Ah Go On Go On …It would be very rude not to…

February 1, 2013

Feb 21-24: Tedfest, Inis Mor, Aran Islands, Co Galway (Aran Island Ferries from Ros a’ Mhil, Aer Arann Islands from Connemara airport).
Ireland’s weirdest and wackiest festival celebrates cult TV comedy Father Ted in which lunatic priests Ted, Dougal and Jack plus nutty housekeeper Mrs. Doyle stumble from one madcap misadventure to another.
Inis Mor stands in for the fictional Craggy Island for four days of capers, contests and ceili’s as hundreds of Ted fans don clerical collars, nuns’ habits and Mrs. Doyle aprons and make a hilarious holy show of themselves.
There’s a competitive element to some of the daily doses of daftness with a Lovely Girls Contest, Ted’s Got Talent, a Priests Dance-Off and the Craggy Cup soccer tournament, all of them fiercely-fought but a bundle of side-splitting fun.
Rumours of a spin-off reality TV show featuring Tedfest participants marooned in a jungle are as yet unconfirmed, but if they’re looking for a name they could do worse than I’m A Celebrant, Get Me Outa Here!
If it’s laughs you’re looking for this month, head west to the biggest of the Aran Islands where it’ll be a case of the Mor the merrier.
Feb 8-18: Dublin Chinese New Year Festival, various venues.
2013 is the Year of the Snake, and the Chinese community are inviting their Irish friends and overseas visitors to celebrate the best of their culture, cuisine and entertainment with a host of colorful events.
Children will love the traditional dragon and lion dances in the street, and for music lovers there’s a concert, A Celebration of Chinese New Year, in the National Concert Hall on February 11.

Feb 9: Hennessy Gold Cup, Leopardstown Racecourse, Dublin (Green Line Luas tram from St. Stephen’s Green).
The Gold Cup, won last year by Quel Esprit who’s a 16-1 shot to do it again, is a highlight of the Irish horse racing and social calendar. International supermodel Erin O’Connor will be there to choose the Best-Dressed Lady, who receives €7,000 in designer fashion vouchers.
Feb 10: Ireland vs England, Six Nations Rugby, Aviva Stadium, Dublin (Lansdowne Road Dart station, or maximum 30 minutes walk from centre).
The Irish will be out for revenge when they host England who hammered them 30-9 last year in London, a result that still stings.
Whatever the result, it’s traditional for both sets of fans to party together before and after the match.
Feb 14-24: Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, cinemas throughout Dublin.
The red carpet — or rather, the green carpet — will be rolled out to welcome big-name guests including Danny DeVito, Tim Roth and our very own Gabriel Byrne to Ireland’s premier celebration of all things cinema.
There will be screenings galore of films from all over the world, with a special emphasis this year on Europe to mark Ireland’s six-month presidency of the European Union.
Feb 20-24: The 14th Gathering Traditional Festival, INEC, Killarney, Co Kerry.
A right royal welcome awaits visitors to the Kingdom of Kerry, where Ireland’s most popular tourist town is the stage for a celebration of Irish song and dance.
The festival brings together young and old from near and far for five days of diddly-aye and dancing, with a packed programme of scheduled concerts, spontaneous sessions, set dance classes and workshops.
Feb 25-March 3: 12th Annual Corofin Traditional Festival, Corofin, Co Clare.
A week of the very best Irish music and song from the country’s very best traditional musicians, with free concerts and great sessions in the village’s six pubs, whose floors are specially reinforced to withstand all the foot stomping.
Clare is the home of Irish traditional music, and Corofin knows how to throw one hell of a hooley!


Tom Sweeney's Travel Blog

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