Wednesday 22 May 2019

What’s on this Bank Holiday Weekend?

10 things to get stuck into in Ireland this long weekend

Summer is here and the living is easy! Gather the gang and get stuck into sun and fun on a memorable break taking in one of the many lively events taking place in Ireland over the June Bank Holiday. Take your pick from cool live music, inspiring street theatre, a maritime festival, or some great art. Here are ten ideas to kick back over the long weekend.

Cork Harbour Festival
Cork Harbour Festival

1 - Get into ship shape in Cork!

Make waves at the Ocean to City – Cork Harbour Festival (May 30 - June 6) and discover your inner pirate as you watch a spectacular fleet of boats racing across the harbour. All aboard for a cruise, try your hand at rowing and kayaking or explore Cork Harbour’s impressive forts. The kids can get creative with the model boat competition. Or follow in the wake of a great white whale and relive the seaside town of Youghal’s famous links with Hollywood at the Moby Dick Festival, (May 29 – 31) with Mardi Gras street parade followed by a weekend of fun for all the family.

2 - Book a break in Borris!

Be inspired in the magical surroundings of Borris House in Co. Carlow, the seat of the High Kings of Leinster, for The Festival of Writing & Ideas (June 5 – 7), renowned for its casual, friendly atmosphere, and extraordinary line up of speakers. The stimulating event – which spills out into pubs and halls of this idyllic village, is part of the Carlow Eigse Arts Festival and promises stimulating dialogue and discussion from notables including Ian McEwan, David Gilmour, Antony Beevor, Ann Enright, Kevin Barry, Rob Doyle, Polly Samson, Roy Foster, and Lisa Hannigan.

River Laune in Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland
River Laune in Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland

3 - Kick back in Kerry

Enjoy a dash of music along with a sprinkling of art at K Fest in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, (May 29 May – June 1). Enjoy plenty of free gigs, and feast your eyes on amazing art in 20 pop up galleries. There will be heaps for kids too, including arts and crafts plus and a fantastic Frozen sing-along and fancy dress - let it go, let it go!

4 - Make Waves in Dublin

Splash along Dublin’s historic quays with a jam packed programme of entertainment and family fun during the Dublin Port Riverfest, (May 30 – June 1). Behold the stunning sight of the arrival of three tall ships and four schooners as they berth at North Wall Quay for the weekend.  The Jeanie Johnson will be giving free tours whilst on dry land there will be street performers, music from shanty singers, pirate re-enactments and open air food and craft markets.

5 - Swing by Clare!

Jazz up June and swing by West Clare for the Doonbeg International Jazz Festival, (May 29 - June 1), with a packed programme of swing, dixie and jazz music in local pubs. In between great gigs feast on the magnificent coastline, catch a round at the famous Doonbeg Golf Club, or splash out on one of many local sandy beaches.

6 - Discover a world of Heritage

Hit the high road and join Queen Maeve’s army along all or part of the epic 63 kilometre Tain March from Rathcroghan in Co. Roscommon to Omeath on the magnificent Cooley Peninsula in Co. Louth, (May 24 – June 1). The Táin - or Cattle Raid of Cooley - is part of Irish Mythology when Queen Maeve of Connaught gathered an army to gain possession of the Brown Bull of Cooley! Along the way see fascinating march re-enactments, and immerse yourself in a trek of a lifetime.

7 - Make sweet music in Dublin

Hit the high notes with family and friends with music and dance in Dublin over the June Bank Holiday. Make your moves at the Dublin Dance Festival, (May 19 – 30), with artists and choreographers from around the world sharing the best in vibrant contemporary dance. Or gorge on a feast of great music at the Forbidden Fruit Festival in the grounds of the historic Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, (May 29 - 31), where Fatboy Slim, Wu Tang Clan and Richie Hawtin are among the headline acts in a jam packed programme.

8 - Get bogged down in Galway

Muck in for heaps of great family fun at Connemara Bog Week in the spectacular west of Ireland (May 22 – June 1). Take your bank holiday pick from art exhibitions and Sean Nos dance workshops, cycle races and archaeological talks and lively nightly gigs. Oh and don’t forget some exploring of the regions magnificent bogs on special walks!

9 - Celebrate Mayo’s infamous pirate Queen

Ahoy me hearties! Go wild along the Atlantic and celebrate the life of the infamous Grace O’Malley, arguably the most inspirational woman in Irish history, at the Festival of the Pirate Queen in Westport, Co. Mayo, (May 30 - June 1). You can dive into events all over Clew Bay with a Cycling the Bike Buffet, food foraging on a Seashore Safari, craft beer samplings and guided walks.

10 - Jazz up your life in Dublin

Enjoy hip swivelling music and celebrate the bright young things of Irish jazz at the curiously named Down with Jazz Festival in Temple Bar in Dublin (May 30 – 31). This festival takes its name from Father Peter Conefrey’s Anti Jazz Movement from 1934.  This year’s event welcomes music of all persuasions including funk, electronica, and chamber pop and free improv!

So come on, throw yourself into summer this June Bank Holiday weekend, and holiday like you don’t have to work Monday! For more find Discover Ireland on Facebook or see #thisisLIVING


Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in Life