Weekend events roundup


A round-up of the weekend's main events around the country:

Fleadh Cheoil, Cavan (Until August 20th)

The full programme of events, competitions and entertainment at the annual Fleadh runs until August 20th. Tomorrow, accordionist Sharon Shannon performs with a 40-piece orchestra at the Liberty Insurance Dome at 8.30pm. Admission is €20.

On Sunday night, the same venue plays host to Liam Lawton and his band, with Marie-Therese McCartin.

Other high-calibre talents performing throughout the week include Eleanor Shanley and Friends on Tuesday night and Altan and Clannad on Thursday.

Musicians of all ages from under 12 to senior will take part in competitions, showcasing their skills on instruments such as fiddle, accordion, flute, whistle, concertina, uilleann pipes, harp, mouth organ, banjo, mandolin, piano, tin whistle, melodeon, bodhrán, war pipes and drums.

Tullamore Show

The show will definitely go ahead on Sunday, after the organisers rejected false reports earlier in the month that it had been cancelled.

They insist the showgrounds on the Butterfield Estate are in “very good shape” despite the “less than summer-like weather”.

A crowd of some 60,000 is expected. The grounds open at 7am for exhibitors and 9am for spectators. There are 20,000 free car park spaces and a free shuttle bus from Tullamore town to the show grounds.

Competition categories include dairy cattle, pedigree cattle, commercial cattle, sheep, horses, including Clydesdales and showjumping, alpacas, poultry and sheep dog trials.

Home industry competitions will feature horticulture and farm produce, as well as cookery, crafts, needlework and art and photography.

Clonmel busking festival

The Co Tipperary town again plays host to its summer busking festival in aid of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

Among the talented line-up, are musicians Don Baker, Rob Strong, the Dublin City Ramblers, John Spillane, Richie Kavanagh, the Ray Cunningham Ceili Band, the 4 of Us, Morrissey and Daniels and the Lost Brothers.

The festival started on Thursday and runs until Sunday.

Kilkenny Arts Festival (Until August 19th)

This annual festival is now a staple in the Marble City’s calendar, bringing excellence in art, music, literature, dance, theatre, film and street performance in a vibrant environment.

Kilkenny also has the honour this year of hosting Shakespeare’s Globe on its first visit to Ireland.

Director James Dacre brings his production of one of the Bard’s best-loved comedies to the city.

The small band of travelling players take up residence in the Castle Yard throughout the festival to perform As You Like It, using a stage based on paintings and etchings from Shakespeare’s time. A limited number of tickets is available for tomorrow and Sunday. Dacre will take spectators behind the scenes of the production, offering insight into the work of the leading theatre company, in conversation with Fiach Mac Conghail at the Parade Tower tomorrow at noon.

Other performances this weekend include choreographer David Bolger’s ‘Swimming with my Mother’, for CoisCéim, one of the country’s leading contemporary dance companies.

Bolger performs the dance duet with his 78-year-old mother Madge, a swimming instructor, telling the story of her life through her relationship with swimming, her son, and the sea.

Puck Fair Killorglin, Co. Kerry (Until August12th)

Although the Co Kerry town claims the Puck Fair to be the oldest in Ireland, even the organisers admit there are many legends to which the origins of the event are attributed. There is no written record of when the fair started, but it can be traced back to a charter from 1603 by King James I granting legal status to the existing fair in Killorglin.

Today’s events include a show by the Custard Pie Puppet Company at 11.30am at Library Place (with another show tomorrow at 11.15am), and the Wibbly Wobbly Circus Walkabout and street show throughout the day. Tonight’s programme signs off with a show by Garth Brooks tribute band Friends in Low Places at the Square.

Tomorrow’s fun includes a pet show at the Square at 1.15pm, a circus skills workshop for children at 3pm, and a performance of Acting the Goat by Edso Crowley and Gerry Bayham at the Puck Fair Stand at 2pm. The dethronement parade starts at Langford Street at 5.30pm.

Some traffic restrictions will be in place over the weekend, with diversions on all approaches to the town.

Focus Ireland charity Port Tunnel run

Nearly 2,000 people have already registered to take part in Sunday's fun 10km Dublin Tunnel Run for the homelessness charity Focus Ireland.

Online registration has closed, but the organisers say anyone wishing to take part may come along and register at 8am in the morning. The registration fee is €30, a sum the charity says will pay for 15 hot meals for someone who is homeless.

Sinead Price of Focus Ireland said the charity hoped people would be inspired by the Olymics and come along to support the event.

“You don’t have to be Usain Bolt or Sonia O’Sullivan to take part as this event is open to all walkers, joggers and runners of all fitness levels. People can come along and have a great family day out while raising funds for our vital work,” she said.

Participants will be urged on in their running by the Dublin Thunders Cheerleaders, and the Dublin Gospel Choir will perform in the Point Village during the race.

Runner Garrett Doherty (34) will attempt to break the world record for running backwards for 10km. He will be aiming to beat a time of 45 minutes and 30 seconds for a backwards 10km run.

“I currently hold the world record from the half marathon so would like to achieve the 10k race record as well. I have run a previous race in 44 and a half minutes in Germany last year and I am confident I can crack this one,” he said.

Minister for Sport Leo Varadkar noted the first race through the tunnel took place before it opened.

“I’m particularly pleased that a State-owned facility like the tunnel can be used for such a good cause, and help out Focus Ireland in the process.”

The Irish Times is official media partner for the event.

Carlingford Oyster Festival

It’s bivalves on the menu all weekend at this popular festival in the beautiful Co Louth town.

Events include a market and plenty of street entertainment for adults and children, with artisan craft and food stalls and plenty of fishy dishes on the menu in the local restaurants.

A sailing regatta takes place on Carlingford Lough, there will be free kayaking in the harbour and there will also be guided tours of the town.

Twelve women will also compete for the crown in the Morgan’s Ocean Fresh Carlingford Oyster Pearl 2012 competition. The event continues until Sunday.

All-Ireland Sand Sculpting Competititon

The inaugural all-Ireland Sandsculpting Competition takes place this weekend as part of the 26th annual Sand Sculpting Festival at Duncannon Beach, Co Wexford.

The family festival opens tonight with a giant beach party with live music from the band Kobi followed by a DJ and a fireworks display aimed at lighting up the night skies after dark.

Festivities continue from 10am tomorrow when the professional sand sculpting exhibition will be unveiled on the beach, with professional sculptors from ‘Duathain Dealbh’ (fleeting sculpture) currently creating a village of sea-creatures in sand.

Other events include a Cúl Camp, traditional puppet shows, music from the Barrack Street Marching Band and Campile Pip band, a tug o’ war competition and outdoor wrestling displays.

On Sunday the air will be filled with a competitive spirit, as the very first All-Ireland Sandsculpting Competition gets under way. Organisers have urged competitors to register tomorrow morning from 10am with the competition starting at 2pm.

One of the organisers, Cathy Dowling, said: “All competitors will have two hours to create their sandsculpting masterpiece. Each competitive team of up to eight will be allocated a plot and all entries will be judged by a panel with the winners being announced at the festival close on Sunday evening when they will be presented with a trophy.”