Knightly entertainment as Cork lives up to its reputation as festival capital

FROM medieval jousting to a bone- crunching game of American football – Cork lived up to its reputation as Ireland’s festival capital this weekend.

The grounds of a castle near the city were transformed into a medieval village, with knights on horseback engaged in jousting and period characters giving displays of archery, blacksmithing, crafts and the preparation of old-time meals.

The second annual Carrigtwohill Medieval Festival and Country Fair took place at Barryscourt Castle on Saturday and Sunday and thousands of spectators gathered to hear the ring of clashing steel as sword fights shattered the tranquility of the medieval village.

Food stalls were in abundance and artisan crafts on display included spinning wool, old-time threshing, pottery-making and the baking of bastible bread.

A medieval battle re-enactment was provided by Fingal Living History Society, followed by jousting from the Knights of Middle England.

Living history exhibitions also included the re-enactment of World War II battles, complete with explosives and machine gun fire – backed up by performances from the Army Band.

Thousands of people also flocked to Blarney to help celebrate American Independence Day.

The Blarney Bowl event yesterday featured a game between the Cork Admirals and Dublin Dragons American football teams.

It was the highlight of a weekend-long festival which included a display of classic American musical performances in the village square, and a Taste of Blarney event featuring dishes from some of the area’s top restaurants.

The West Cork Literary Festival also opened in Bantry last night.

The week-long event features a sold-out reading by Michael Palin on Thursday night, as well as appearances by writers Margaret Drabble, John Boyne and Hugo Hamilton. Speakers include leading Irish poet Eavan Boland; award- winning travel writer Tim Mackintosh-Smith; Rooney Prize winner Philip O Ceallaigh and Booker nominee Simon Mawer.

Meanwhile, superstar rapper Snoop Dogg plays Live at the Marquee in the city’s docklands tonight, with Westlife due to perform two sold-out gigs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.


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