Holycross Abbey Tours

March - September: Guided tours of this historic abbey take place every Sunday at 2:30pm from March until September. Learn about the history of the Cistercian monks and the tale of ‘The Eight Hands.’ Discover Michael, which is said to be the oldest church bell in Ireland at over 800 years old. Test out the whispering arch, take in the architecture and learn about the craftspeople who constructed the Abbey over the generations. For further details, visit www.holycrossabbey.ie


Cup of Tae Festival

28 April – 1 May: This festival takes place in Ardara, Co Donegal. The “Cup of Tae” is the name of an Irish Reel. The festival honours legendary fiddle player John ‘The Tae’ Gallagher who was born in West End, Ardara in 1923. Generations of his family made ‘taes’ on fair days and other days of local importance. The locality will be a hive of musical activity for the weekend with trad music, masterclasses and performances taking place from Friday until Monday. This year, renowned accordion player Donna Harkin will be the guest of honour. Further details of classes taking place, visit cupoftaefestival.com


Bealtaine Festival of Fire 2023

Saturday, 6 May: The Hill of Uisneach, a sacred and historic site in our country’s history, is continuing the tradition of welcoming summer by lighting a fire on Saturday, 6 May. In ancient times, people would gather to witness the fire being lit by the High King of Ireland. In recent times, this tradition has been revived to become a family event (pictured above). Gates open at 3pm and you can expect music, art, craft demonstrations and workshops, yoga, mindfulness and games for children. As the sun sets, the great Bealtaine fire will be lit to officially welcome in the summer. Tickets from €40 for adults, further details can be found at uisneach.ie


Celebrating arts and creativity as we age

6 May: Bealtaine Festival takes place throughout the month of May. There is a wealth of events happening across the country. On Saturday, 6 May at the steps of Ennis courthouse, Mike Hanrahan from Stockton’s Wing plays host as a variety of local choirs perform. This family friendly event comes with one warning: be prepared to sing along. In Galway University Hospital, artists will provide weekly workshops including printmaking, painting, drawing and crochet for patients in care and rehabilitation. Full details of events that are happening in your area, go to bealtaine.ie and click on Bealtaine events.


The Matchmaker by John B. Keane

Jon Kenny (D’unbelievables) and Norma Sheahan (Shirley Valentine) have been selling out theatres across the country as they bring the legendary John B. Keane’s The Matchmaker to life. The play follows the efforts of Dicky Mick Dicky O’Connor as he makes matches for the lovelorn. With his unique way with words, Keane delves into the longings and fears of the lonely, taking us back to a simpler time when phones were few and far between and the only web was one left behind by spiders. Tickets from €25 from ramortheatre.com

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What’s on: hill-walking, dog show, literature and laughs

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