Ploughing for Stars

Cast your mind back to September 2019, much of the space on these pages was dedicated to a singing competition Irish Country Living was holding at the Ploughing Championships called Ploughing for Stars. The prize for the winners of this competition – it was held both the Tuesday and Wednesday – was the chance to sing with Mike Denver.

Kendal Moody. \ Donal O' Leary

Faster than you may think, that time has come around. This weekend our Ploughing for Stars winners Keelan Greaney and Kendal Moody will take to the stage with Mike.

Wicklow woman Kendal is first up on Saturday 25 January singing with Mike at his concert in the Dolman in Carlow.

The following night, Sunday 26, the two Galway boys – Keelan and Mike – will perform together on home ground at the Clayton Hotel in the City of the Tribes.

Other guests on both nights include Philomena Begley and Brendan Shine. Tickets are still available here.

Irish Country Living would like to wish Keelan and Kendal the best of luck over the weekend.

The Great Blasket job vacancy

Many readers will be intimately familiar with Ireland’s rugged western landscape. It’s where they conduct their lives, farm, business and more. These places off the beaten track are well known to farmers, however rural areas are now seemingly attracting a broader pool of people than the traditional dweller, and we’re not only talking in terms of tourism.

A job advertisement looking for a couple or two friends to take up a post managing the Great Blasket Island’s accommodation and cafe has received hundreds of applications. There is no electricity or hot water on the island for either the people working or those visiting, so those interested have to be ready for a bit of rough and tumble. However, there is a charging point powered by a small wind turbine where one electrical device can be charged.

The island is located three miles off the Dingle Peninsula and has been uninhabited since 1953. It was home to many notable Irish writers, including Peig Sayers.

Email for more information

Snowdrop season

The beloved winter flower of many, the snowdrop, will be celebrated in Co Carlow for the whole month of February with a jam-packed programme of events.

There will be guided tours of the Altamont Gardens in Tullow every Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the month at 2pm with head gardener Paul Cutler. The meeting point is the Courtyard and admission is €3.

Snowdrops at the Altamont Gardens.

Guided tours of the snowdrop collection in the Walled Gardens will take place each Saturday from 8 to 29 February at 2pm. The meeting point is Altamont Plant Sales and admission is free.

There are more tours taking place regularly throughout the month in gardens across the county, including Huntington Castle, Burtown House and Shankill Castle. There will also be a Snowdrop Gala on 1 February in the Mount Wosley Hotel to kick-off proceedings, with talks on the flower from a number of experts.

For more information click here.

Jersey January at Croke Park

For some of us, January is the time of year when we need to be most frugal – often after an over-indulgent festive season of course. However, a little can go a long way, and there are plenty of initiatives out there to help stretch our pennies a little further.

One such initiative is Jersey January at the GAA Museum in Croke Park. Until the end of the month – so only one week left – you can avail of half price on a tour of the stadium when you wear your GAA club, county or Kellogg’s Cúl Camp jersey, paying on arrival.

Many readers will have been in Croke Park for matches or even concerts, but on the tour you get to see the behind-the-scenes action. From the carefully tended-to grass to going pitch side, defining moments in history, players’ dressing rooms and VIP boxes, tour guides have a lot to show and tell.

For tour times please click here. A half-price stadium tour for an adult is €7.50, for a student/senior is €6 and for a child is €5.

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