New year events in Cork, Dublin

 

CHURCH BELLS will ring in the new year in Dublin and Cork with hundreds of people expected to attend traditional annual events in the two cities.

The bells will toll to bring in 2009 at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin city centre and Saint Ann’s Church in Shandon on the northside of Cork city.

“It’s a long-standing tradition for Dubliners and there’s always a great crowd and atmosphere at Christ Church on New Year’s Eve,” said Gary Maguire, former ringing master at the cathedral.

He said those interested in hearing a sound that cannot be found anywhere else should gather at the cathedral from about 11pm.

“We have 19 bells, which is highest number anywhere in the world, and this is the only time of year when we get to ring them all.”

Also in Cork, singer songwriter Jack L plays the Opera House in the city tonight and there is a ticketed Folk Extravaganza at De Barra’s folk club in Clonakilty.

Music fans in Northern Ireland have been urged to make it a New Year’s Eve to remember by attending a star-studded concert at Belfast City Hall. Rock bands Supergrass and the Pigeon Detectives will be topping the bill at the ticketed council-run event.

They will be joined by Northern Irish acts General Fiasco, Fighting With Wire and Universal Remedy.

Gates for the event open at 7pm and the concert is scheduled to finish at 12.20am. A free metro service will be in operation to take concert-goers home for everyone presenting a concert ticket. See www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events for details.

A number of horseracing meetings are taking place today and tomorrow in Tramore, Co Waterford; Punchestown, Co Kildare; and Fairyhouse, Co Meath.

The two-day racing festival kicks off in Tramore at 12.35pm today and continues tomorrow, with the Fairyhouse and Punchestown meets commencing at 12.30 and 12.45 respectively tomorrow afternoon.

People in the west of Ireland seeking a quieter new year option, or those trying to overcome the effects of their celebrations, can attend walking festivals in Killarney, Co Kerry, and Westport, Co Mayo, today and tomorrow.

Walk Killarney aims to highlight that the area is a walking destination equal to any in the world, while the Christmas Walking Festival in Westport offers treks to suit both experienced and novice walkers.

For more information visit www.walkingguideireland.com or www.killarney.ie/walkkillarney