It was over 18 months ago when sending Irish Country Living to print, we decided to add a note to an events page that read: “At the time of going to print the latest information on the status of these events was assessed – with the evolving COVID-19 situation, please check the most up-to-date information available.”
That was just days before St Patrick’s Day 2020 and Leo Varadkar’s famous announcement. If you told us then what we know now, we wouldn’t have believed you. Little did we realise it at the time, but the vast majority of the events listed on that page would not take place, nor would they for some time. And the events page, a weekly staple in Irish Country Living, would cease to exist.
But you don’t need us to tell you this. You’ve lived through this momentous change. No concerts, gigs, festivals or race meetings – the list goes on.
Thankfully, the time has come! After 18 months, with restrictions starting to be wound-down, we’re reinstating our events page – monthly to begin with. This means one thing, time to get back out there – safely of course. Enjoy!
Please note, the vast majority of the events listed below require pre-booking.
9-12 September: Armagh Food and Cider Festival
Armagh is called the Orchard County for a reason, you know. So, if you’re into cider, or even just food and drink in general, the Armagh Food and Cider Festival is a good shout. This festival has plenty on offer, with culinary events both outdoor and undercover. From dining experiences to food masterclasses, demos and cider tastings, there’s loads happening across the weekend. There will be tours across a number of locations also, including Crannagael House, Blackwell House and Brookvale farm.
For more information see www.visitarmagh.com
18 September: Cronin at Longford Live & Local
An initiative by Longford County Council, Longford Live & Local saw over 50 live outdoor music events take place across the summer in towns and villages around the county. The last of these will be held over the next couple of weeks. On Sunday 12 September, Mick Flavin, 4 Degrees West and Conor and Mick Lane will play Southern Gaels GAA Club, Newtowncashel.
The final performance takes place in Drumlish Community Centre on 18 September. It’s a gig by midlands band, Cronin.
For a full programme of events and booking information see www.longford.ie
22 September: Brian Kennedy at INEC Inside Out
In July, the Gleneagle (the hotel attached to the INEC venue) announced they had constructed a specially built outdoor stage. A series of outdoor concerts, Inside Out, ran throughout August and are continuing into September. The penultimate concert takes places on 22 September. It will see Brian Kennedy play the renowned Kerry venue. Other upcoming gigs include, Robert Mizzell on 12 September and Declan Nerney on 14 September. The INEC will also host Killarney Trad Fest from 23-26 September.
For more information see www.inec.ie
24-25 September: Skibbereen Walking Festival
Gan dabth, the number of people into walking – ie going for a substantial jaunt, not just a stroll about – skyrocketed during the pandemic.
For those who want to carry on this new hobby, the Skibbereen Walking Festival is an option. It will have guided walks through quiet country roads with some-off road sections also. There will be something for walkers of all abilities. The meeting point for all walks is Skibbereen Heritage Centre, with bus transport provided for out-of-town walks. There are to be seven walks across the weekend, taking in west Cork areas such as Schull, Rosscarbery, Sherkin Island and more.
CYCLE the Limerick Greenway. The Limerick Greenway will eventually be part of the Great Southern Greenway, which will run from Limerick city to Tralee along the old railway line. A 40km stretch in west Limerick, from Rathkeale through Newcastle West and on to Abbeyfeale, recently opened. There are seven main access points; Rathkeale, Ardagh, Newcastle West, Barnagh, Templeglantine, Devon Road and Abbeyfeale. This makes it easy for cyclists, walkers and runners to do as much or little as they like.
For more see limerick.ie/greenway
EXPLORE Derryglad Folk and Heritage Museum. We haven’t quite discovered time travel just yet, but a visit to Derryglad Folk and Heritage Museum in Co Roscommon might just be the next best thing. Here you can experience life in rural Ireland back as far as the 19th century. The museum houses a collection of over 7,500 objects. Guided tours will take you back in time through village shops, school rooms and kitchens, learning the traditions of long ago. Of course, there’s a major farming influence on the artefacts, with old butter churns in the dairy, as well as vintage ploughs and other farm machinery.
For more information see derrygladfolkmuseum.com
HIKE the Wicklow Mountains in Glendalough. One of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, Glendalough in Co Wicklow really does have something for everyone. There are an array of trails to suit all abilities, from seasoned hikers to those starting off. These trails are colour coordinated and marked, making them easy to follow. Maps are available from the visitor centre. For those looking for a more leisurely stroll, there are more gentle walks around the lakes and of course the monastic settlement to checkout.
For more, see glendalough.ie
EXPLORE Spike Island. Located in Cork Harbour, Spike Island was originally the site of a monastic settlement. Later there was a defensive fortress, turned prison built there. Spike Island was formally the world’s largest prison, where now you can explore museums, exhibitions and scenic walks. Spike Island Cork Harbour do trips to the island, which includes a ferry from Cobh and an optional guided tour. Please note, this service is weekend only for the month of October.
For more information see spikeislandcork.ie