theme will be From Brian Boru to Patrick Hillery: Continuity and Change in Irish History and Society.

Tomorrow’s speakers will be Dr Brian Maurer, medical director of the Irish Heart Foundation, who will perform the official opening, and David FitzPatrick, professor of modern history at Trinity College, who will give a lecture on Politics and Irish Life Revisited.

Other speakers during the week include Raymond Gillespie, professor of history at NUI Maynooth, journalist Marc Coleman, Dr Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB and author Carmel Wynne.

Talks will also be given by consultant archaeologist Eoin Grogan, Dr Michael Griffin of UL’s department of languages and cultural studies and musician Fintan Vallely.

As in previous years, talks will be interspersed with poetry readings, set dancing classes, Irish language classes and local tours.

In sport, racing will continue today at Tramore racecourse in Waterford, while the third day of the Tour de Munster cycling competition is taking place in Co Kerry.

In GAA, Dublin play Tyrone in the All-Ireland football quarter-final at Croke Park today, with Tipperary taking on Waterford tomorrow in the hurling semi-final at the same venue.

AA expects traffic delays in Clonegal as a result of the Solas Festival, and in Dublin, with more than 80,000 fans expected at Croke Park for this afternoon’s match.

In Dublin, the M50 northbound carriageway from the N7 interchange off-ramp through the WestLink Toll Bridge will remain closed for the weekend, while the N7 inbound will be reduced to one lane from the Monastery Lane junction to the Red Cow Hotel.