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16th February 2017

 

Go Beyond the Pale for St. Patrick’s Day 2017

Dublin has a spectacular St. Patrick’s Day festival. For four days, the nation’s capital is home to events for all ages including a 5k road race, walking tours, plays, a treasure hunt and of course music everywhere. Truly, celebrating our nation’s patron saint in our capital city is an amazing experience. But it isn’t the only place in Ireland offering an unforgettable St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Maybe you’ve already been to Dublin for Paddy’s Day or maybe it is too much of a good thing for your liking. Why not let Iarnród Éireann take you to one of these other St. Patrick’s Day festivals in Ireland?

  • Cork: With a theme of Community, Culture and Commerce, Cork has all the bases covered with one of the country’s largest celebrations. This is a three-day extravaganza that kicks off with a parade on the 17th. Expect marching bands, quirky performers, fantastic music and a lot of really happy families. Bonus, the weather is often slightly better in Cork than in more northern or western areas.
  • Galway: The city that gave us Macnas is not going to disappoint on Paddy’s Day. Galway’s parade will be afire with dazzling pageantry and absolute magic.  Forget the wee people. Galway’s 90-minute parade will be larger than life.  The line-up will include everything from GAA and Traveller groups to cultures from around the world that now call Galway home.
  • Tullamore: Famous for more than whiskey, Tullamore has enough to keep a family entertained for the whole long weekend. The traditional Paddy’s Day parade is the highlight of a five-day festival called Seachtain na Gaeilge. It’s all about Irish food, culture and music in this vibrant midlands town.
  • Limerick: If marching bands are the highlight of St. Patrick’s Day for you, Limerick is the place to be. On Sunday, 19th March, don’t miss the 47th Annual Limerick International Band Championship. The city’s actual Paddy’s Day parade will be on Friday, 17th with a theme of Our Stories, This Is Where We Belong.  And there is plenty to see in the area on the Saturday. Walk the setting of Angela’s Ashes, cruise along the River Shannon or visit King John’s Castle.

Dubliners interested in exploring further afield can do it without the hassle of driving there or worrying about parking with Iarnród Éireann. Get out beyond the Pale for a fantastic staycation break this Paddy’s Day. 

Want to Keep It Really Real This Paddy’s Day?

While larger cities and towns put on dazzling festivals with events to cater to every taste, sometimes less is more. If you are looking for a more authentic traditional day, try a provincial town such as Mullingar, Drogheda, Portlaoise, Carlow or Kilkenny. Tractors, fire engines and GAA groups on parade are the heart and soul of rural Ireland. Add some face painting, a ceili and some live music, and you’ve got a refreshing break from the high gloss of the cities. 

Visitors from overseas searching for a taste of the real Ireland could try spending St. Patrick’s Day in a town where or near where they have family roots. What better time to learn about where your people are from than the day they are celebrating their heritage? In towns and villages across Ireland, you’ll find an especially warm failte waiting for you on Paddy’s Day whether you are visiting from Dublin, Perth or Boston. Slow down and spend a few days off the beaten tourist track getting to know your roots.

Whether you are visiting Ireland or just want to experience Paddy’s Day in a different part of the country from where you live, you are spoiled for choice. You can go for a dazzling spectacle in Dublin or another city, or you can embrace the more relaxed festivities down the country. Whichever you chose, you don’t have to worry about holiday traffic when you go with Iarnród Éireann. The holiday starts as soon as you board your train.

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Things to do and see in Dublin this St. Patrick's Day weekend

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