October sees a variety of festivals celebrating Irish food, world-class opera, and great jazz, as well as two of the most popular participatory sporting events in the country. (Can you guess what they are?)
Dromineer, Co. Tipperary – 2-5 October, 2014
The Dromineer Literary Festival is an intimate event held in a beautiful lakeside village in Co. Tipperary. This year’s authors include Medbh McGuckian, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Booker Prize-nominee Donal Ryan and celebrated newcomer Liz Nugent.
Dingle, Co. Kerry – 3-5 October, 2014
Showcases the quality of the food produced locally and the warm welcome offered to those who choose to visit the beautiful Dingle Peninsula.
Inishbofin Island, Co. Galway – 3-5 October, 2014
Inishbofin Island plays host to a weekend festival celebrating local food and drink, with cooking demonstrations, shore foraging, butchery skills, fish smoking, vegetarian cooking, a food market and island inspired tasting menus. There will be a folach fiadh, a program for kids, tunes, cocktails, a scone baking competition, and chats about growing, sourcing, cooking and eating food over a glasseen. (And if you don’t know what some of those are, you really need to attend!)
K Club, Co. Kildare – Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 11am
The Liffey Descent is the largest canoe and kayak race in Ireland. Hundreds of casual paddlers join Europe’s top professionals for a marathon race along the River Liffey, from Country Kildare down into Dublin City itself. The race is quite spectacular to watch, as it encompasses 10 different weirs and many opportunities for paddlers to end up in the water. I competed in this myself in my younger days, and can vouch for its excitement both as a competitive race and as a spectator sport.
Galway City, Co. Galway – 16-27 October, 2014
Bringing a host of international stars to Galway, the 2014 Vodafone Galway Comedy Festival is bigger and lasts longer than ever before.
Co. Meath – October 17-November 2, 2014
The roots of what we now call Halloween began on the Hill of Tlachtga in County Meath, and this modern festival is an attempt to bring the ancient Samhain festival together with more modern traditions, offering various events and Halloween-themed family fun over a two-week period.
Letterfrack, Co. Galway – 17-27 October, 2014
Sea Week isn’t just about boat regattas and beach sports, it’s a week of multi-disciplinary events feature top traditional musicians, singers, poets and storytellers, as well as water sports that showcases the multifaceted life of the Conamara region.
Wexford, Co. Wexford – October 17-November 2, 2014
Unlike a curated festival, the open-access nature of Wexford Fringe means that anyone with a show, exhibition or cultural event is able to register and be part of one of Ireland’s largest fringe events. The result is one of the most diverse festivals in Ireland, renowned for fresh ideas, spontaneity and fun, featuring more than 300 events over 17 days.
Sligo Co. Sligo – 22-27 October, 2014
Now to be left out, Sligo offers yet another festival at the end of October! Sligo Live features contemporary folk, roots and indie music from around the world. This year’s headliner is Sheryl Crow.
Wexford Opera House, Co. Wexford – October 22-November 2, 2014
The Wexford Opera Festival has built up an enviable international reputation for both launching new opera stars and reviving little-known or largely forgotten composers and operas. The festival claims they owe their success as much to the spectacular backdrop of Wexford and the enthusiastic local audience as any other factor.
Cork City, Co. Cork – 23-27 October, 2014
Top jazz performers from around the world converge on Cork City for a week of wonderful jazz performances.
Dublin City, Co. Dublin – Monday, October 27, 2014
Ireland’s fittest race around the historic, Georgian streets of Ireland’s capital city in this ultimate test of stamina.