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Dublin: 15°C Sunday 17 October 2021

No plans for the weekend yet? Here are some of the best things to do around Ireland

These are just some of the big events happening around the country.

ARE YOU STUCK for things to do this weekend? Left at a loose end by the cancellation of the Killarney Festival? Here are our county-by-county recommendations, from readings by Booker Prize winners in Meath to mountain trekking in Mayo.

Cork: The week-long West Cork Chamber Music Festival kicks off tomorrow with concerts and masterclasses taking place in different venues across the city. Beethoven masterpieces will be the focus of tomorrow’s main evening concert, while composer Brett Dean will perform the Irish premiere of his ‘Epitaphs’ string quintet on Sunday evening. The world-renowned Borodin Quartet, which celebrated its 70th anniversary this year, will be playing later on in the week.

6RSxNktDCx2ltlNbMJR2zoC5xTF2-28pQwYWEt0p_tk,XqrncTTr6ZJ8wG7SDQ8AJOishvs53ipMC408f57o4ew,be4ZGX90R_RqZc3-KBX0XZUdtptUuAdv-EIq9g9_fOs,6u_g16sh-zdhbXybXbrSzSvuPW24H0PhvPChshteRhA Award-winning cellist Natalie Clein is one of dozens of musicians performing at the West Cork Chamber Festival. Source: West Cork Chamber Festival

Clare: The inaugural INIS Fest will be continuing on the Ennis Showgrounds tomorrow with performances from Mundy, country singer Nathan Carter and folk band Rackhouse Pilfer, among others. Local acts including trad group Los Paddys de las Pampas and former Voice of Ireland contestant Sarah McTernan will taking the stage for a free family concert on Sunday.

INIS Fest organisers John McCarthy, Darren Purtill, Declan O'Grady and Carmen Cronin at the Ennis Friary. Source: Arthur Ellis/INIS Fest

Dublin: Tens of thousands are expected to take to the streets tomorrow afternoon for the Dublin Pride Parade, the first since the passing of the marriage referendum. The annual parade is the highlight of a 10-day festival packed full of social and cultural events. Celebrations kick off at the Garden of Remembrance and finish up at Merrion Square.

And that night, get your fancy frocks out and take a walk through an Enchanted Forest, specially built in the Double Tree by Hilton for The June Ball, in aid of IMNDA. Money raised will will go towards homecare services and research for the 330 families affected by Motor Neurone Disease in Ireland.

Galway: Breathe in that fresh Connemara air on the fifth annual Roudstone Bay 8K tomorrow. The course, which begins and ends in Roundstone village, loops around some of the west’s best coastal views. The theme this year is ‘retro running’ – take from that what you will.

15480445000_9de6a6cff1_h Roundstone marks the beginning of a coastal route overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Source: Roger Ward/Flickr

Limerick: Choirs of all nationalities will come together at the third Limerick Signs International Choral Festival this weekend. The highlights include a Saturday night concert showcasing classical, gospel and modern arrangements in St Mary’s Cathedral, followed by a Sunday afternoon performance featuring all choirs at the University Concert Hall. The festival draws to an end on Sunday night with a summer barbecue and singsong.

Kilkenny: Art is the focus at the Abhainn Rí Festival this weekend as the National Women’s Council of Ireland’s touring exhibition ‘Still, we work’ comes to the Callan Workhouse Union.  The exhibition, which looks at modern representations of women and work, is complemented with a Saturday morning workshop that explores women’s “daily labours of love” through dance. If that doesn’t float your boat, there’s a family field day on Sunday with a bouncy castle, bungee trampoline, giant slide, dog show and vintage car display.

20ea4ab5-a14f-4161-928e-b19c1f83ec46 'Still, we work' features art by Sarah Browne, Miriam O’Connor and Anne Tallentire. Source: National Women's Council of Ireland

Kerry: The Kilflynn Enchanted Fairy Festival opens tomorrow night with a parade through a fairy and elf trail around the village. Bring the kids along for a puppet show, drumming workshop, zumba dancing session and teddy bear doctor clinic on Sunday. Magical characters and storytellers will be entertaining throughout the weekend.

Kildare: Thousands are expected to descend on the Curragh Racecourse for the Irish Derby Festival this weekend. Top horses and jockeys will battle it out in 24 races during the three-day event, which is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. There’ll be live music from country singer Nathan Carter, as well as plenty of free activities for the kids on Sunday. And it’s worth getting your glad rags out for this one, because the prize for this year’s most stylish lady is a free holiday to Dubai, valued at €20,000.

unnamed (2) Source: Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby

Mayo: Cross rugged hills, ancient rivers and fields at the Clare Island Walking Festival this weekend. Archaeologist Michael Gibbons will be doing an educational walk tomorrow morning, while local historian Ciara Cullin will be leading the troops back through 7,500 years of island history in a guided tour on Sunday.

Meath: Now in its third year, the Hay Festival in Kells continues to provide one of the best literary lineups of the summer season.  Headliners this year include Booker Prize winners Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle and Ben Okri, as well as Marian Keyes and Paul Durcan. There’ll also be film screenings, comedy, kids’ events, debates, an art trail, pop-up book shops, food events and lectures throughout the weekend.

Gay Marriage referendum Roddy Doyle is speaking at the Headfort Arms Hotel on Sunday afternoon. Source: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Wicklow: The Craic in the Granite Festival continues in Aughrim tomorrow with music and theatrics galore. Take part in family storytelling with storyteller Niall de Búrca enjoy the annual dog show or harness your competitive streak at a family fishing competition. Confirmed acts include Changing Gears, Citrus Sam and Ms Tangerine, The Roamin Cadillacs and The Eskies.

Wexford: The Wexford Literary Festival in Enniscorthy plays host to readings from Claudia Carroll, Rachael English and Felicity Hayes McCoy, among others, this weekend. There’ll be panel discussions and workshops aplenty at the two-day event, which is taking place in different venues across the town. Slots at the open mic night on Saturday are expected to fill quickly.

00142912 Rachel English will be speaking on a panel on fiction writing in the Presentation Arts Centre tomorrow morning. Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Have we missed any events? Let us know in the comments below.

Read: These are the best craft beers in Ireland right now >

Read: What’s it like letting people run a massive festival in your back garden? >

About the author:

Catherine Healy

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