Spark Notes: 10 Great St Patrick’s Festival Picks To Enjoy This Weekend!

Posted 1 month ago in Arts & Culture Features

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A long weekend crammed with plenty of happenings for this year’s St Patrick’s Festival is finally in sight. The theme of this year’s Parade is ‘Spréach’, Gaelic for ‘Spark’, so we’ve put together an abridged guide to a few of the things sparking our interest this year.

In addition to the spectacle of the parade, there is an absolute wealth of musical acts performing in The Festival Quarter, National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks in Dublin 7 and other venues close by. All shows are highly recommended, but here’s our guide to a few of the things we thought were interesting, and some of the acts performing.


The Annual St Patrick’s Day Parade

The theme of this year’s Parade is ‘Spréach’, Gaelic for ‘Spark’, and it will begin at noon. Starting in Parnell Square, and traveling past the G.P.O. and Westmoreland Street to Christchurch Cathedral, further to St. Patrick’s and ending on Kevin Street, some half a million people will be packing out the grandstands and pathways.


Not Just Shamrocks: Irish Symbolism in the Museum’s Collections

It’s all too easy to forget that before shamrocks and Guinness, Ireland’s rich and complex past in symbolism and imagery once included things of more consequence. Our heritage also involves The Triquetra, thought to be the oldest symbol of spirituality, the Celtic Tree of Life and the Dara Knot. This tour explores the signs and patterns that decorated Irish history, if not quite so many cereal boxes . To arrange, contact or call 01 648 6453.

National Museum of Ireland, 14:00 / 15:00, Saturday 16th and  Sunday 17th March



Co. Down Gaeilgeoir and folk artist MÚLÚ sings with a shruti box, resurrecting traditional songs as gaeilge with the remainder of her trio of Tommy Moynagh, on bódrán and guitar and Ciara Macguire, and adding her championship winning flute playing to the mix, making for an ethereal, authentic experience.

Tigín, 14:00-14:30, Saturday 16th March


Breaking Bread with Jennie Moran

Breaking Bread is an interactive food heritage workshop educating attendees into GOAL’s culinary memories, triumphs and disasters and investigating the stories people tell through food.

Participants will be paired and given a food heritage prompt that will result in a unique drawing from their workshop partner, offering one in return. The event will be preceded by the hospitality workshop, The Story of Hospitality by Jennie Moran, an artist who uses the philosophy, culture, and infrastructure of hospitality to create opportunities for shared connection.

Tigín at 15.55pm – 16.40pm, Saturday 16th March


Mother Presents Cultúr Club


With Irish DJ Legend SAOIRSE headlining a bill that includes the likes of RTÉ Choice Music Prize nominated electronic artist, Elaine Mai who will be putting on a special, one night only performance to show the latest in her incredible productions, joined by Maykay. Mother DJs Ruth Kavanagh, Ghostboy and Rocky T Delgado will be joined across the site by DJs Kelly-Anne Byrne, Puzzy Wrangler, and more with dancers, kinksters, and fabulous drag artists. The Mother ‘Géilí Mór’, Ireland’s largest Queer céilí returns with the fabulous PJ Kirby (co-host of the smash hit podcast, I’m Grand Mam), with help from RiverDrag & a live queer céilí band.

The National Museum of Ireland, 17:00-23:00, Saturday March 16th


Paper Flower Making and Storytelling with Pavee Point

Flower making was an important tradition among Traveller women and contributed to the family’s welfare. At this gathering, Traveller women will recall making decorative flowers from different types of paper, using those pieces to trade and barter for other goods and services, sharing many stories of people they met that reflect the time and give unique insights into the Traveller experience in Ireland, and how it has changed.

Tigín, 13.40pm – 14.10pm, Sunday 17th March


Brìgdhe Chaimbeul and Aidan O’ Rourke

Celebrated Scottish smallpipe virtuoso Brìghde Chaimbeul in this duo with renowned fiddle player Aidan O’ Rourke explore ancient melodies in a guttural, threadbare fashion. Characterized not only by their ability, but also their individuality, this presentation from the Baltimore Fiddle Fair has once more ensured its continued reputation of seeking out and celebrating world class talent.

Tigín, 17:45-18:15 & 21:10-21:40, Sunday 17th March


Louise Mulcahy le Chairde

Known as one of the best uileann pipers this country has yet produced, and an acclaimed flute player to boot, Louise Mulcahy brings an all star cast to this ecstatic celebration of Irish music, including harpist Michelle Mulcahey, and RTÉ Concert Orchestra Resident artist Zoë Conway and award winning guitarist, John McIntyre.

Halla Mór, 19:00-19:45, Sunday 17th March



The Deadlians

The trad infused psychedelic punk of The Deadlians has been mentioned to me dozens of times in interviews with bands like The Scratch and Lankum, and having caught them live a number of times over the last year, it’s easy to understand why. Wild, delirious, swaggering rock fronted by a true troubadour in Sean Fitzgerald, they are an infectious and raucous live proposition that are not to be missed.

Rí Rá Stage, 21:40-22:25, Sunday 17th March


Niamh Bury

The name Niamh Bury is a ubiquitous thing in Irish folk circles, and with a compelling voice and attention to the details of arrangement, it’s easy to hear why. The rich textures and fresh perspectives with which she interprets old, old songs is spellbinding, and as a new signee to Claddagh Records, looks set to take flight in coming months. If you have even a passing interest in beautiful music, you owe it to yourself to find out why everyone is talking.

Tigín, 22:00-22:30, Sunday 17th March

Words: Adhamh Ó Caoimh

The St Patrick’s Day Festival takes place from Friday March 15th to Monday March 18th. For full listings and ticket info visit

Wanna read more?

Other events taking place this weekend include:

Supper Stories: Dublin Story Slam X Camerino Bakery at IMMA

Sundays at Noon at The Hugh Lane

Harbour 2 Harbour:  A Walk for Aware

Wake – thisispopbaby

The Secret History of Gay Dublin Tour

Na Peirsigh / The Persians

IAF x One City: Special Screening of North Circular This Bank Holiday Monday


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