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Dublin St Patricks Day Parade via stpatricksfestival.ie

Dublin St Patricks Day Parade via stpatricksfestival.ie

What can I do in Ireland in MARCH?

March can be a great time to visit Ireland, with less tourists, better prices, and some fab festivals as well as St Patrick’s Day parades galore!

March 17th is St Patrick’s Day, and there are parades and celebrations all over the island. The biggest is Dublin’s St Patrick’s festival, which runs over several days; March 14-17 in 2015. The daily schedule for 2015 is not up yet, (as of 9 Dec 2014) but all of the days are usually full of fun events for all ages.

If you’re in Dublin & have a hankering for some traditional Irish music, one of the very best places to go is The Cobblestone Pub, an authentic, non- touristy pub in the Smithfield area. You can hear trad music played here 7 nights a week.

March in the Irish Countryside

If trad music and craic out in a beautiful seaside & mountainside country town is more your thing, you won’t go wrong in Dingle! As an added bonus the Dingle International Film Festival is on on the 12th to the 15th of March 2015.

Dingle is a charming town, home to great food and the Dingle Distillery, where they carefully craft whiskey, gin, and vodka. I adore the gin, it really does have a unique flavour from the special local ingredients they use:

“We use, amongst other botanicals, rowan berry from the mountain ash trees, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather for a taste of the Kerry landscape. It’s a formula unknown elsewhere and is calculated, amongst other things, to create some sense of place and provenance, what winemakers might call the gout de terroir..  [we use] the purest of water which we draw from our own well, 240 feet below the distillery.”

You must give the Dingle spirits a try! Also in Dingle you’ll find the Louis Mulcahy Pottery, ancient beehive huts, and plenty more to explore. Here’s a clip about the Dingle Film festival. (Video in Irish with subtitles.)

Also in county Kerry, the Kenmare Lace Festival is on from 19-22 March 2015. A wonderful way of keeping this beautiful Irish traditional craft alive, the festival will have:

Lace making workshops in nine different disciplines running over two days. For the fashion conscious there will be millinery and up-styling workshops, a fashion show, and meet the designers at the Art & Design Cloister. Exhibitions will showcase the very best in lacemaking and Irish design. There will be a full day of children’s craft and fashion workshops including Kenmare Lace making to introduce traditional techniques and design to the younger generation.

Another unique event on in Ireland in March is the Ennis Book Club Festival in county Clare, also located on the west coast. This festival will run from the 6th to the 8th of March in 2015. There is always loads on for book lovers to enjoy, and the 2015 programme will be up soon. Ennis is known as Ireland’s Friendliest Town, and I agree; I’ve visited Ennis and totally experienced that friendliness. You can read about my visit to Ennis and what I thought of where I stayed; Rowan Tree.

Belfast and the Titanic museum are great to visit in March- or anytime!

Belfast and the Titanic museum are great to visit in March- or anytime!

Celebrate St Patrick and Northern Ireland

If you’d like to get more into the Saint Patrick side of things, what about heading up North and exploring St Patrick’s old stomping grounds? There’s a St Patrick’s Trail, 92 miles long and linking 15 sites connected to St Patrick. Not every site will be open in March, but many are, such as the St Patrick Centre, Down Museum & more.

Of course, when up North you can’t miss the Giant’s Causeway! If you’re a fan of the Game Of Thrones, the Northern Ireland Game of Thrones trail is a must do, too. Plus, Belfast is a brilliant place to spend a few days, full of craic, culture, fab food & fun. We’ve been twice and love it! The Titanic Museum is amazing even if you are like Terry & I and not normally a Titanic fan. Two thumbs up from us 😀

Also in Northern Ireland, Sunday 15 March 2015 sees Shamrock Shenanigans on at the National Trust property Springhill in Magherafelt, co Derry. There’s free entry for anyone who can prove their name is Patrick! You can discover the Shamrock Trail (extra charge) around the grounds and enjoy crafts, food and music from noon to 5pm.

Where will YOU go & what will you do in March in Ireland? Have you more suggestions? Let us know! Comment, tweet Vibrant Ireland, or post on the Vibrant Ireland & Travel Facebook page.


Gild wearing st patricks day hat & gear ready for parade

Nancy is thrilled to cycle with Graigue Bike & Hike in the Graiguenamanagh St Patrick’s Day Parade. Pic GraigueBikeHire

Everyone loves a parade!

Here are some photos from the 2014 St Patrick’s Day parade through our village of Graiguenamanagh, Ireland.

 Mount Leinster Rangers  hurling  cups

The Mount Leinster Rangers are in the final! Will they come home with another cup?

The Paddy’s Day parade was held on Sunday, because today a local hurling team, the Mount Leinster Rangers, is in the final in Croke Park! It’s all very exciting, & we wish them the best.

Update: Well, the team played a hard game, but didn’t win. They will still be welcomed home as heroes, because making it to the final is in itself a huge achievement. Well done, lads!

It was a fun parade this year, with a steam tractor joining the other vintage tractors, fab performances by children’s groups & marching bands, fun floats, & of course the obligatory breakdown of one of the vintage cars :-O

There was transport of all kinds represented- as well as the tractors & cars there was a pony & cart, bikes, motorbikes, firetrucks, a digger & more. Sure, where else would you want to be on Paddy’s Weekend other than Graiguenamanagh, the ‘village of the monks’? 😀

 

Enjoy the photos!

 

Transport of all types was on show:

 

 Thankfully there was only one drink driver:

 Bike Hire & O'Hara's beer

When this lady, Miss Rosie, showed up in the parade with her bottle of Locally brewed O’Hara’s beer, we worried about possibly tipsy biking 😉 Pic: GraigueBikeHire

Cute alert! Happy performers & marchers ahead 🙂

*Some* of these people aren’t quite as cute, but that’s okay 😉

And I mustn’t forget the vintage!

I don’t know about you, but for me, this guy’s suit wins the parade! Love it! Hope you enjoyed this sample of Graiguenamanagh‘s St Patrick’s day parade. Maybe we’ll see you there next year!

You’ll find more St Patrick’s Day posts here


St patrick's day boat parade graiguenamanagh ireland

We’re not really alone on our little island boat! There mightn’t be 10s of millions of us on the island of Ireland, but we’ve made a big impact! Pic of the Graiguenamanagh St Patrick’s Day parade by GraigueBikeHire

Little island, big impact, much love.

Much of the world celebrates their links with Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, a day when it is said everyone is Irish 🙂

I certainly feel Irish after living here almost 20 years, and I totally understand the strong longing some non-Irish people have for Ireland- she snared my heart & soul, that’s for sure! And even though here in Ireland we often kinda cringe at some of the promotions of our well-meaning tourist board, (the ridiculously dramatic voice-over on the Wild Atlantic Way video, anyone?) the major consensus is that we all love the video below.

Part of it is to do with how we love James Vincent Mcmorrow ( if you get a chance do see him live!) and part of it is just how uplifting this video is. Yeah, Ireland has its problems, but we do love her– and what’s so amazing that many of you elsewhere in the world do, too. Celebrate & enjoy 🙂

For more on Patrick’s Day, including photos & videos of the parades in our medieval village, past & present, browse here.

I hope you enjoyed the Ireland inspires on St Patrick’s Day (& beyond!) video, and if you’d like to see my 10 reasons why I love Ireland, click!

To see what’s on in county Wexford on Paddy’s Day, including a beach parade, click here.


St Patrick's Day beach parade Wexford Ireland vintage tractor
The beach parade in Wexford in 2013. Duncannon’s Parish Priest Fr. Nolan is in a tricolour wig and shamrock Elton John shades aboard one of the best vintage tractors. Pic by Mark Graham

 Paddy’s Day fun throughout county Wexford.

 

It all kicks off with Ireland’s Only ‘Beach Parade’ this St. Patrick’s Day in Duncannon!

St. Patrick’s Day in county Wexford is one of the biggest days of the year, with celebrations and parades taking place in Wexford town, New Ross, Enniscorthy, Gorey and even on a beach in the pretty seaside village of Duncannon. Have a look and see what is on when:

Duncannon

Duncannon beach will host the country’s only Beach Parade this St. Patrick’ Day. The parade will start outside the church in Duncannon at 12.30pm travelling down the Main Street and from there it will go travel along the beach. The parade will be made up of local scouts, girl guides, local sporting clubs, vintage vehicles and top tractors. The Duncannon Sandsculpting Festival will have a float in the parade, as will the local businesses. Entertainment will be on offer after the parade with an obstacle course on the beach and a bungee trampoline for the kids.

 Musical entertainment will be on offer at The Green for the afternoon. According to Cathy Dowling, Parade committee member, St. Patrick’s In Duncannon is a real occasion. “We have been hosting the parade along the beach with the last four years and it is always a fantastic day, we have such a stunning beach here in Duncannon, it’s the ideal place to host the parade for everyone to get a good view of the action. The Grand Marshall this year will be the winner of the GAA Top Farmer competition which will be held in Duncannon the night before St. Patrick’s Day.” Cathy said.

 

Wexford Town

This St. Patrick’s Day Parade is probably the oldest parade in the country starting back in 1917. This year the parade will commence at 11am from the junction at Fisher’s Rowe, William’s Street and weave it’s way through the town to pass the reviewing stand at the Quay Front adjacent to the Bridge. This year’s parade will see many floats and numerous marching bands and will be one of Wexford’s best parades. Groups will assemble from Fisher’s Rowe up to the Green in Maudlintown at 10.15am sharp, while the floats will assemble at 10am from the Mace Service Station in Trinity Street on the right hand side of the road, towards The Talbot Hotel.

 

Gorey

There will be music at the Market House from 2.30pm along with fringe events including ‘Tug o War’ and ‘Barman’s race’. Entertainment and prize giving will take place on Esmonde Street directly after the Parade. Starting at 3pm, the Parade route commences from the Enniscorthy Road at Grattan Street, travelling down the Main Street onto Esmonde Street. 

 

 Enniscorthy

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place at 2pm. Floats, vintage cars, marching bands, Bui Bolg characters and more will take to the streets departing from St. Senan’s Church led by the Army Reserve walk along Templeshannon Quay, cross Seamus Rafter Bridge and passing the reviewing stand at Abbey Square.

 

New Ross

The town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade will get underway from 2pm travelling from Irishtown down the town’s quayside to the viewing platform at the Dunbrody visitor centre. Filled with marching bands, floats and entertainers it’s one not to be missed.

 

So get out your shamrocks, fuzzy tricolour wigs, & maybe even your swimsuit if you’re brave in Duncannon, and have a fantastic St Patrick’s Day in county Wexford!

For more on St Patrick’s Day, present & past, check out these posts.


Devonshire day Lismore Castle waterford ireland

Enjoy afternoon tea in the Pugin Room at Lismore Castle and experience a unique preview of Lismore Castle Spring Gardens takes place on Sunday March 16 – served by the castles very own Butler Mr. Denis Nevin – Photograph Patrick Browne.

A unique opportunity!

Afternoon tea in Lismore Castle & tour of the Spring Gardens.

If you don’t already have plans for Sunday 16 March, do consider this, as these teas & tours are not normally offered; tis for the annual ‘Devonshire Day’ at Lismore Castle in county Waterford.

Don’t miss out! It’s an interesting way to  change the pace in addition to your traditional St. Patrick’s weekend festivities. 

Plus, Devonshire Day is a fundraiser for one of my favorite festivals, the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing. The festival itself will run from June 12 to 15, 2014, and will be extra good this year as it features the always entertaining Mark Graham launching his A Year Of Festivals In Ireland book. I had him speak back in 2012 at Graiguenamanagh’s Town of Books festival and he was a huge hit. Keep an eye out for his book & talk at Immrama.

Here’s a bit more about the day, why Devonshire Cream Tea is special, and more on the Lismore Castle gardens:

Commenting on the launch of Devonshire Day Mr Jan Rotte, Event Manager of Immrama said, “We are delighted to host Devonshire Day at Lismore Castle, it is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Devonshire Cream Tea in the most picturesque surroundings. We understand that Devon have recently applied for Protected Geographical Status for Devonshire Cream Tea but we are sure it will always be available to be served at the Irish home of the Duke of Devonshire and for guests to the castle to enjoy each year at Devonshire Day. After enjoying tea visitors can experience a guided tour of Lismore Castle Gardens, given by the Head Gardener. The gardens are set in seven acres within the 17th century outer defensive walls and have spectacular views of the castle and the surrounding countryside.”

Serving Devon Cream Tea:

The Devon method is to split the scone in two, cover each half with clotted cream, and then add strawberry jam on top.

Traditionally it is important that the scones be warm ideally, freshly baked and that clotted (rather than whipped) cream and strawberry jam, rather than any other variety, are used. Butter is generally not included, and the tea should be served with milk. Last year the classic “Devon cream tea” was voted the Devon region’s favourite ‘food speciality’.

 About Lismore Castle Gardens

The Lower Garden was formerly known as the Pleasure Grounds and is spectacular in the Spring Time. A number of camellia, rhododendron and some particularly magnificent magnolias can be found here. There has been extensive planting over the last number of years and the gardens are being constantly refined and improved. The walls surrounding the garden date from the early 18th century and have been planted with roses such as Francis E, Lester, Bobbie James, Rambling Rector to name a few. The Lower Garden also boasts some spectacular sculptures by well-known artists Eilis O’Connell, [Note- one of my fav Irish artists; whenever you have a chance to see her work, do have a look] Anthony Gormley and Marzia Colonna.

The Upper Garden is one of the few Jacobean gardens to survive in anything like its original form. The first Earl of Cork helped by his gardener John built a high surrounding wall and a raised terrace terminated at either end by turrets. The Central Walk, which is between the herbaceous borders, is backed by yew hedges and was laid in dramatic alignment on the Pain spire of the Anglican Cathedral. The hedges provide a suitable background for the herbaceous borders as one walks towards the top terrace. Located here are some artistic works by Bridget McCrum, Simon Thomas, Emily Young and Edwin Whitney Smith.

The Immrama Travel Writing Festival Committee is hosting this event and proceeds will help fund the 2014 festival programme.

Tour Times:

11.30 a.m.,  12.40 p.m.,  1.50 p.m.,  3.00 p.m.  and 4.10 p.m.

Entrance is by ticket only, Children under 10 go free but must be pre-registered with the ticket office. Tickets are available from the Immrama office and Lismore Heritage Centre and cost €20.00.

For further enquiries and bookings contact 058-53803 or 058-54975 or see facebook.com/lismoreimmrama

Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Enjoy!


Earth Apple Jewellery, by Jane Way

Are you ready to enjoy something different, fun, & beautiful? I thought this was perfect to share with you, especially for St. Patrick’s Day. Look at this– jewellry handmade from potatoes!  🙂

 I’ll let Jane tell you the story:

 Potato jewellery!

How exciting to be asked by Susan to write a post about my potato jewellery, just in time for St.Patrick’s Day. Yes you heard right – my Earth Apple Jewellery is hand made from potatoes! And as Susan said, one of the first things people associate with Ireland is potatoes.
 Dorrigo, New South Wales, Australia, by Jane Way

I grew up on a farm in Lincolnshire, England, where my Dad grew potatoes. I married an Aussie and came to Dorrigo, in New South Wales, half way between Sydney and Brisbane. Dorrigo is a great spud growing region with a lovely climate, plenty of rain (too much recently!) and wonderful red volcanic soil. You’ll see from the photo that this area has many similarities with Ireland.

So guess what? That’s right, we grew potatoes! Years went by and my love of the potato extended to crafts like potato printing. Then lo and behold I found on the internet (where else?) that you could make beads from potatoes. A craft where I could unleash my creativity and use my beloved potatoes…. I was hooked!

 

Lewins Honeyeater on Watarah , Jane Way

Take a look at my blog Earth Apple Jane, to see some more of the pieces I have made, or to see some of the things that inspire my jewellery, and I think you will agree that it is quirky, fun and unique. It is also light weight, easy to wear and eco-friendly. I now use local organically grown potatoes. I sell sometimes at the local market and shops, and I have an online shop.

 

I should explain that the name Earth Apple is taken from the French for potato, pomme de terre or literally “apple of the earth”. Similarly in Dutch it is aardappel. I see the Irish call them praties, purdies and pirries. But I think I’ll still stick with the name Earth Apple!

Jane Way’s Earth Apple Potato Jewelery

Making the beads is a slow process as the pieces of potato have to be completely dried and then sealed, painted and decorated (this is the part I enjoy the most!) sealed again and then made into earrings, pendants and necklaces. I sometimes use leaf prints or feathers etc, to embellish my pendants. It’s fun and I love using serendipitous finds from my walks to enhance my jewellery.

You never know what shape the pieces will end up, so that always adds an element of surprise. The character of the bead then influences the final design. So do the textures and colours of the natural world around me, the birds, mountains, rainforest…….I could go on and on!

I really enjoy turning the humble spud into a beautiful piece of jewellery for someone to wear and treasure.

 

Reversible potato necklace, Jane Way

Thank you Susan for giving me this opportunity to talk to your readers.

Have a wonderful Paddy’s Day Susan, and everyone!

 

Thank you, Jane! I love your unique jewelry, and its international ‘flavor’  🙂 

Everyone, be sure to read Jane’s blog- there are more lovely photos of nature in Australia there, as well as of jewelry!

 You can get in touch with Jane through her blog or by email : earthapplejewellery@gmail.com

And of course there is always Face Book and Twitter ! 

Earth Apple potato earrings by Jane Way

Happy St Patrick’s Day, everyone!

Forget the Guinness- 

eat a potato & wear one, too! 

If you’d like to see our village (Graiguenamanagh) parades, click here and also here. 

Happy Paddy’s Day! 


Paddy’s Day is always a good bit of fun here in Graig- have a look at some photos of this years parade 🙂
The photos all are shown in just 1 minute 37 seconds– the video just loops after that.
*Don’t ask why, I couldn’t make it load with music otherwise; have a few grey hairs to prove it*
Edward Hayden (check out his fab recipes here) and Fergal Byrne  his website: http://fergalbphotography.wordpress.com/  & you can also see a few more photos of his here) were kind enough to share these photos with me, as I  missed the parade due to nurse duty with 4 sick dogs! *Don’t ask about that, either!* Just enjoy the video 🙂

 


Happy Paddy’s Day from Graignamanagh, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland!
looking out over the bridge before the parade
The crowd starts to gather
The 1st of 12 Cistercian monk statues due to be placed around Graignamanagh makes his debut.
He’ll be found returning to Duiske Abbey after working in the surrounding fields.
Would our monk perhaps have had a cart like this?
This one might be a little small!
The monks may have loved to have a contraption like this!
After the noise of the parade, a nice relaxed pint is called for! Maybe our monk isn’t on his way back to the Abbey- perhaps he’s on his way to the pub now, like many of us. It is time for some music & chatter! Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Graignamanagh!
PS: The Graignamanagh Historical Society will be giving a talk on the ”Medieval Stone Carvings of County Kilkenny” on Fri 25 March, 8pm in the Graig library.

Seeing as how Thursday is Paddy’s Day, here are a few tasty samples to whet your appetite- literally & figuratively!
According to the journal.ie, ”For the second year in a row, a national food survey has shown that the traditional Irish dish of bacon and cabbage is the most popular meal in the country.” As my job is running a garden centre where we sell way more cabbage plants & seeds than any other veg, I can’t argue with that.
My hubby makes a tasty variation on the bacon & cabbage, with brussel sprouts. I know what you’re thinking, but they are in the same family as cabbage, & I promise these are really good! You wouldn’t know you were eating brussels!
Another traditional Irish favorite is Guinness. Like Kristin at Dinner Du Jour, I’m not really a fan of drinking it, but in cooking it is wonderful. Here’s a link to her blog post featuring Steak & Guinness pie, & Chocolate Guinness Cake— she’s got few other recipe links for Paddy’s Day there, too.
Doyle’s in Graiguenamanagh. Yes, it is also a hardware shop. Photo by meophamman on flickr
If you fancy a pint of the black stuff in here in Graignamanagh after our Paddy’s Day parade, why not try the Cosy Inn, Matt Doyle’s, or O’Shea’s, or, well, I could go on! Why not do a pub tour & try them all for yourself 😉
Dungarvan beers- vegan friendly, even! photo by irishcraftbeer
But Guinness is not the only beer in Ireland! Craft brewing here is starting to take off, and Beoir.org has many of them listed. Here’s their calendar of beer-y events, and do look around their website for lots of cool craft beer info, & where you can buy the beers. Dungarvan Brewing Co. is a new local-ish company that has some of Terry’s favorite craft beers. And ooh!– just as I was going to publish this, a wonderful new blog post came up from fabulous foodie Simply Splendiferous which fits in perfectly with the Dungarvan beer & food themes. Here it is: http://simplysplendiferous.com/2011/03/saint-patricks-day-irish-beef-and-stout-stew-and-a-new-irish-stout.html Nice!
If you would like to find a bit of non-edible treasure for Paddy’s Day, why not join in on this online treasure hunt! You can win fab handcrafted items from Etsy Ireland. The clues go up on their Facebook page daily, so you can scroll back & catch any you may have missed, in time for the last clue on the 15th.
Last but not least, to get you in the parade spirit, here’s last year’s RTE TV’s snippets of parades
all around the country (& elsewhere!) It is fun to watch, but if you don’t want to see it all, skim forward to around minute 17.05 to see Graignamanagh’s parade– maybe we’ll see you here this year, or in the future! Enjoy!
A little Graignamanagh parade 😉 photo by Sharon Cheong
On the last Sunday Sampler I posted links to the big St Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin & other events going on around the time, so check it out if you missed it. Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s day where ever you are!