THERE’S NOTHING WORSE than that erring feeling of wanting to exploit a bank holiday – especially when the weather is as brilliant as it is – and not being able to decide what to head to.
Never mind, though: we’re here to help. Here’s our bite-size guide to stuff that’s going on this weekend around the country.
(No matter where you’re headed, though: bring your sun cream. Trust us on that one.)
- Bloom: Phoenix Park, Dublin – Calling itself “Ireland’s largest garden festival” the event will feature 27 showgardens, a food village with cookery demonstrations and a lot of activities for children. As an added bonus, Brendan and Sonya from Off the Rails will be there too.
- The Cat Laughs Comedy Festival: Kilkenny city – Now in its 16th hilarious year, the comedy festival sees 50 world-class acts descend on the Marble City for another weekend of hilarity. There’s plenty of shows on today, from mid-afternoon until midnight, and plenty of tickets still available (though be warned, there’s always a heavy walk-up crowd for Saturday shows).
- All Ireland and International Sheep Shearing Championships: Kilkenny city – If comedy isn’t your thing, Cillin Hill business and retail park on the edge of the city has some attractions of its own. Among the attractions are world-famous shearer David Fagan, a six-time world shearing champion returning to Irish action after ten years.
- Cork X Southwest music festival: Skibbereen, Co Cork – Echo and the Bunnymen, Mick Flannery and Drugstore will be leading the talent at the Liss Ard Estate today.
- Cork Pride Festival: Cork City - Also in Cork this weekend is the city’s Pride Festival. Ahead of the main parade tomorrow, today’s attractions include X Factor act Diva Fever, a family day ‘Munchkins’ Ball’ and a treasure hunt around the city.
- Castlebar Blues and Beyond Festival: Co Mayo – Artists from all over the world descend on the Western town, with acts performing all over the town including in the famous Royal Theatre.
- Forbidden Fruit music festival: Kilmainham, Dublin - The Flaming Lips and Yo La Tengo head the bill on the first day of the two-day festival at the Royal Hospital, with Jape and Ham Sandwich among the Irish talent on offer.
- Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival: Ballyshannon, Co Donegal – This is the tenth festival in honour of the original Guitar Hero, and many of the events and gigs are free and open to the public. The guitar legend was born in Ballyshannon in 1948.
- Listowel Writers Week: Listowel, Co Kerry – One of the primary events in the country’s literary calendar, a jam-packed programme today includes events with John Lonergan, David Sedaris, Alice Sebold and Joseph O’Connor – as well as lunchtime theatre performances and literary bus tours.
- The Flat Lake Literary & Arts Festival: Scotshouse, Co Monaghan – Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard heads the literary talent as he is inducted into the festival hall of fame, while John Banville, Robert Fisk, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Kevin Barry, Rosita Sweetman and Mundy will also be peddling their vocal wares of various sorts.
- Bandon Music Festival: Bandon, Co Cork – Today’s bill includes appearances from Sharon Shannon and Jerry Fish, though there’s live music all over the town all day.
- Outdoor Movies in the Park: People’s Park, Dún Laoghaire – Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is holding free screenings of popular classic films – and are inviting people to bring picnics and blankets for a lovely family day out. Today’s screenings: How To Train Your Dragon, Step Up and Inception.
- The Melting Pot: Ardara, Co Donegal – A multicultural showcase with ethnic music, dance, food, workshops and parades continues today with a country market, live music, magic shows, films from Tibet and Jordan, DJs and gypsy jazz bands.
- Gaelic Games this weekend: If the very thought of the Sunday Game theme tune is enough to put a smile on your face, there’s loads going on: the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher hurling cup finals are all on at Croke Park today, while in football, Limerick host Kerry at 6:45pm this evening hoping to make amends for their narrow defeat in the Munster final last year.
Don’t forget – no matter where you’re off to, we want to see your holiday snaps! Send them to us on Twitter (we’re at @thejournal_ie), via email to email@example.com, or by clicking the camera icon in the top-left corner of our iPhone and Android apps.
Additional reporting by Emer McLysaght