Festival fun to bring smiles all round this weekend

Increasing hopes of sunshine enhance a hectic June bank holiday weekend in the south-west. Forecasters are pointing to ‘reasonably fine weather’ which should attract large crowds to a plethora of festivals, exhibitions and other exciting events through Cork and Kerry as well as the Mid-West.

Festival fun to bring  smiles all round this weekend

Cork City

Ocean to City, a long-distance rowing race and maritime festival taking place in Cork Harbour, remains a true flagship event celebrating our unique maritime culture and heritage.

The festival highlight, today’s An Rás Mór — the big race— which finishes at Lapps’s Quay, draws hundreds of participants from all over the world competing in traditional wooden working boats, currachs, gigs and longboats as well as Chinese dragon boats, kayaks and canoes.

Along with variety of on-street entertainment, the festival which closes tomorrow, includes boat trips, naval ship tours, films, talks, food markets, music, craic and free family events.

West Cork

Bandon Music Festival, in its 18th year, continues until tomorrow and features a number of big-name artistes on the bill.

Mundy brings his upbeat brand of folk-based pop-rock music to the main stage today. With huge hits like July, Mexico and Galway Girl, alongside new material, he will be joined by Dublin brothers Hudson Taylor whose debut EP, Battles, shot straight to number one.

Tomorrow, Bandon goes electro with Le Galaxie, a leading electronic band promising to lift the mood. Kormac’s 11-piece Big Band also takes to the main stage.

The festival includes a free festival music trail, with live bands playing in participating pubs throughout the town.


Thousands of bikers from home and overseas are in Killarney for Ireland BikeFest.

Harley Davidson models usually dominate but there will also be a wide range of other top brands of all shapes and sizes on display. The Gleneagle Hotel is the headquarters and there will be a tented village with exhibitions and clothing and bike paraphernalia for sale.

There’s free musical entertainment on an outdoor stand and local artist Deborah O’Keeffe is raffling a painting of bikers going through the Gap of Dunloe to raise funds for Be Aware Prevent Suicide.

West Cork

The 17th Innishannon Steam and Vintage Rally is possibly the biggest event of its kind in Ireland, attracting over 22,000 visitors yearly.

All proceeds aid the Irish Cancer Society and, to date, the event has raised over €1.1m for charities.

Over 1,600 exhibits will be spread out across a 40-acre site, including steam engines, tractors, military vehicles, oil engines, fire engines, motor cycles, lorries and vintage farm machinery.

Also to be seen are fairground organs, trade stands, amusements, pets’ corner, sheep dog demonstrations, live music, set dancing, rural crafts, book stalls, sheep dog trials, ploughing, threshing and more .

East Cork

Ballycotton’s Seafood & Shanty Long Weekend features seafood stalls on the pier, cookery demonstrations by five chefs from restaurants in the village, a Pirates’ Den for the kids and boat trips around the lighthouse island.

They are just some of the treats lined up as the village once more bands together as a community to celebrate the sea.

Ballycotton restaurant chefs will launch the festival by demonstrating some fishy dishes on the pier and the Ballycotton Fisherman’s Association will be cooking up and serving a delicious selection of fishy bites.


An arts feast in Kerry will have a strong international flavour. A Here in Paradise exhibition is the attraction in the picturesque village of Sneem.

Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan officially opens the exhibition today which will also be attended by French and German ambassadors, Jeanne Pierre Thébault and Dr Eckhard Lubkemeier.

Here in Paradise, featuring the work of German artist Jochen Gerz, is in the Sneem sculpture gardens which offer a contemporary arts space. The exhibition was commissioned by Sneem Tidy Towns and supported by the French and German embassies, the Goethe-Institut, Dublin, and Kerry Co Council.


K-Fest, an arts, music, drama, film and family festival, in Killorglin runs until Monday. There will be 20 pop-up galleries, with 60 visual artists, nightly entertainment, cinema, workshops and debates.

There are also performances from emerging acts such as Hermitage Green, Soak, The Vincents and Toy Soldier and Irish Song of the Year nominee DJ Daithi.

Films to be screened in an underground cinema will include Oscar-nominated shorts, documentaries, animation and work by award-winning actor Brendan Gleeson.

Also on display in Killorglin will be what is claimed to be one of the country’s largest land sculptures, Fish out of Water, spanning close to 50 metres.


The world’s first ever chip championship is part of a new festival for Limerick city. At the heart of the festival is the Salon Perdu European Mirror tent, or ‘Spiegeltent’, erected in Arthur’s Quay Park, playing host to a number of events, including a Culinary Carnival, a Children’s Culinary Theatre, and a Great Limerick Brunch.

The inaugural World Chip Championships take places in the Spiegeltent during the Culture & Chips food carnival running until Monday. A host of chefs will cook up a storm in an open contest for professional cooks.


Valentia lifeboat, in Co Kerry, will celebrate 100 years of voluntary lifesaving work and the entire island community is being invited to participate.

There’s a family fun day, on Sunday, a 5km run, treasure hunt and plenty of games for all ages, as well as an exhibition of photographs and reports of rescues undertaken by the lifeboat over the years.

At a dinner dance on Sunday night, the lifeboat station will receive a special award from the RNLI to mark its anniversary.


A holiday to Sneem in 1969 by former French president Charles de Gaulle is being recalled at an exhibition opening in the village this weekend.

Featuring 24 images of the much-publicised event, it recalls an exciting time in the picturesque village, with a huge international media influx as de Gaulle was one of the best-known statesmen in the world in those days.

Titled, De Gaulle — a Quiet Holiday, the exhibition will run for a year.

Asthma: be aware of holiday triggers

With thousands expected to attend festivals and other outdoor activities over the Bank Holiday weekend, the Asthma Society of Ireland is urging those with asthma to remember their medication and to be aware of the many triggers that may affect their condition.

Asthma affects one in 10 adults and one in 5 children here. Approximately one person dies every week as a result of asthma, yet 90% of these deaths are preventable.

The Asthma Society is warning that a high pollen count, coupled with the additional triggers at festivals such as secondhand smoke, alcohol, dry ice, and mould from tents can all affect respiratory conditions.

Asthma sufferers are being advised:

- Don’t forget to bring your inhalers with you and have your reliever inhaler on you at all times.

- Carry an Asthma Attack card at all times.

- Know where the medical tents are.

- Inform friends if you have asthma.

- Get someone else to put up your tent.

- If you drink alcohol, make sure it is in moderation.

- Don’t smoke.

- Do not take recreational drugs.

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