5 Irish things to do on a Bank Holiday weekend


1. Visit a Festival

We may be a small island but we do know how to throw a good festival and there are always numerous festivals around weekend each weekend. This weekend is no different with the likes of Sligo Live, Taste of City Fusion in Dublin and Hullabaloo in Offaly just a number of such festivals this weekend.

The Shebeen’s top two picks however are Galway’s Vodafone Comedy Carnival and The Cork Guinness Jazz Festival. The Cork Guinness Jazz Festival is now in its 37th year and is Irelands leading Jazz festival. It starts on Thursday the 22nd of October and finishes on Monday the 26th. This year’s line up includes The Boomtown Rats, The Coronas, Aslan and Ryan Sheridan to name just a few.

The Vodafone Comedy Carnival is one of our favourite festivals of the year running from October 20th – 26th. It always attracts some of the biggest comedy acts around and this year is no exception with the likes of Al Porter, Rich Hall, David McSavage, Bernard O’Shea, Nina Conti & Jason Manford all playing quiet intimate gigs dotted around Galway’s lively city centre.
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2. GAA county finals

Throughout the country this time of the year indicates the business end of the local championship scene and a bank holiday weekend in October has local GAA fixtures written all over it. These fixtures involve local heroes getting their shot of being on national TV to do their club jersey proud while the county lads get ridiculed for not scoring at least 3-4 from play.

We can’t think of a better way to sort out your heavy head from Saturday night then going to your counties championship finals in either code or indeed heading down to the local with your buddies to watch some county finals from around Ireland. If you are visiting from another country then this is a must, here you get to see our national games being played at a grass roots level and also the amazing pride that comes with our national sports. These finals truly are something to behold and the pure raw emotion that comes with these matches cannot be replicated anywhere else on earth.

St Brigid’s, Roscommon v Crossmaglen Rangers, Armagh - AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship Semi-Final
3. Catch up with school friends from home

Most people will leave their big city lives for a night or two over the bank holiday weekend and travel back to their loving parents for a good Sunday roast. However boredom will get the best of most people so why not get in contact with those old school friends of yours and organise a 5 a side, movie night or maybe a few drinks in the local, what the hell maybe do it all.
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4. Become a tourist for the weekend

Irish people have a serious stigma attached to ‘looking like a tourist’ and ‘doing touristy stuff’ when on holidays and in particular in our own country. We have one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world so here are just a few places you should consider visiting this weekend if you haven’t already.

1. The Cliffs of Moher

2. The Blarney stone

3. Boyne Valley

4. Ring of Kerry

5. Arran Islands

6. St. Patricks Cathedral

5. Visit a ‘trad session’

No matter what part of the country you are in you are guaranteed to have a pub near you that still has weekly trad sessions. There is nothing quite like listening to our unique musical heritage in front of a warm turf built fire while enjoying a few drinks.

Sundays are generally noted to be the best day of the week for trad sessions around Ireland, so why not end your bank holiday weekend by attending one of these true gems of Irish culture. Click here for a list of all the Irish pubs in each county that hold regular trad sessions >

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The Shebeen for your shindig?