Travel ireland Volume 3 Issue 23

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Travelireland Volume 3 Issue 23 March 2016

Green Energy hits the streets at

St Patricks Festival

The Wise Wound at Smock Alley Pat Liddy explores the history of the Irish Pub


Lets say to The Franco Literary Festival


th 10 Happy Birthday

Dingle Film Festival! Kilmainham Gaol

Dublin Walking Festival

1848 Tricolour Celebrations Waterford

Dublin Airport Travel Services Airport Parking, Fast Track, Executive Lounges and more – save time and book all of your essential travel services in one easy step on Dublin Airport offers all passengers unlimited free Wifi


4 Welcome to Leinster 6 Kilmainham Gaol 6 Dublin Walking Festival 8 St Patrick’s Festival 10 Theatre Listings 12 The Wise Wound 14 A History of Dublin Pubs 16 Franco-Irish Literary Festival 18 Leinster Pubs 20 Leinster Restaurants 23 The Pan Celtic Festival 24 Leinster Shopping 26 Explore Leinster 28 Welcome to Munster 29 Story of the Irish 30 Explore Munster 31 Munster Restaurants 32 1848 Tricolour Celebrations 34 Dingle International Film Festival 38 Munster Pubs 40 Welcome to Connaught 42 Connaught Restaurants 43 Explore Connaught 44 Helena Byrne – Scéal 44 Great Irish Writers 45 Connaught Pubs 46 Welcome to Ulster 48 Explore Ulster 49 Ulster Restaurants 50 Ulster Pubs

Ellen Media Communications Ltd Father Matthew Hall Second Floor, 131 Church St, Dublin 7. Tel: 01 561 2431 / 087 911 3732 Travel Ireland Magazine @traveliremag

Willkommen-Bienvenida-Bienvenue-Welcome! To our March issue. Whether this is your first time visiting our shores, or you are returning once again to trace the steps of your distant ancestors, here at Travel Ireland we hope in some small way to be able to gently guide you as you plan your stay here. There’s so much to do and see all year round in Ireland, with March being a bumper month. Head to Dingle and celebrate a decade of the Dingle International Film Festival or celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style at the St Patrick’s Festival. Get some culture at the Franco Irish Literary Festival or enjoy The Wise Wound at Smock Alley Theatre. Pat Liddy takes us through the history of Dublin’s pubs and if you’re feeling energetic and want to embrace the great outdoors then the Dublin Walking Festival should be right up your street. Whatever you end up doing, we at Travel Ireland wish you a hefty and heart-felt Céad míle fáilte. Enjoy your stay.




Published by Ellen Media Communications Ltd Publisher John Carey Features Writer Mark O’Brien Design & Art Direction Outburst Design Advertising John Carey (, 01 561 2431, 087 911 3732) Aran Sheehan (, 085 711 0826) Contributors: Pat Liddy, Adam Patterson Photography, John McCurdy, Paula Moore, Patrick O’Neill, Stephen Walker, Ivan Donoghue, Joleen Cronin Richard Eibrand, Padraig O’Donnell, Michael Mc Laughlin, Patrick Donald Photography. We wish to record our thanks to Paula Sneyd, Failte Ireland, The Office of Public Works and the National Monuments Service, Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. And to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and The National Trust-Giants Causeway (NI), for their help and guidance in the production of this edition. And to Paddy Donovan, Ed Reeve, Carr Cotter and Naessens, for the use of their images. Ellen Media Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Ellen Media Communications Limited does not accept responsibility for any advertising content. All unsolicited manuscripts will not be accepted or returned. No material may be used in whole or in part without the publishers prior consent. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all the events information or recommendations on this site, no responsibility will be accepted by Ellen Media Communications Ltd, its editorial team, designers, authors or agents acting on their behalf for alterations, errors or omissions which may occur.



Leinster - The East Coast Province Leinster is the most easterly of the four provinces of Ireland, and is the most populated with the city of Dublin at its heart. The province is made up of counties Dublin, Louth, Meath, Carlow, Kildare, Wicklow, Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Kilkenny and Wexford. These counties have a host of historic monuments, a picture perfect coastline and cities and villages thronged with things to do and see. County Dublin is the home to the capital city. Dublin is the administrative, cultural, and economic capital of the country. It is one of the most exciting places to visit with a thriving arts, musical and theatrical nightlife. All roads lead to Saint Stephen’s Green in the very centre of the city. You’ll find it at the top of Grafton Street, with Trinity College down at the other end. And just around the corner you can stroll around the cultural quarter of Temple Bar between Dame Street and the river that, famously, divides the North and the South of the city. If you want to escape to the country without

GPO, Dublin actually leaving the city, then you can head north to Howth Head, or south to the charming and culturally vibrant villages of Dalkey and Killiney. Half an hour on the DART train will take you from the centre of the city to what feels like the heart of the country. County Meath formerly known as the Royal County is the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland who were based around the Hill of Tara. Meath is also one of the most archaeologically important counties on the island with its Neolithic sites at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. These ancient religious sites (built before the Pyramids) have been excavated and restored in recent years making 4


Hill of Tara them some of the busiest visitors’ attractions in the country. The sites are all only less than an hour’s drive out of Dublin and are accessible through the Bru Na Boinne Visitors Centre. The county also features the site of the Battle of the Boyne which was one of the great battles fought on Irish soil. For horse racing lovers, Meath has the wonderful Fairyhouse Racecourse, and there is also summertime horse racing on Laytown Beach. County Wicklow has several world famous sites and attractions, from the Glendalough monastic settlement with its Abbey and Round Tower, to the fabulous Powerscourt House and Gardens. The Wicklow Hills rising majestically over the county and the seaside town of Bray are just some of its many attractions. Offaly is situated in the centre of Ireland. Nestling between the Shannon River to the West and the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the East, Offaly is one of the lowest lying counties in the country. Any visitor should travel along the Royal Canal where one can experience a peace and tranquillity little known in our busy world. Kildare is the home of the National Stud, Newbridge Silverware and Maynooth College. Couple all these with Mondello Park motor racing, Naas horse racing course and Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park and there is something for everyone. Westmeath is a county which has at its heart the town of Athlone which is exactly situated in the middle of Ireland. It is home to the RTÉ All-Ireland Drama Festival, the oldest pub in Ireland and some of the finest golfing, fishing and health spas on offer throughout the land. Louth is known as “the wee county” as it is the smallest county in Ireland but what it lacks in land mass it makes up for in places to see. It is the home of the Cooley Mountains, the Boyne

river which is famous for its salmon fishing and the beautiful Carlingford area. If it is a leisurely drive you seek Louth is the place to go. Carlow is where you will find three of Ireland’s key national walking routes – the South Leinster, the Barrow and the Wicklow Ways. Carlow is blessed with hundreds of miles of excellent and varied walking trails, and hosts a wonderful arts festival every June. Laois is where you can try your hand at a range of activities from paintballing in the Stradbally Woods to western-style riding at Fossey Mountain, bowls at the only indoor

Kilkenny Castle

bowls stadium in the Republic or tie a fly at the unique Irish Fly-fishing and Game shooting Museum. Kilkenny City was voted Ireland’s Top Tourism Town for 2013 by Failte Ireland which is Ireland’s main tourism body. It was voted Cleanest Town in Ireland at end of 2013 by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), and has also been voted 9th friendliest city in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. The city was in addition voted Most Friendliest City in Europe. Couple all these awards with a huge countywide cultural heritage trail and it is a must see destination for any visitor. Longford is situated in the basin of the River Shannon and the upper catchment area of the River Erne. It is ideally located in the heart of the Lakelands region within easy reach of many stunning and historic tourist attractions. The county’s accessibility to many of Irelands main towns and cities make it a prime location as a holiday base. Finally, Wexford is famous for its glorious sandy coastline and together with County Waterford is known as ‘The Sunny South East’. You can also visit the oldest lighthouse in Europe which stands on the Hook Peninsula. So now you know, whether you are a family group, a couple, or a single traveller, there is something for everyone in Leinster!


Dublin Walking Festival

Kilmainham GAOL Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin and closed its doors in 1924. Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of almost every rebellion between 1798 and 1916 were detained within the Gaol, and in some cases were executed within the walls. “The opening and closing of Kilmainham Gaol more or less coincided with the making and breaking of the union between Great Britain and Ireland. During the intervening years the gaol functioned like a political seismograph, recording most of the significant tremors in the often turbulent relations between the two countries. At the epicentre of these relations lay the Irish aspiration to political independence, setting off shock waves of varying force throughout the nineteenth century and reaching a climax in the year 1916-22. There can be few places, therefore, that more intensely crystallize the forces that shaped modern Irish nationalism than Kilmainham Gaol.” (A History of Kilmainham Gaol, Pat Cooke) One of the most striking, and infamous, events associated with Kilmainham Gaol was the 1916 Easter Rising. Although at first an unpopular rebellion, the events that took place in Kilmainham Gaol following the Rising would dramatically change public opinion and stir the imagination of the Irish people. Hundreds of men and women passed through the gates of Kilmainham after the Rising, but it would be the executions of the leaders in the Stonebreakers Yard that would resonate throughout Irish society and politics. This event, in many ways, was the catalyst that would lead to the War of Independence, Civil War and ultimately the establishment of the Irish Republic. “I and my fellow signatories believe we have struck the first successful blow for freedom. The next blow, which we have no doubt Ireland will strike, will win through. In this belief we die happy.” Thomas J Clarke; Kilmainham Gaol May 3rd 1916 Kilmainham Goal is located 3.5km from centre of Dublin and is served by a number of bus routes as well as the Luas. Kilmainham Gaol Museum is open seven days a week including Bank Holidays from 9.30am to 5.30pm (Last Tour at 4.30pm) and access is by guided tour only. As part of the ongoing redevelopment of Kilmainham Gaol, an online booking system and longer opening hours will be rolled out during March - full details will be available on: Address: Telephone No: Fax No: E-mail: 6

Inchicore Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. +353 1 453 5984 +353 1 453 2037


Do something different this Easter by taking a trek through the stunning scenery of the Dublin Wicklow Hills. Running from 25 - 27 March, the Dublin Walking Festival is a great way to keep fit, meet new friends and discover this beautiful side of Dublin. With walks suitable for walkers of all ages and fitness levels, the Dublin Walking Festival is also an event that the whole family can enjoy. Highlights include the Bohernabreena Reservoir Walk that will take walkers on a tour of the reservoirs of Bohernabreena and Glenasmole, which supply approximately 35,000 Dublin households with water; historical tours of the famous Massey’s Woods and the Hellfire Club, a place that has had many rumours swirl around it over the years; and a photography walk in the beautiful Marlay Park. The team of fully qualified and experienced guides will also lead you on all stages of the Wicklow Way and Dublin Mountains Way walks over the course of the weekend. Both of these walks are absolutely stunning - full of life and breathtaking views that you can’t afford to miss. All of this walking and keeping fit is thirsty work and you’re going to want to unwind after your journey. Fortunately there are visits to some of Ireland’s best known pubs, Johnnie Fox’s and the Merry Ploughboy, planned where you can unwind after your hard day’s work and enjoy the unique atmosphere of these very special pubs high up in the hills. Phone: 087 7849599



Celtic Lodge Guesthouse

In the Heart of Dublin City Centre

Celtic Lodge is located on Talbot Street in Dublin City Centre. Recently refurbished throughout, the rooms are decorated in modern colours and fabrics with luxurious touches, to make your stay in Dublin as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The Celtic Lodge Guesthouse is located just 5 minutes walk from both Connolly Train Station and Busáras, the main bus station in Dublin. Popular Dublin attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, Book of Kells at Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle and the Old Jameson Distillery are also close by. Celtic Lodge offers quality Dublin accommodation at great rates and is an ideal choice for your stay in Dublin.

81-82 Talbot Street, Dublin 1 . Tel: 01 878 8810 Email:

Dublin’s Finest Traditional Irish Pub Traditional Irish Music Every evening from 9pm. Come on in for a pint and the craic! Come along and experience the authentic atmosphere found only at The Celt Bar, the traditional Irish pub in Dublin that’s as full of life as it always has been. Friendly faces, a classic bar menu, the finest selection of Irish whiskey’s, beers, ales and stouts, ciders and not to mention the goodness of real Guinness.

The Celt Bar 81-82 Talbot Street, Dublin 1

St Patrick’s Festival


f there’s one time of year that the whole world wishes that they’re Irish then it’s St Patrick’s Day and this year’s St Patrick’s Festival promises to be the best one yet as it is the culmination of a trilogy of festival themes. The theme of this year’s festival, which runs from 17 - 20 March, is Imagine If, which looks to the future, following on from the themes of past and present of the previous two years. A carnival atmosphere will sweep across Dublin with a world class lineup of events and street theatre set to entertain over 100,000 visitors. “The St. Patrick’s Festival has developed into a major attraction, which provides us with the chance to showcase our own culture and talents and promote all that is great about Ireland, on an international stage,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and



Sport, Paschal Donohoe at the launch of this year’s event. “As is the case every year, the Festival offers a varied, exciting and rich programme with a fantastic selection of music, dance, performance art, street-theatre and film, ensuring that its reputation as a world-famous event continues to grow. And with more than 100,000 overseas visitors coming to Ireland to help us celebrate our national day, the Festival kicks off the tourist season in a most spectacular way.” One of the highlights of this year’s Festival is the ever popular I Love My City cultural programme. This series of engaging cultural events and happenings will take place in venues all over the city with a huge range of disciplines covered, including literature, music, film, spoken word, design and visual art, with something for the whole family to enjoy. Events to watch out for in the I

Love My City programme include The Moth StorySLAM. This is an open mic event like no other. It is a storytelling competition where storytellers put their name into a hat and must then tell a story on the spot based on an assigned theme. There’s sure to be fun to be had listening to these on the spot stories and it promises to be a great day’s entertainment. Older Than Ireland tells the story of a hundred years of Irish life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irish centenarians. This documentary is sure to be informative, funny and at times poignant. The Ultimate Sunday also returns this year with the Sunday papers being brought to life through talks, interviews and live music. On Friday 18 March festival goers are invited to put their dancing shoes on at the Festival Céilí, Ireland’s largest

celebration of traditional Irish dancing. Another musical highlight is a very special performance by long time Irish resident Donovan. The 60’s legend will take to the stage of the National Concert Hall and treat the crowd to a string of his hits, including ‘Season of the Witch’, Sunshine Superman’ and ‘Mellow Yellow’. There will be plenty of great events to keep the kids entertained too. The Festival Treasure Hunt is a great way to see loads of Dublin landmarks while you gather and solve all of the clues and race to City Hall to finish the adventure. look-see RUN offers an alternative tour of Dublin. Perfect for teenagers as it is led by young people, part walk, part talk, part performance and is likely to include glitter, screeching, loud music, glow sticks and a whole lot of fun. The Children’s Soapbox asks children

what it means to be a child in 2016. This special event offers children from across Dublin a platform to express their views and what their wishes are for the future. Using spoken word, poetry and stories, this special event takes place at the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre in Temple Bar and will offer great insight into how the next generation hope to shape the future. The Festival is rounded off by the Festival Big Day which takes place on Merrion Square in the heart of Georgian Dublin. This stunning street carnival will include open air shows, quirky performances, music and arts and crafts and don’t miss the special Dublin UNESCO City of Literature event in the beautiful Georgian House of RSAI Merrion Square, which will bring the characters and story of The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray to life.

“This year’s St. Patrick’s Parade creative theme, Imagine If, is looking to the future, and over the past months we have been collaborating with children, young adults and some fantastic leading Irish pageant companies to bring this vision, that marks this seminal year for Ireland, to life, in a creative and artistic way,” said CEO of St Patrick’s Festival Susan Kirby. “Now in the final year of the three year theme, we are very excited to see the final instalment unfold in front of an audience of thousands lining the streets of Dublin, in a celebration of creativity and artistry.” We’re can’t wait to see it all unfold too. The St Patrick’s Festival never disappoints and this year’s Festival is set to be the biggest celebration of Irish culture that the country has ever seen. March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE FEBRUARY


Theatre Mermaid Arts Centre

Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Join the BIFE acting students as they delve into the Forest of Arden in one of Shakespeare’s favourite comedies. The play questions the nature of liberty and features a cross dressing heroine, gender games, sexual ambivalence, friendship and love.

One of the world’s most famous musicals comes to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre stage with an all-star cast. Starring Jason Manford as Caractacus Potts, Michelle Collins as Baroness Bomburst, Phill Jupitus as Lord Scrumptious/ Baron Bomburst and Martin Kemp as The Childcatcher, this West End smash is sure to be fun for the whole family.

As You Like It

1 - 4 March Tel: 01 272 4043 or visit Also in the Mermaid Arts Centre this month; Whack (5 March), 13 Minutes (7 March), Crazy for You (9 - 11 March), New Frontiers of Folk (12 March), Quai d’Orsay (14 March), Alive and Dancing (15 - 16 March), Charolais (18 March), Paul Byrom sings the Great Irish Song Book (19 March), Willy Wonka (20 March), Youth (20 - 21 March), BrickFlicks (23 - 24 March), Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse (24 March), Dublin Burning (26 March), The Grump (28 March), Suffragette (29 March) and Big Time (31 March).

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Highlights this February include; The Gloaming (1 - 3 March), Festival of Music (7 March), That’s Entertainment! A Celebration of MGM Film Musicals (9 March), Anton & Erin: Just Gotta Dance (13 March), St Patrick’s Day Celebration (17 March), Sounds of Spring (23 March) and Imagining Home (28 March - 3 April). 24 February - 13 March Tel: 01 6777999 or visit

The Gaiety Breaking Dad

9 March - 23 April Tel: 01 887 2200

Paul Howard’s hilarious creation Ross O’CarrollKelly returns to the Gaiety stage. Set in the year 2022 with Ireland in the midst of an unexpected economic boom. The country’s debts have been repaid in full and houses are once again selling for crazy money. But Ross’ comfortable world is rocked when his daughter arrives home with the captain of the Blackrock rugby team and Ross must face up to the fact that he must reap what he has sown.

Also at The Abbey this month; Cyprus Avenue (11 February - 19 March)

14 - 26 March Tel: 0818 719 388.

The Gate

Also at the Gaiety this month; The 39 Steps (29 March - 2 April).

The Abbey

The Plough and the Stars

Set during the Easter Rising, Sean O’Casey’s powerful play tells the story of ordinary lives that are ripped apart by the idealism of the time. As revolution sweeps the streets of Dublin, the residents of the city take shelter from the violence. But what kind of Ireland awaits them when it’s all over?

Juno And The Paycock

The star of the international hit series comes to the Olympia for the first time for the ‘Battle of the Seasons’ tour. Hosted by series judge Michelle Visage and featuring an all-star cast of fan favourites from previous series, including Courtney Act, Katya, Pandora Boxx and Sharon Needles competing to be the next Drag Superstar.

11 February - 16 April Tel: 01 874 4045 / 01 874 6042 10


A Moon for the Misbegotten

Irish Premiere of A Moon for the Misbegotten By Eugene O’Neill. Theatre Royal Waterford March 10 – 12, Lyric Theatre Belfast, March 15 19. Tickets from €12. A scorching play about the eternal American theme of reality and illusion **** The Guardian Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill’s stark look at humanity tells the story of James Tyrone and Josie Hogan who are both lost in their own way until hope sparks between them when they meet on a barren patch of earth in the glow of an autumn moon. Tel: 051 87 4402 Also at the Theatre Royal this month; Me, Mollser (1 March), Mike Denver and Guests (3 March), The Three Tenors (4 March), Mirrors (5 March), Lambert Puppet Theatre Present Snow White and Bosco (13 March), Marc Roberts Sings John Denver (19 March), Life of Illusion (20 March), Harlem Gospel Choir (21 March), Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit (23 - 26 March) and Tommy Tiernan: Out of the Whirlwind (30 - 31 March).

Smock Alley Theatre

The Olympia

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Sean O’Casey’s mesmerising mix of comedy and tragedy set in the Dublin tenements of the 1920s is a show not to be missed. Jack Boyle and his friend Joxer Daly spend their days putting all of their efforts into avoiding work instead of finding it, much to the consternation of Jack’s long suffering wife Juno. But will an inheritance from a distant relative change their lives for the better?

Theatre Royal, Waterford

The Wise Wound

This cheeky take on Little Women tells the story of the four March sisters who find themselves on different sides when Meg March decides to get married. With each sister looking out for her own interests something will have to give in this hilarious take on sibling rivalry (see page 12 for more details).

22 March

7 - 19 March

Also in the Olympia this month; Joanna Newsom (3 March), Friends in Low Places (4 March), Wolf Alice (5 March), Machine Head (6 March), Boyce Avenue (11 March), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (12 March), Grimes (15 March), Aslan (16 March), David McSavage (18 March), Shane Filan (19 March), James Morrison (20 March), Natalie Merchant (24 March), Frankie Boyle Live (25 - 27 March), Jack Garratt (30 March) and Jess Glynne (31 March).

Also in Smock Alley this month; Smock Allies: Scene & Heard (1 - 5 March), InSight #1 Adrian Mantu & Mihai Cucu (14 March), Andy Sheppard with Shakespeare Songs (16 March), The Great Hunger (7 - 19 March), Colm Dawson Magician (21 - 25 March) and Julius Caesar (29 March - 2 April). Tel: 01 677 0014



Smock Alley

The Wise Wound S

mock Alley, Dublin’s oldest theatre, bring you a riotous original period comedy, The Wise Wound, this Easter. Running from 22 March until 2 April, the play is set in the 19th century and is very loosely based on Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Directed by Philip Doherty and written by Terri FitzGerald, who also stars in the production along with Ashleigh Dorrell, Clodagh Mooney Duggan and Megan O’Flynn, The Wise Wound is a cheeky and hilarious take on sibling rivalry. The play focuses on the March sisters who, although related, are all very different people. Meg March longs to be possessed by a man, so is delighted when the bachelor John Brooke chooses her as his bride. John is everything that Meg could hope for - he has his own teeth, no outward signs of disease and regular periods of sobriety. Meg’s sister Beth is chronically ill and her one wish is to see Meg get married. With Beth deteriorating rapidly, Meg and John face a race against time to get married while Beth is still alive.



Jo March is a suffragette and playwright who considers it her duty to liberate Meg from a life of male domination, whether Meg likes it or not. Jo has a plan, but will revealing her theatrical ditties be enough? Possibly not, so Jo joins forces with the youngest sister Amy, who fears being abandoned at home as a twelve year old spinster with only a wheezing corpse and an unkempt maverick for company. Although Jo has been her lifelong nemesis, if it means stopping this marriage then Amy is willing to team up with her. Smock Alley is a beautiful theatre and you might want to spend more time there by taking in their meal and show deals. On both weekends of the play’s run (25/26 March and 1/2 April) you can enjoy dinner in the Banquet Hall of the theatre before taking in this brilliant production. These offers represent great value - you can have dinner and a show from just €30 or brunch and a show for €26. You really won’t find such a great offer anywhere else so make sure you book early to ensure you avail of a brilliant night’s entertainment.

236 Lower rathmines road, dubLin 6 teL: 01-4977057

GROGANS 15 South William Street Telephone 066 9320 Host to a continuous changing art exhibition

Franco-Irish Literary Festival 8,9,10 April 2016 Food for thought Les mots a la bouche Lon anama -

A History of Dublin Pubs by Pat Liddy One could be forgiven for thinking that the Irish have an insatiable love affair with the institution of the pub, be it in an intimate setting or in a traditional music-making venue or in a swinging in-place.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the Irish have an insatiable love affair with the institution of the pub, be it in an intimate setting or in a traditional musicmaking venue or in a swinging in-place. Of course, way back at the dawn of Christianity in Ireland, monks, living in damp, cold and cheerless huts, invented a distillation that today we call whiskey. The Gaelic for the beverage is Uisce Beatha (pronounced ishke baha), translated as the Water of Life. Truthfully, the monks only drank it to warm up their frozen innards from all that chill and dankness! But monasteries weren’t pubs. However, we did have taverns of a sort from at least 2,000 years ago. These inns (mostly of ill-repute) were usually sited at important crossroads or river fords. Today, on one such site, close to an ancient ford over Dublin’s River Liffey, stands the city’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head. The present creaking old building (perhaps dating back to the late 17th century) is full of gloomy atmosphere and presents evenings of traditional music in one corner or tales of Irish folklore in another. The Brazen Head is not unique in this. Good music (usually in the evenings but it can be experienced in an impromptu way at any time) can be heard in hostelries such as Johnnie Fox’s nestled in the Dublin Mountains, JJ Smyth’s in Aungier Street, The Celt in Talbot Street, Sin É along Ormond Quay, the Temple Bar in, guess, Temple Bar and the Dice Bar on Benburb Street among many other places. But getting back to the evolution of the Irish watering hole. Ireland was no different to anywhere else in medieval Europe. In villages and towns most people lived in mud cabins or cramped wooden houses. The spot to meet your neighbour was in 14


the local thatched-roof tavern where you might also have encountered a travelling knight or a passing merchant from a foreign shore. No sports TV here but instead the engaging stories of romantic distant lands and unimaginable adventures. Music and dance of the common people was even then part of the entertainment. By the 18th century many and varied societies met in taverns as there was literally nowhere else to convene. These were often charitable organisations trying to alleviate the woes of unfortunates at a time when governments did nothing to help. One great example was the Charitable Music Society who regularly met in the Bull’s Head Tavern in Fishamble Street (sadly, long gone). They organised many splendid musical occasions to support their charities. It might seem strange now but the musicians gathering for the world’s first performance of

Handel’s great masterpiece oratorio, Messiah, practiced here in 1742 over a glass or two of ale. Naturally, not all meetings in the pubs of the 18th and 19th centuries were for altruistic reasons. Secret societies found the smoky atmosphere of the dim recesses ideal for dark satanic rituals or for plotting revolutions. Which, I guess, is why most of their insurrections failed. Nothing loosens the careless tongue more than copious quantities of alcoholic libation! In times gone by, gambling, fighting, carousing, shady business-dealing and conspiratorial machinations were all gist to the pub mill. No gracious lady would be seen dead in one of those haunts. In fact the female customer was essentially barred until fairly recent times. The pub was, after all, the refuge from marital, family and social responsibility. The arrival of the 20th century inevitably brought the biggest

Photography: Patrick Donald change to this unique male sanctuary – women folk asserted their equal right to enjoy the comforts of the pub! Initially the male dominance was not to be entirely overturned as the first women were corralled in sectioned-off areas called snugs, where they could only be seen by the barman and were served directly. Still with period interiors, including snugs, are bars such as the aptly named Gravediggers (beside Glasnevin Cemetery) on Prospect Square and Doheny & Nesbitt on Lower Baggot Street. One establishment completely hid the ladyfolk by serving them in the hallway behind one of the longest bar counters in Ireland and this set of affairs led to the naming of The Long Hall on South Great George’s Street. Several pubs are known for their great pint of the ‘black stuff ’ (Guinness or Murphys, for example) – numbered among these would be Grogans on South William Street and the traditional local, Mulligans on Poolbeg Street. A small but ever-growing cohort of premises are now offering one of the many new micro-brewery or craft beers which are served by pubs such as The Porterhouse on Parliament Street and the Headline of Clanbrassil Street. Another welcome new trend is the availability of an increasing number of new Irish whiskies coming from emerging new distilleries. Try the Dingle

Whiskey Bar on Nassau Street for some of the best of the new ‘Irish’. Pubs, once synonymous for just drinking, are morphing into eateries as well, with several gaining reputations as gastro pubs such as Mulligans in Stoneybatter, The Duke, Duke Street or the Bull & Castle, Lord Edward Street. Pubs come in all sizes from tiny to

mega, from Victorian splendour to laneway local and from trendy to exotic. There are thousands of so-called Irish pubs literally in every corner of the world but to experience the real thing, the genuine atmosphere, the craic and the conversation nothing beats dropping into the warm embrace of one of Dublin’s 800 pubs. March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Franco-Irish Literary Festival


he Franco-Irish Literary Festival returns for its seventeenth edition from 8 - 10 April with events at Alliance Française on Kildare Street and Dublin Castle. The festival is organised by Alliance Française and the Cultural and Scientific Service of the French Embassy, with the aim being to broaden and enhance the long-standing relationship between Ireland and France. It also allows writers to exchange their ideas and enhance their knowledge of other cultures and there will be some special performances based around this year’s theme ‘Food For Thought’. There are two major strands to the festival - interaction between writers and their audience through the ever popular round-table discussions and education through a special day of school and university visits to raise awareness among younger readers. This education day will take place on Friday 8 April and will involve some of the twelve invited writers engaging young people in an interactive format that is sure to be fun and engaging for all. With cooking becoming such a popular hobby, it is no surprise that literature is drawing inspiration from cooking and this is why the theme this year is ‘Food For Thought’. Four roundtable discussions will be held on this theme during the festival - Round the Table, Tastes of the Past: Madeleines, Gourmet Crimes and Tomorrow’s Menu. There will also be two very special performances from Emmanuel Giraud and Noelle Châtelet with Géraldine Laurent. Emmanuel Giraud will open the festival at Alliance Française on 8 April. This reading and performance marks the publication of his new book Le Goût de la mémoire (The Taste of Memory). Emmanuel will open his impressionist tasting menu and will comment, with music, on hundreds of different bottles. With each sip he is reminded of a different feeling and he recounts the thrill of his musical experience through his drunken memories. As the performance draws on, Emmanuel’s diction will become more uncertain as he mimics the various stages of drunkenness, in a mockery of the current trend for dietary correctness and healthy living. At the end of the performance the audience will be invited to sample the bottles that have been opened. At 4pm in Dublin Castle on 9 April, author Noelle Châtelet and jazz saxophonist Géraldine Laurent will bring us the previously unheard of concept of associating jazz with reading. Performed with a backdrop of photographs of a French dinner table, this quirky performance promises to blur the lines between 16


parody and improvisation. The festival closes with the Literary Brunch at Alliance Française on 10 April. The brunch discussion will be Tomorrow’s Menu and will feature contributions from Michèle Barrière, Catherine Cleary and Cécile Palusinski, moderated by Michael Cronin. This is sure to be a lively discussion and a great way to end a fantastic weekend. What’s more, entry to all events over the weekend is free but make sure you get there early as demand is sure to be high for this truly unique cultural event.

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Recommended Pubs in Leinster The Porterhouse

There are three now here in town, but the one on Parliament Street is the best known. part of the increasingly popular micro brewery scene, the Porterhouse produces its own choice of stouts, lagers and craft beers, as well as a choice of others from home and abroad. And they usually have live music playing on the mezzanine.


the celt

ĆĞnj ÄŽÄ’ÄŠ ĊĚē ċėĔĒ Í•Í– ēĔĔē Temple Bar, 16-8 St,west, Dublin 2and strolling into the celt is likeParliament taking a trip to the play boys chailĂ­nĂ­01 payfor attention Tel: 679 8847and dance along the way to the early light ÍœÍ•ÇŚÍœÍ– –ƒŽ„‘– •–”‡‡–ǥ †—„Ž‹Â? …‹–› …‡Â?–”‡ ™™™Ǥ–Š‡…‡Ž–Ǥ‹‡ –‡Žǣ ͔͕ ͛͜͜ ͚͙͙͜

The Celt

The Gravediggers

“John Kavanagh The Gravediggers, established in 1833 and still run by the Kavanagh Family today. One of Dublin’s finest bars and best pint of Plain. No music no TV, but fine pints and fine food served. Beside the old cemetery gate hence our local name The Gravediggers� 1 Prospect Sq., Dublin 9. Tel: 01 830 7978

Johnnie Fox’s

Set high up in the heart of the Dublin mountains, Fox’s is an institution. Superb food and a unique atmosphere, there’s Irish trad here every night, and at weekends in the afternoons as well. And there’s a shuttle bus that gets you there and back in 30 minutes for a fiver either way. But be sure to book, as it’s one of the most popular pubs in Leinster. Glencullen, Co Dublin Tel: 01 295 5647

Tap House

Dice Bar Situated on Talbot Street in the heart of Dublin, The Celt Bar is always thronged with locals and visitors thanks to the authentic Irish experience that is on offer there. Visitors can sample the finest Irish whiskeys, beers, ales and stouts and enjoy live traditional music seven nights a week. The Celt also offer traditional Irish food seven days a week. The classic bar menu includes beer battered haddock and traditional beef and Guinness stew. There’s no better place to go to for the full Irish experience than The Celt Bar. 81 Talbot St, Dublin Tel: 01 878 8655


This is the regular hang-out for Dublin’s finest writers and painters, or the great unwashed, and the walls inside are decked out with paintings and drawings which can, for a small sum, be purchased. Improbably, it is also part of one of the most fashionable mini crossroads in the city centre. And at weekends, the place is humming. 15 S William St., Dublin 2. Tel: 01 677 9320 18


Situated on the corner of Benburb Street and Queen Street, near Smithfield Square, at Dice Bar they strive for three things – great drinks, great staff and great music. The welcoming staff offer a range of premium Irish whiskeys and if whiskey isn’t your thing then you have another great option. Dice Bar brew their own beers; the delicious Revolution Red and Augustine With so much choice and a relaxed setting, Dice Bar warrants many return visits. Open from 3pm daily. 93-94 Benburb Street Tel: 01 633 3936

Be prepared to enter into the world of true beer artistry, where friendly knowledgeable staff will guide you to that perfect beverage, served in the especially designed Munique glass, which optimises the aroma, retaining carbonation and cooling until the last drop. With possibly finest bar food and cocktails in town, your whole party will be catered for in this wonderfully unique establishment. 60 Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel: 01 491 3436.

Recommended Pubs in Leinster 57 The Headline

Sin É

JJ Smyth’s

Sin É

Situated only a short walk from St Patrick’s Cathedral and Teeling Whiskey Distillery, 57 The Headline is the ideal spot to sample the best of Irish Craft Beers and Whiskeys. With 24 taps dedicated to the best of Irish and International beers, you won’t be stuck for choice. They offer Beer tasting trays from 3 to 9 choices and 5 Whiskey trays. They also serve the best bar food in Dublin 8 and you won’t be paying city centre prices. Visit their website for all products, opening times and more.

Sin É on Ormond Quay is Dublin’s original late night alternative music venue. Whether it’s bluegrass, ska, alternative rock or open mic night’s that you’re looking for, Sin É caters for a range of eclectic tastes. The staff are warm and friendly and will serve you a range of incredible craft beers and cocktails at agreeable prices. If you’re looking for a great atmosphere and some of the best musicians in Dublin then Sin É is definitely the place to be.

Clanbrassil St. Lower, Dublin 8 Tel: 01 532 0279

14 -15 Ormond Quay Tel: 01 555 4036 & 01 555 4037

With live music six nights a week, JJ Smyth’s is the home of jazz and blues in Dublin. The family run pub is steeped in history and the welcoming atmosphere keeps the loyal regulars coming back for the finest service and some of the best music that Dublin has to offer. JJ’s started out as a family owned grocery store and public house in the 1730’s and is one of the city’s oldest continuous licensed premises. It was also the birthplace of the famous Irish lyrical poet Thomas Moore, who was born there in 1779. If you love jazz and blues, then you’ll love JJ Smyth’s.

The Liquor Rooms

Doheny & Nesbitt’s

12 Aungier St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 475 2565

Situated under the Clarence Hotel on the quays, the Liquors Rooms offer up a heady mix of retro, vintage decor and a smart modern vibe that the too cool for school hipsters find hard to resist. Once you get in, it’s actually a lot bigger than it seems, and there are all sorts of nooks and crannies for you to get up to who knows what kind of mischief.

One of the oldest and more venerable pubs in Dublin, and traditionally the spot where politicians of old would juggle figures before swinging round the corner and into the Dail to present the next budget. It has now been extended both back and up, so that without sacrificing any of its illustrious history, it is now significantly roomier.

7 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 Tel: 087 339 3688

5 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 676 2945

Dingle Whiskey Bar

The Dingle Whiskey Bar is a delightful bar nestled beside Porterhouse Central on Nassau St. Walking into the bar, you are welcomed by a beautiful oak interior and a warm welcoming feel. The bar staff are very helpful, recommending many whiskeys and offering samples. And every Tuesday they host a Whiskey Tasting Class from 7pm with whiskey guru Fionnán O’Connor. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the brown stuff and enjoy some delicious whiskey. Tickets available at the bar for €18. 44 Nassau Street, Dublin 2 01 677 4810



Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Restaurant FortyOne

Under the expert guidance of Graham Neville, Restaurant FortyOne has scooped numerous awards and flourished over the past three years. This is thanks to the superb experience that they offer, eschewing butter and sugar in favour of olive oil, vegetables and fruit juices that are sourced from the restaurant’s own garden. These unique ingredients are used to create fulsome, sumptuous courses, making Restaurant FortyOne the home of fine dining in Dublin. 41 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 662 0000


DeSelby’s may be a relatively new establishment but they’ve already gained a reputation for great food and great service. Situated in a beautiful Georgian building on Camden Street, they offer an exciting range of brunch, lunch and dinner options, complemented by an enticing wine list chosen by their award winning sommelier. 9 Camden Street, Dublin 2 087 138 8766,

Camden Kitchen

Corfu Greek Restaurant

Corfu Greek Restaurant is a hidden gem situated on Parliament Street. Here, the friendly and attentive staff will serve you some of the finest Greek food at incredibly reasonable prices. Choose from a range of starters, such as calamari and dolmadakia, and then tuck into some delicious traditional Greek main courses, including moussaka, kleftiko and stifado, all washed down with a nice glass of wine from their varied wine list. 12 Parliament St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 675 0050

Le Bon Crubeen

Frite Haus

Frite Haus offer a unique artisan fast food experience with care and attention given to every aspect of the menu. A relaxed Belgian style ‘Chip Shop’ restaurant, Frite Haus serve authentic Belgian fries with a range of craft sauces and delicious Jane Russell sausages. Jane Russell sausages use only prime fresh cuts of Irish pork, free from preservatives so you know that you are getting the finest, freshest meat. They also serve a fantastic range of craft beers, including delicious Belgian Trappist Brewery beers. Frite Haus is the only choice for a fine dining experience at very reasonable prices. 87 Camden Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 475 8948

A culinary gem in the heart of Dublin, Camden Kitchen is the place to go to for lunch or dinner. Their menu changes daily to reflect the best seasonal ingredients available, meaning you know that you’ll be served fresh, seasonal food every time. Diners can choose from beautiful starters such as Irish Line Caught Mackerel, Connemara Crab Meat or Whipped Goats Cheese and then move on to delicious main courses, like Breckland Duck Leg, Irish Rib Eye Beef and Smoked Haddock Risotto, all served up in a wonderful cosy atmosphere by the friendly staff. 3 Camden Market, Grantham Street, D8 Tel: 01 476 0125

This is one of the best value restaurants in Dublin with a brasserie menu to suit all tastes. It won the Best Value Restaurant Dublin in “The Dubliner” Top 100 restaurants in 2012, having previously won the Irish Restaurant Awards’ Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Dublin in 2010. Value and quality. 81-2 Talbot St., Dublin 1 Tel: 01 704 1026

Mexico to Rome

Suesey Street

Café Topolis


Situated on Parliament St, Café Topolis is one of the best Italian restaurants in town with an extensive menu offering superior Italian cuisine. Best of all, it’s one of the very few places where they cook their pizzas in the traditional wood fired oven.

Suesey Street is Dublin’s new social destination, promising good times in the bar, great food from the kitchen and a relaxed vibe on the outdoor terrace. Located on the corner of Fitzwilliam Place, it is a welcoming space full of atmosphere and comfort, offering an informal approach to drinking and dining. The food is classed as modern Irish, changes with the season and is very creative - the flavours are awake and the customer is in for a real gourmet experience.

Located in the heart of Temple Bar, Mexico to Rome, Bandito’s Grill House offer a new twist on Mexican dishes such as sizzling Fajitas, their unique Burritos, Tacos, Chili Con Carne, and Tex-Mex Baby Back Ribs in a Southern Comfort BBQ Sauce. They also offer a range of European and Asian dishes. They boast one of the best value earlybird menus in Dublin at €13.50 for a starter and main course, while their lunch special of a starter, main course and a soft drink or a glass of wine for €9.95 is superb value.

37 Parliament St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 670 4961

26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 669 4600

23 East Essex Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 2727


Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Pacino’s

Ideally situated on Suffolk Street, just off Grafton Street and opposite Trinity College, Pacino’s offers authentic Italian food in an old world vibe of stylish brickwork, wooden floors and soft lighting. The restaurant offers authentic, rustic Italian cooking with ingredients sourced from only the best local butchers, fishmongers and artisan producers. 18 Suffolk Street Dublin 2 01 677 5651


The Spanish city of Zaragoza is any food lover’s idea of paradise. Zaragoza have taken some local delicacies along with some of Spain’s authentic specialties to create a unique dining experience.... seasoned with a generous helping of the homegrown hospitality they are famous for. So come down, sit back and explore the tantalizing recipes created by their chef and enjoy with friends a glass or two of their exquisite handpicked wines. Open Mon-Sun 12noon - Midnight (last orders) 18 William St., Dublin 2. Tel: 01 679 4020

The Larder Restaurant & Brewhouse


La Resérve Brasserie

La Resérve is a lively and intimate French Brasserie that serves a modern take on French classics. They focus on simple yet high quality dishes, presented with precision and faithful to true flavours. Open for dinner, brunch and lunch - whether you’re looking for a light snack or an exciting evening meal, La Resérve has something for you. La Réserve Brasserie, 53 Ranelagh village, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel: 01 496 8825 Email: Web: Twitter: @lareserve1 Facebook:

Kafka Restaurant An oasis of quality, The Larder offer excellent Brunch, Lunch and Evening menus made from the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. These dishes are finished off with herbs grown in their own walled garden and complimented by their range of own brand beers. The meal can then be topped off with their own brand coffee; Dublin Roaster. ‘ASADOR’ A Spanish word meaning barbecue, grill or spit. ASADOR Haddington Road opened its doors in November 2012 to great critical acclaim. The idea behind ASADOR is simple; take the best meats our fields can provide, the freshest seafood landed on our shores and cook this great Irish produce over a bespoke built 7 foot barbecue or ‘Asador’. ASADOR was the first restaurant operation to bring premium level barbecue to the Dublin dining scene. Customers flocked to sample signature dry-aged steaks, lobster, fish and game cooked in the most ancient of ways. Guests can expect the best of old and new world wines, craft beers and of course a range of cocktails from the experienced team of mixologists - the perfect partner for premium barbecued food. ASADOR, the balance of flames, flavour and food. 1 Victoria House, Haddington Rd, Dublin 4. Tel: 01 254 5353

8 Parliament Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 633 3581

The Meeting House

The Meeting House has all bases covered for a great night out, with live music and DJ’s to keep you entertained and delicious, affordable Burmese cuisine served in an ‘Asian Tapas’ style. A wide range of gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available and the staff are super friendly and helpful. They also open for an amazing brunch at the weekends. Sycamore Street, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, 01 670 3330

Whether it’s for an Italian coffee, a sweet or savoury snack or a full meal with wine, you can call in here for continental cuisine, exemplary service and great value. They serve lunch, brunch and dinner, offering a fresh healthy menu of delights including Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Ravioli, Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Tiger Prawn Risotto and as they’re just a short walk from the City Centre, it’s the perfect place to start your night out. 236 Rathmines Rd Lwr., Dublin 6 01 497 7057 March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Zaytoon

Zaytoon gives you the chance to choose a healthy eating option and indulge in the guilty pleasure of treating yourself to a scrumptious kebab. More a casual diner than a fast food place, they offer the very best of Persian cuisine. And as well as the one in Temple Bar they’ve opened a second one at the top of Camden Street. 14/15 Parliament St., Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 3595

Thornton’s Restaurant

Chez Max


Feel the spirit of France right here in Dublin! Chez Max Baggot Street is renowned for its outside seating area. There is a smart garden at restaurant level as well as a sizable terrace on the upper level. The outside areas are wellheated and covered to allow customers to dine outside all year round! In summer, diners flock to Chez Max, Baggot Street to enjoy lunch in the sunshine.

Peploe’s Wine Bistro is a chic and ambient restaurant located in the heart of Dublin City Centre. With it’s cosy lighting and comfortable spacious dining area, it is the perfect place to enjoy a fine meal in a relaxed atmosphere. All produce is sourced from only the best Irish suppliers and prepared to the highest standard. Located opposite St Stephens Green, Peploe’s is the perfect place to visit for a glass of wine to greet the evening after a twilight stroll in the park.

133 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 661 8899

La Ruelle Wine Bar

This one star Michelin restaurant is, as they say, reassuringly expensive. Which is only as it should be as the man in charge is Ireland’s finest chef, Kevin Thornton. If you have any intention of cementing a relationship, or of instigating a new one, this is the place to take them. Above the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Stephen’s Green. Tel: 01 478 7008

The Blind Pig

Tucked in opposite the Mansion House, on Joshua Lane, La Ruelle is the ideal venue for an intimate drink, with over 100 different international wines of which 40 are served by the glass. Their menu includes a variety of mouth watering nibbles, tapas and bites served small or large to accompany your wine of choice. Catering for private parties with free car park facilities in R.I.A.C for all customers. Perfect for the festive season or any events. 3/4 Joshua Lane, Dublin 2

Marcel’s Restaurant Want to know where to find the best cocktails in Dublin? We know the place but you have to keep it secret. The brainchild of award winning mixologist Paul Lambert and named after the police who turned a blind eye to speakeasies in the prohibition era in the US, The Blind Pig is Dublin’s best kept secret and the perfect place to go to enjoy the finest cocktails and the best food that Dublin has to offer. Originally a pop-up speakeasy bar, The Blind Pig is now in permanent residence and has developed a loyal fanbase thanks to the unique experience that this venue offers. So how do you find them? Give them a call, book through their website, and await further instructions. Tel: 085 874 7901 22


16 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 676 3144


Located on Andrews Street, near the new home of the Molly Malone statue, Salamanca was one of the first Tapas Bars in the city and remains one of the best. Their Tapas dishes are served by authentic Spanish chefs and they use only the finest quality fresh ingredients. Diners can choose from a wide range of quality Tapas and carefully selected Spanish wines for a truly authentic taste of the Mediterranean in the heart of Dublin City. 1 St. Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 4799

Mykonos Taverna

Combining elegant Moroccan décor and contemporary design, Marcel’s is a restaurant, bistro and bar that offers the finest French and European inspired food in a warm and friendly environment. Diners can choose from a range of delicious dishes, including Risotto, Pan Roast Monkfish and succulent Roast Rump Lamb while relaxing in the heart of Dublin City. 13 Merrion Row, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 660 2367

Authentic Greek food in the heart of Dublin. Mykonos Taverna offers traditional Greek dishes such as Moussaka, Kleftiko and Souvlaki at incredibly good prices. The staff are friendly and attentive and always on hand to cater to your every need, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your food! 76 Dame Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 561 3745

Pan Celtic The International

Festival 2016


he streets and venues of Carlow will come alive from 29 March to 3 April for the Pan Celtic International Festival. This long established, family friendly Easter event aims to promote the language and culture of the six Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man through a fun filled programme of music, dance and competitions. The festival will open at the VISUAL Contemporary Centre of Arts & GB Shaw Theatre on Tuesday 29 March. The launch will feature guest performers from all six nations, showcasing the best of Celtic culture. This is sure to whet the appetite for what’s to come over the following five days. There will be céilís and open air performances on Wednesday, as well as the International Traditional Singing Competition. Taking place in the GB Shaw Theatre, this competition will feature solo acts and folk groups from all six nations, who will go head to head in the hope of winning international awards and maybe those all important bragging rights too.

The highlight of Thursday is sure to be The Pan Celtic International Song Contest. Held in the Seven Oaks Hotel, this contest will once again feature competitors from all six Celtic nations but this time they’ll all be playing original songs, with the styles likely to range from pop, rock, folk and everything in between. This is sure to be an interesting night as all entrants must be sung in one of the Celtic languages - you’re not likely to find a song contest like that anywhere else and it’s a wonderful way of promoting the Celtic languages and keeping them alive. The Town Hall Plaza will host Pan Celtic’s biggest ever Open Air Céilí on Friday afternoon and festival goers can then enjoy an enchanted evening at the Choral Concert in Carlow Cathedral.

This gala evening of choral singing features choirs from the Celtic nations and promises to deliver a night of beautiful music. Saturday is Competitions Day, including the Pan Celtic Busking Competition where the top prize of €200 is on offer to the winner before the final night is hosted by Scotland in the Seven Oaks Hotel. The festival will then draw to a close on Sunday with a parting seisúin around the town acting as the perfect ending. It’s great to see Celtic culture being kept alive and celebrated and the Pan Celtic Festival is the perfect place to learn more about all of the Celtic nations and have a whole heap of fun as well.



Recommended Shopping Irish Linen House

Irish Linen House create handmade tablerunners, placemats and napkins made from the finest Irish linen. Each piece of the collection is uniquely made, fusing historical elements with a modern, contemporary edge and has caught the attention of worldwide stores including Barneys of New York. Their Smithfield store is the perfect place to pick up a unique piece of Ireland. Unit 1, Malt House Square, Bow Street Smithfield Village, Dublin 7 01 820 8774

ThunderSolas Leather Designs ThunderSolas provide handmade leather designs for men and women. Their products are made from high quality cow leather and include bags, belts, bracelets, wallets, coin holders and more. Their workshop is also in the shop so customers can see the leather skins that they have in stock and the staff are happy to make adjustments or design new pieces to order. 2 Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 8 01 679 8713,

Cows Lane Designer Studio

Cows Lane Designer Studio is a colourful, fun retail space run by a group of independent designers and makers. With an eclectic mix of handcrafted, Irish designs including textiles, knitwear, jewellery, millinery, ceramics, prints, homewares and more, there is something for everyone. The perfect place to browse and be inspired! Unit 2, Essex Street West, Old City, Temple Bar, Dublin 8. Tel: 01 679 8366


CHQ, IFSC, Dublin 1, 01 612 5540 54 Glasthule Rd. Sandycove, Co. Dublin 01 230 2301

Jam Art Factory

Jam Art Factory was set up in 2011 by brothers John and Mark to showcase the work of Irish artists and designers. It specialises in digital art prints, street art, ceramics and some witty Dublin themed work. It has been shortlisted in The Irish Times “Best Shops in Ireland” 4 years in a row. 64 Patrick Street, Dublin 8 14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 616 5671 and 24


Kilkenny Design Centre is situated in the heart of Ireland’s Craft capital, Kilkenny City. Once the Castle Stables dating back to 1760’s, Kilkenny Design is now home to three restaurants and a Shop stocking the very best of Irish products including Nicholas Mosse, Max Benjamin, Hairy Fruit Art, Áine Knitwear and Orla Kiely. Castle Yard, Kilkenny Tel: 056 772 2118

Mitchell & Son

Mitchell & Son have been trading in Dublin since the 19th century and are the only wine company in Ireland that is run by descendants of its founder. They offer high quality wine, champagne and spirits from all over the world, including their Green and Yellow Spot Irish Whiskey, as well as Riedel Glassware. They also run wine appreciation courses that teach you how to get the best from your bottle of wine and give you an understanding of the Irish wine market.

Kilkenny Design Centre

Patrick Donald Photo Gallery

Situated at the heart of Dublin on Dawson Street, this is a ‘must visit’ if you want to get a quality souvenir of your time in Ireland! Patrick is well known for his black & white Irish landscape and Dublin Street photography. Gift sizes images are reasonably priced at €35. He will even ship them for you anywhere in the world free of charge! 8/9 Royal Hibernian Way Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 681 5225

Ireland’s largest luxury resale and vintage store with Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Celine, Gucci and more at up to 70% off ! With three locations in Dublin’s historic Temple Bar in the heart of the city centre, Siopaella is a veritable treasure trove of new and pre-loved designer and vintage handbags, clothing and accessories. As the premium shopping destination for bargain hunters and designer lovers alike, Siopaella is Ireland’s best kept sartorial secret. Shop online 24/7, 365 days a year – we ship worldwide! Three Locations in Dublin’s Temple Bar: 25a Temple Lane South 8a Crow Street 8 Cecilia Street Tel: 01 677 9106 or 01 555 0119 or 01 532 1477 Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinerest and Snapchat! @siopaella

Designer Exchange

Ireland’s only dedicated pre-loved and authentic designer handbag and accessory store, Designer Exchange stock all the leading designer brands such as DKNY, Louis Vutton and Chanel. They offer incredible savings on these top designer brands and Tax Free shopping to non EU residents. 53 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 612 8080

Recommended Shopping Celtic Whiskey Shop

Tights Department


Ireland’s premier whiskey shop has become a mecca for whiskey lovers since it first opened in 2003. They have daily whiskey tastings and the knowledgeable and experienced staff are always on hand to offer their expert advice and guidance. If you’re travelling, the staff are happy to wrap your purchases in protective wrapping and can arrange shipping to national and international destinations.

Tights Dept. is an Irish owned store specialising in Italian legwear. They offer a full range of classic and fashion hosiery: tights, socks (men and women), hold-ups, stockings, leggings and more, they also stock a collection of tops and vests. Top brands: Omsa, Emilio Cavallini, Trasparenze, Omero and Happy Socks.

34 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2 01 648 9110,

27 - 28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 675 9744 / 01 675 9768


Bagatt are serious about footwear. With over a hundred year’s experience, the shoes available at Bagatt have been developed with craft and style. They stock an exciting range of quality, stylish mens and womens shoes that have remained in tune with fashion trends and meet the every need of the modern shopper.

Celtic Spirit Gift Shop

25 Royal Hibernian Way (Anne Street South entrance), Dublin 2 Tel. 085 800 4281 Shop online: (deliver worldwide)

The Donegal Shop

This charming store in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre is the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir of your time in Ireland. They stock homeware from around the world, including Irish designers - with everything from Irish woollen throws, glass vases and dream trees on offer and the friendly staff are always on hand to offer help and advice. Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street, Dublin 2 01 679 9268

Mackintosh by Francis Campelli

Mackintoshes were first produced in Ireland in 1889 and Francis Campelli has been involved in the production of them for almost 40 years so you know you’re in the most experienced hands when you visit this store. They offer the finest quality, waterproof Mackintoshes for men and women from stock or made to measure from €425 as well as a range of leather bags, satchels and accessories. 46 South William Street, Dublin 2 01 608 8608

The Donegal Shop is an independently owned and family run Irish business. They are specialists in Donegal homespun tweeds and knitted products. The store offers a range of knitwear, aran sweaters and accessories for both women and men, all crafted using techniques handed down through generations of Donegal artists. 2nd Floor, St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dublin 2 01 475 4621

Celtic Spirit is a small, family run store overflowing with beautiful, Irish & Celtic Jewellery, handcrafted in Sterling Silver, Gemstones & Gold. Their Claddaghs, Shamrocks, Tree of Life, Infinity Knots and Traditional Celtic Designs, are all reminders of the unique enchantment of Ireland. What’s more, they have a fabulous ring collection and if you spend €50 and mention Travel Ireland, they will give you a FREE Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring. What a great offer. Ground Floor, St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Grafton Street, Dublin 2

The Cloth Shop

Kildare Village

Kildare Village is Ireland’s leading luxury shopping destination. With designer boutiques providing fashion and luxuries for the home, Kildare Village offers a unique selection of Irish and international brands with savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price, seven days a week and all year round.

Walking into the Cloth Shop is not unlike walking into an art gallery, with a vast array of materials displayed on the walls. The staff ’s expert knowledge combined with the range of Irish wool and linen alongside high-end fabrics from all over the world makes The Cloth Shop an essential visit for home and professional dressmakers, tailors, shirtmakers, fashion and interior designers. 5 Johnson’s Place, South King Street Dublin 2. 01 633 7900 March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Explore Leinster

The James Joyce Museum In 1904, James Joyce stayed in the Martello Tower in Sandycove as a guest of Oliver St. John Gogarty. Although his stay was short, the Martello Tower became the setting for the opening of Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. The Martello Tower is now the home of the James Joyce Museum, dedicated to the life and work of one of Ireland’s greatest writers. Open all year round with free admission, the James Joyce Museum has many first editions of Joyce’s work on display. Visitors can also view pictures inspired by Joyce and his work, photographs of the author, his family and his friends, and one of two plaster death masks made by the sculptor Paul Speck. The James Joyce Museum is a must visit for lovers of literature.


Glasnevin Cemetery Museum and Guided Tours Glasnevin Cemetery is one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions. Glasnevin Museum proudly tells the story of modern Ireland through interactive exhibitions, re-enactments, lectures and daily walking tours. Visitors learn about the harsh realities of life in Dublin, hear about gravediggers and grave robbers, cholera epidemics, and world wars. A visit inside Daniel O’Connell’s Celtic Romantic designed crypt and iconic tower, the tallest in Ireland, forms part of the tour. There is also a genealogy research area, where extensive online records can be accessed. The museum shop stocks a terrific collection of Irish crafts, jewellery, mementos, historical books, and other interesting gift items.

Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) Kilmainham Gaol may seem like an unusual place to spend a morning or afternoon but despite its sometimes grim past it makes for a fascinating visit. Built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol served as a prison for 128 years, and tours detail some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland’s emergence as a modern nation. The tour of the prison includes an audio-visual show. Tickets are sold on a first come first served basis and cannot be booked in advance. Tel: 01 453 5984

The Guinness Storehouse

Croke Park

This beautiful glacial valley in County Wicklow is renowned as the place where Cistercian monks settled in the sixth century, and the remains of the monastic priory including a round tower can still be seen today. Known locally as “the valley of the two lakes” , the locals also say it will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul. The early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”. Tel: 0404 45325/45352. 26


Formerly known as the Hop Store, the Guinness Storehouse is laid out over seven floors surrounded by a glass atrium that rises up through its centre. You make your way up on a self-guided tour, where you learn all about the beer’s history, the central part that the Guinness family played in the development of the city, and of the world famous advertising campaigns that did so much to help promote it. Tours are e16.50, which includes your pint of Guinness in The Gravity Bar on the 7th floor. Which might sound a bit steep for a self-guided tour, but it’s all beautifully laid out and the whole experience is richly rewarding. Tel: 01 408 4800.

Croke Park is the home of Ireland’s national games; Gaelic football and hurling. A tour of the stadium is a tour through Ireland’s rich history. The state of the art visitors experience offers a chance to visit team dressing rooms, go pitchside and take a seat in the VIP area. The museum tells the story of Gaelic games from ancient times to the present day and offers visitors the chance to try out their own football and hurling skills. If you’re feeling brave and have a head for heights, then why not take the incredible Skyline Tour? Visitors ascend a 44 metre walkway to take in panoramic views of the city from the top of the stadium and allows visitors to find out about key Dublin landmarks from five viewing platforms along the stadium.

Explore Leinster

Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin

Avondale House and Forest Park

The Old Jameson Distillery Experience the Old Jameson Distillery whiskey tour and let expert guides take you back in time as they lead you through the fascinating story of Jameson Irish Whiskey. At the end of the tour, all visitors are rewarded with a complimentary dram of whiskey at the Jameson Bar and partake in a comparison whiskey tasting session where you will learn how to tell the differences between Scotch, Irish, and American whiskey. The tour finishes at the exclusive gift store where people may choose to buy a personalised bottle or a memento of their visit. Dublin is a city famous for its whiskey and a visit to the Old Jameson Distillery is essential for any person looking to explore, sightsee or even just enjoy themselves and have a drink. Open Daily from 9am-6pm Tel: 01 8072348/ 2316

If you really want to get to know a city, then walking around with an informed, entertaining, professional guide is often the best way to discover its history, charms and hidden treasures. Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin have been offering their famous tours for over a decade and they cover many aspects of the city both with scheduled and private tour programmes. The scheduled walks are provided all year round with two or three times daily departures from March onwards. Special event tours include St Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Festival, James Joyce’s Bloomsday and the Bram Stoker Festival among others. Private tours geared to the topic of your own choice can be arranged for any time. Subject to availability, tours can be provided in the main European languages. In this centenary year of the Easter Rising of 1916 there are exciting tours dedicated to this momentous event, a pivotal episode in Irish history which eventually led to Irish Independence in 1922 after 750 years of British rule.

Avondale House was the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (18461891), one of the greatest political leaders of Irish history. Set in a magnificent forest park of over 500 acres, there are tree trails and walks ranging in duration from one to five hours. Visitors are introduced to this wonderful historical house by a specially commissioned audio visual presentation. Other facilities include a licensed café, bookshop, picnic areas, children’s play area, three orienteering courses (maps can be downloaded at and a large car/coach park. Tel: 0404 46111

Story of the Irish

Full details can be found on, by emailing to or by telephoning to 01 832 9406.

Casino Marino, Dublin The Casino was designed by Sir William Chambers as a pleasure house for James Caulfield, 1st Earl of Charlemont, and is one of the finest 18th century neo-classical buildings in Europe. The Casino, meaning “small house”, and notwithstanding its name, contains 16 finely decorated rooms, endlessly rich in subtlety and design. It is a remarkable building, both in terms of its structure and its history. The Casino is located at Marino, just off the Malahide Road and only three miles north of the centre of Dublin. Open 10-5pm, admission €3 or €1 for students and children. Tel 01 833 1618

The National Museum of Ireland The Museum is recognised as Ireland’s premier cultural institution and home to the greatest collections of Irish material heritage, culture and natural history in the world. With three locations in Dublin covering Archaeology, Natural History and the Decorative Arts and one location in Mayo covering Country Life, you can lose yourself for hours in the many exhibitions detailing all aspects of Irish life down through the ages. Admission to the museum is free all year round. Tel 01 677 7444

A unique attraction using live actors and cinema: Experience 9,000 years of Irish cultural triumphs, feel their proud defiance as they fight against annihilation, witness their heart wrenching famine, and rejoice at their unbelievable rise from the ashes. This is a great starting point to any vacation, giving context to; Ireland’s Ancient East and West, Newgrange, the Vikings, St Patrick, the Book of Kells, Invasion, the British, Famine, 1916 Rebellion and Modern Ireland. Open daily 10am to 7pm. Duration 1 hour. Located in central Dublin. Tel: 01 873 3537 March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Welcome to Munster Munster is the most southerly of the four provinces of Ireland and stretches from Tipperary in the South Midlands to Waterford in the South East, and from Clare, Limerick and Kerry down to Cork in the South.The entire area is famed for Irish traditional music, song and dance. There are many ancient castles and monasteries in the province, and coupled with the vast green countryside and its three cities (Limerick, Cork and Waterford) Munster is a must see destination for tourists.

Fota Wildlife Park

Bunratty Castle Bunratty Castle in County Clare is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Travelling down the coast, Limerick is the next port of call which this year has been designated as Ireland’s first City of Culture. From theatres to outdoor music events, museums to festivals, Limerick has an eclectic mix of sights and sounds to suit all tastes.

Limerick County Limerick also incorporates the Foynes Estuary with its world famous Foynes Flying Boat Museum. The museum tells the story of the Pan Am Clipper aircraft which brought commercial flights from America to our shores, landing in the estuary itself. It includes the only full-scale model of a Boeing B-314 Flying Boat anywhere in the world. The Rose of Tralee is the most famous Festival in Kerry and this internationally acclaimed festival comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a truly Irish experience. The festival celebrates its 55th year this year and commences with the International Rose Ball on the 15th of August before culminating with the selection of the 2014 Rose of Tralee in the magnificent dome four days later. There is a packed programme of events during the week for all to enjoy. 28


One of Munster’s most famous landmarks the Rock of Cashel, in County Tipperary is the historical seat of the Kings of Munster. The outcrop on which the Castle and grounds stand is one of the most photogenic spots in all of Munster. The spectacular group of medieval buildings are set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale and include the 12th century round tower, the High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, the 13th century Gothic cathedral, the 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Tel: 062 61437 Email: County Cork is well worth the drive as it has sandy beaches, the wonderful Blarney Castle, Foto Wildlife Park and golf course, wonderful coastlines and a city nightlife to rival any of that in Europe. Travel from east to west or north to south in this sprawling county and there is a view, an historical point of interest or an adventure to explore. Finally at the extreme South East of the island of Ireland is Waterford. Waterford is the capital of the ‘Sunny South East of Ireland’

Blarney Castle

and Ireland’s oldest city. The city and county is famous throughout the world as the home of Waterford Crystal. A visit to the House of Crystal visitor centre includes an opportunity to choose from the world’s largest selection of Waterford Crystal. The factory tour offers first hand access to all areas of traditional crystal production. County Waterford offers a dazzling 147 kilometres coastline, with 49 beaches, beautiful river valleys, lakes and two dramatic ranges of very accessible mountains.

A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH 10,000 YEARS OF IRISH HISTORY Celtic Gods will take you on a journey from 8,000 BC to present day in Ireland’s only cinematic theatre. Experience their cultural triumphs, feel their defiance as they fight against annihilation and watch them rise up from their cultural ashes. Opposite Hop on/off Bus Stop Smithfield, Dublin 7

E: T: +353 (0) 1 873 3537

Open from 10:30 - 7:00pm with Shows Every Hour. Duration 60 Minutes

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Explore Munster

Cliffs of Moher

Stretching for eight kilometres along the coastline and standing at 214 metres at their highest point, the Cliffs of Moher give the visitor a panoramic view out onto the Atlantic Ocean. It is said that on a clear day you can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, over the twelve pins and the Blasket Islands off the coast of Kerry. When there you really should ascend O’Briens Tower which has been used as a viewing point for centuries past.

Jameson Experience, Midleton Co.Cork

The Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum has artefacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilisation. There is also an important collection of Irish archaeological material ranging from Neolithic flints, Bronze Age material, and Christian art. One of the strengths of the collection is the medieval material, which include statues in stone and wood, painted panels, jewellery, enamels, ivories, ceramics, crystal and crucifixes. Plus work from Picasso, Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.

Tours run all day, last tour 16.30pm. Adult rate is €15.00 and save 10% on adult admission by booking in advance online. 30


The Ring of Kerry (Irish: Mórchuaird Chiarraí) is not a ring in the conventional sense but a 179-km-long circular tourist route in County Kerry. The scenery along this route is spectacular to behold and the route takes you through the Gap of Dunloe, the Bog Village, past Rossbeigh Beach, Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, The Blue Pool, Ross Castle, the Ogham Stones, and many more visitor attractions.

Bunratty Castle

Tel: 061 312 833

Titanic Experience Cobh

Join the whiskey Masters for a guided tour through the romantic past of Irish whiskey making. Learn about the Angels Share, Triple Distillation and above all the smooth taste of Jameson Irish Whiskey. The Old Midleton Distillery stands on the banks of the Dungourney river in Midleton. It is a distillery steeped in history and provides both a cultural and educational experience. The old distillery buildings have been restored to their original splendor, as they looked in 1805 when whiskey was first produced on this site. Each tour culminates in the Jameson Bar with a complimentary glass of Jameson and a chance to become a “Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster”. Visitors can also enjoy a delicious lunch in the Malt House Restaurant or browse the Distillery shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts.

Ring of Kerry

Bunratty Castle in County Clare is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Browse the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past.

Blarney Castle Titanic Experience Cobh is located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh town (formerly known as Queenstown) the departure point for the final 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic. The visitor experience is presented in two parts. The first is an immersive audio visual tour retracing the steps of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic from Queenstown on April 11th 1912. The second part of the Titanic Experience examines how it all went wrong. The unbelievable and “almost” impossible sequence of events that occurred to cause Titanic to sink.

Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting visitors from all over the world ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. This is probably because of the famous stone you will see at the top of the tower. People from all over the world have climbed up there to kiss it in the hope of acquiring the gift of the gab.

Tel: 021 438 5252

Recommended Restaurants in Munster The Strand Inn

Tel: 051 878203

Out of the Blue

Overlooking Hook Head, The Strand Inn is the perfect place to enjoy lingering breakfasts, relax over a long lunch or enjoy intimate, romantic suppers. Diners can look forward to the finest Irish beef, lobster and line caught seafood in a luxurious setting, characterised by beamed ceilings, original stone walls and planked floors. Dunmore East, Co.Waterford. Tel: 051 383 174

The Ventry Skipper

This little gem is just what the weary traveller needs after a day of sight seeing-with amazing views accompanied by great seafood and an extensive wine list you really cant go wrong. Ventry, Co Kerry Tel: 066 915 9853

The Munster Room Restaurant

They serve only the freshest, most succulent fish and shellfish here, which they have delivered every day, literally, from the sea outside their front door. And if there’s no fish on a particular day, then they won’t open the restaurant. A certain Mr. Paul Hewson, aka Bono is a fan. So book early to avoid disappointment.

Small quaint front room restaurant with locally sourced high quality ingredients making this little gem a must visit when in Dingle.

Dingle Harbour. Tel: 066 915 0811

Dykgate St., Dingle. Tel: 086 660 3778


The Smugglers Inn

Antonio Toscano opened this Italian restaurant in the heart of Cork City in 1994, and has always gone out of his way to staff it with his fellow country men and women, from both the North and the South of Italy. And it’s this, together with their extensive menu that makes eating here as close to actually dining in Italy as you could hope to find.

The Smugglers Inn is a family run restaurant that is ideal for casual lunch, fine dining or that special occasion. The restaurant has been praised by gastronomic writers from all over the world and is a Bord Failte award winner. It’s not hard to see why. The Smugglers Inn pride itself on serving fresh local produce, from seafood to organic vegetables. Add in the spectacular views and friendly service and you have the perfect dining experience.

La Bohéme Restaurant & Wine Bar

Waterford Castle, The Island, Co. Waterford

2 George’s St., Waterford. Tel: 051 875 645

An Canteen

33-4 Princess St, Cork City Tel: 021 427 5818

The Munster Room Restaurant at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort was awarded 2AA Rosettes in 2001 and currently continues this elite standard further confirmed with multiple awards and its review in the 2015 Michelin Guide. With its warm ambience, wonderful oak paneled walls, ornate ceiling, and further complemented by an extensive wine cellar and exciting seasonal menus it’s easy to see why it’s such a winning choice. Using the finest local produce, gifted head chef Michael Thomas and his culinary team continually create dishes with intense flavors that will tantalize and satisfy every food lover’s palate and create a truly memorable fine dining experience.

fine dining and wine bar with bistro menu options, qualifies La Boheme as a hidden gem in the heart of Waterford City. Tues - Sat 5:30pm until late (Open bank holiday Sundays)

La Boheme offers a unique experience for lovers of fine dining, with its location in the basement of one of Waterford’s foremost prestigious buildings. Head Chef Eric Theze uses fresh locally sourced produce, providing guests with exquisitely presented delectable dishes. Christine ensures that all are greeted with a warm welcome, with the belief in treating each guest as if they are being welcomed into their own home. A blend of

Cliff Road, Waterville, Co. Kerry Tel: 066 9474330

The Lobster

Whether you’re looking for lunch, a casual dinner or just a quiet pint, the friendly staff at The Lobster are sure to look after your every need. Situated in the seaside town of Waterville, it’s no surprise that The Lobster serve some of the best seafood in Kerry and their beef and Guinness stew is also spoken of very highly by all who have sampled it. Waterville, Co. Kerry. Tel: 066 9474629 March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE



he 1848 Tricolour Celebration is a cultural and historical event, which commemorates the flying of the Irish National Flag for the first time by Waterford man Thomas Francis Meagher in his native city at the Wolf Tone Confederate Club at 33 The Mall, Waterford on March 7th 1848. Following this, at a meeting in Dublin on the 15th of April, Thomas Francis Meagher (Irish American Patriot) presented a fabulous version of the Tricolor made from the finest French silk to the citizens of Ireland. He said: “The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the orange and the green and I trust that beneath its folds, the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood 2016 is the sixth year of the Tricolour Celebrations and as it is also the centenary year of the 1916 Rising, the festivals has been extended. The 2016 event will be larger, with the City’s second Citizenship ceremony taking place on Friday 4th March, when one hundred new citizens will be welcomed in City Hall opposite 33 The Mall, where the first tricolour was flown on 7th March 1848. Waterford City is in fact the only City, outside of Dublin, to have had this ceremony twice. In addition to the Citizenship Ceremony there will be a historic talk on the evening of Friday 4th March, a 1916 historic reenactment on the Saturday afternoon, a Gala Dinner on Saturday evening in the Granville Hotel with Commander Sean Flynn 1st 32


Battalion 69th Infantry, New York, with a delegation of thirty guests from Montana USA, and on Sunday 6th March the flag raising ceremony will take place on the Mall outside the House of Waterford Crystal. They are also carrying out an educational programme visiting a numbers of schools across the region which has brought the Thomas Francis Meagher message to over 4,000 students to date.

Dingle International Film Festival


he Dingle International Film Festival will celebrate a decade in existence when it returns from 17 to 20 March. The picturesque town of Dingle is a fitting setting for a film festival, having been a filming location for major films, including Far and Away and Ryan’s Daughter, in the past. The festival has long been a great supporter of Irish and international film, with previous guests at the festival including Maureen O’Hara, Saoirse Ronan, Sarah Miles, Aidan Gillen and Sir Alan Parker. The festival has also been a champion of animation and hosted the first ever Irish Animation Awards in 2015. One of the more personal and stylish film festivals around, Dingle International Film Festival gives visitors the chance to see great films in unusual and interesting locations. These locations include the Phoenix Cinema, which has been in operation since 1937, and the fully HD, 200 year old St James’ Church, as well as a host of club nights held in traditional Irish pubs every evening. The festival will fittingly open with a digital print of Ryan’s Daughter. David Lean’s film captures the Dingle Peninsula in a unique way and put Dingle on the map as a tourist destination.



Festival goers will have a unique opportunity to see the film in the very place that it was shot. David Lean is a director who influenced the likes of Spielberg and Scorsese and more of his work will be celebrated this year, with screenings of Brief Encounter and Hobson’s Choice. The festival is also home to the Gregory Peck Award. Peck was an acting great, possibly best known for his starring role in To Kill A Mockingbird and his great-grandmother was from near Dingle. Previous winners of the award have included. Laura Dern, JeanJacques Beineix, Jim Sheridan and Gabriel Byrne. This year would have been Peck’s 100th birthday and in celebration of this, the festival will close with a digital screening of Roman Holiday. Other highlights of the festival include Taste: What’s Going On Live At the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and a BBC Arena 24 hour presentation. Academy Award winning director Murray Lerner explores Ireland’s legendary rock band Taste through unseen footage of the band’s legendary Isle of Wight performance. The film also features contributions from Brian May, The Edge, Bono and Bob Geldof. BBC Arena have been at every festival since 2008. As they

approach their 40th anniversary, Arena will present 24 hours of footage in Kennedy’s Pub, drawn from their unique archive of over 600 films. Another hugely important facet of the festival is Animation Dingle. Now in its fourth year, Animation Dingle, in association with JAM Media, celebrates creativity and excellence in Irish animation, with the focus this year on emerging talent with the Student Animation Awards. As well as showing animated films from all over the world, the festival is a great way to hear from industry professionals. One of the highlights of the festival will be the Animation Conference on Friday 18 March. Keynote speeches will be delivered by David Levine from Disney and Tara Sorensen, who is the Head of Kids Programming for Amazon studios. Ireland’s top producers, including Alan Shannon (JAM Media), Paul Cummins (Telegael) and Deirdre Barry (Salty Dog) will attend to chat with Pauline McNamara of RTE about producing in Ireland while sought after storyboard artist, Christian De Vita will give a presentation of his work on Friday 18 March. Christian was lead story artist on Fantastic Mr. Fox and worked with Tim Burton as

story artist on Frankenweenie. His debut feature Yellowbird will screen on Saturday, the 19 March. On Saturday, Oscar winner for Best Animated Short, Feast, Patrick Osborne will make a presentation. Other highlights on Saturday, include the Lucky Draw Sketch Day, where students are paired with mystery mentors, all top professionals from animation studios, for a three hour sketching session in Dingle environs. The winners of The Student Animation Awards will take home a specially design leather bound sketch book by Holden Leather Goods along with professional licenses to industry software from Toon Boom & Final Draft. This gives students the chance to become familiar with high end industry tools and produce their own work commercially. The Dingle International Film Festival has grown from humble beginnings a decade ago into one of the most respected film festivals around. Their commitment to supporting Irish film is second to none and if you’re a budding animator then you certainly can’t afford to miss Animation Dingle, which has become an incredibly popular and vital element of this wonderful festival.





Historic Waterford Walking Tours of


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Waterford Tourist Services, Jenkin’s Lane, Waterford Tel: +353 (0)51 873711 Email:

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Recommended Pubs in Munster Jack Meades (under the bridge) Set on 5 acres of impeccably kept lawns, this sprawling complex boasts a number of bars. The old world bar it has dates back to 1705, whilst its lime kiln and ice house were built around 1860. But there is also a modern bar, and an extensive beer garden looking down over the gardens and streams. And good quality food is served here throughout the day. Dunmore Rd, Waterford Tel: 051 850 950

The Bierhaus

There are over 220 different beers to choose from here, including 6 rotating guest draught taps and a cask. So whether you are looking for a bottle or draught, an international or an Irish beer, there’s a reasonably good chance you’ll find it here. And they spend as much time on getting the atmosphere right as they do on choosing their beers.

An Brog

An Brog has been attending to fans of alternative and indie music for over 20 years now, and they’ve a constantly evolving roster of Djs and live bands catering to all and every musical taste. And best of all, they are open til 2 in the morning, seven days a week. 72-73 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork Tel: 021 427 0074

Buckley’s Bar

The oak panelled walls and turf fire are the perfect accompaniment to the many musicians who drop in here for the impromptu sessions that seem to be forever going on here. Both bar and hotel have been welcoming visitors since it opened in 1926. And many people either begin their trip around the kingdom there, or base themselves there for its duration. The Arbutus Hotel, College St, Killarney, Co Kerry. Tel: 064 663 1037



Dick Mack’s

Named after the leather craftsman, this small and gloriously “busy” pub still sells hand made leather ware inside at the shop to one side. Its walls are drowned in archaic photographs, and outside there’s a star studded pavement where the likes of Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Julia Roberts have left their mark. For many, many people, this is what they imagine when they conjure up the image of an Irish pub. Greene St, Dingle, Co Kerry Tel: 066 915 1960

Pope’s Quay, Cork Tel: 021 455 1648

Dolan’s Pub and Restaurant Dolan’s is made up of three venues, two outdoor areas, a traditional Irish pub and a restaurant. So there’s music here every day of the week, and they’ll serve you your breakfast, lunch and dinner as you require. Some of the many guests who’ve enjoyed their hospitality include Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand, Sharon Shannon and Imelda May. 3-4 Dock Rd, Limerick Tel: 061 314 483 (ext 1)

Secretly tucked away in Dublin city centre, there is a cocktail bar known for the quality and artistry of its cocktails that truly evoke the mood of a 1920s speakeasy – The Blind Pig. Named after the police who turned a blind eye to the liquor rooms of the 1920s prohibition era, The Blind Pig launched as a pop-up Speakeasy bar that featured monthly, in secret, at a well known Dublin venue, Since then, The Blind Pig has developed an affectionate fanbase in Ireland and abroad.

Experience the forgotten thrill of secret passwords, false storefronts and just a touch of lawlessness. Booking is essential. Please mail requesting to see the Blind Pig at a particular time. You will then receive instructions on the location, which is less than a 2-minutes walk from Grafton St. Dublin 2. For more information go to




Welcome to Connaught

Ancient stone walls in the Aran Islands

The province of Connaught lies in the West of Ireland with its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The counties of Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Galway and Roscommon make up this geographically diverse region with the Atlantic Ocean to its westerly boundary, and the midlands of Roscommon to the East. It is the least populated with a population of just over 400,000. Historically, Connaught has retained its rich Gaelic heritage and today still has communities where the Irish language only is spoken amongst them. But English is the primary second language. These regions are collectively called the Gaeltacht. The remote and beautiful Aran Islands off the mainland of County Galway are also part of the Gaeltacht. The primary business centre of Connaught,

The Claddagh by night 40


and the most densely populated area is the thriving city of Galway to the south of the province. Although Sligo City, Carrick on Shannon, and Boyle are all fine business and shopping centres in their own right. Connaught has some of the most scenic and unspoilt countryside to be found in Ireland, including the spectacular mountainous landscape of Connemara, the lock gates and river banks of the Shannon Waterway, the famed Galway Bay and the historic glens of County Leitrim. Couple these with the beautiful Ashford Castle in Mayo near to Cong where the film The Quiet Man was filmed, and the natural serenity of Lough Key Forest Park in Roscommon, and a tour of this region is a must for all. For those interested in a religious experience

Mayo is famed for Knock Shrine where on the 21st August, 1879, at about 8 o’clock, Our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist are reputed to have appeared. The apparition was seen by fifteen people whose ages ranged from six years to seventy-five and included men, women and children. The shrine has become so popular in modern times that the Ireland West International Airport was built especially in 1985 to cater for the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and visitors to Connaught. The county also features the pilgrimage site known as Croagh Patrick, which overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo. This is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland. The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption. Croagh Patrick is renowned today for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick is said to have fasted for forty days in 441 AD, and the custom of trekking up the mountain has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. Croagh Patrick is 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport, and its conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside with magnificent views of Clew Bay beneath. So, whether it’s water activities on the Atlantic coastline, cruising on the Shannon Waterway, religious pilgrimages, chilling out amongst an unspoilt landscape or driving along roads where motoring is still a pleasure, Connaught has it all.

Recommended Restaurants in Connaught Kai Café

An Port Mór Restaurant

Roasted pig cheeks with black pudding, and apple and vanilla sauce is just one of this award winning restaurant’s specialities. One of the finest restaurants in the West. 1 Brewery Place, Bridge St, Westport, Co. Mayo Tel: 098 26730

The Cottage Restaurant

Head chef Sham Hanifa’s sauces are so well regarded, you can buy jars of them to take away with you after your meal. Originally from Malaysia, he’s been here in Leitrim for over 14 years and applies his culinary skills to the local Irish produce that are native to the West. Jamestown, Co. Leitrim Tel: 071 962 5933

Ashford Castle

Dating all the way back to 1228, this is one of the most imposing castles on the island. And where better to dine than in the George V dining room, built specially by the Guinness family when they hosted the Prince of Wales in 1906. Cong, Co. Mayo Tel: 094 954 6003 David and Jessica Murphy’s restaurant in the heart of Galway has justly won a mountain of awards over the last couple of years, including Restaurant of the Year in 2012. Of the many, many who sing its praises, John McKenna wrote, “It’s vital food, packed with good energy, and it lifts you up to eat it because it’s so simple and elemental.” Sea Road, Galway City. Tel: 091 526 003

Eala Bhán

Upstairs @ West Restaurant

Situated in the luxury 4 star hotel The Twelve in Barna, minutes away from the city centre, this is one of Galway’s best kept secrets and is well worth a visit. The Twelve, Barna, Galway City Tel: 091 597 000

Waterfront House Restaurant

Ireland’s largest stockist of Designer Sunglasses If it’s fresh seafood or a prime steak you’re looking for, this is the place for you. Situated in the heart of Sligo this restaurant is warmly recommended by one and all, including Lucinda O’Sullivan and Georgina Campbell. Rockwood Parade, Sligo Town Tel: 071 914 5823

Half way between Athlone and Roscommon, and a quarter of an hour’s drive from either, Aidan Murray has been head chef here for over 20 years. Superior bistro food.

The Waterfront House Restaurant boasts one of the most outstanding sea views in Ireland. You can wine, dine and relax as you peer out over the 5km beach overlooking Killala Bay. Since it opened in 2011 the Seaview Restaurant and Wine Bar have become popular with locals and visitors alike. Fresh Seafood is a speciality.

Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon Tel: 090 666 1255

Enniscrone, County Sligo Tel: 096 37120

The Yew Tree Restaurant



Explore Connaught

Kylemore Abbey

Few places on earth have the tranquillity and beauty of Kylemore Abbey and its majestic walled garden. The castle was bought by the Benedictine nuns in 1920. The Victorian walled garden was reopened in 1999 and won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award in 2002.The garden comprises of roughly 6 acres and is divided in two by a natural mountain stream. The eastern half comprises of the flower or pleasure garden, glass houses and gardeners’ houses. While the kitchen garden makes up the other half of the garden and is predominantly given over to the growing of food. This is a gem and should definitely be at the top of any visitors list.

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall is situated near Glencar Lake, 11 kilometres west of Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. It is particularly impressive after rain and can be viewed from a lovely wooded walk. As you reach Glencar which straddles the border between counties Sligo and Leitrim with its dramatic steep cliffs, you will notice a series of waterfalls cascading from the heights. Glencar waterfall is perhaps the most dramatic, descending from a 50ft rocky headland into a deep pool below in a haze of white spray. A paved path to the viewing area provides a wonderful vantage point from which to view the waterfall which is particularly spectacular during wet conditions.

Inishbofin Island

Inishbofin (island of the white cow) is situated seven miles off the Galway coastline and is an extremely popular tourist attraction.The island is 5.7km by 4km, and has three official looped walks of varying difficulties, each offering spectacular views of the island’s wild Atlantic scenery. The island also has several safe, award winning sandy beaches, and its clear waters make swimming, snorkelling and diving a joy. Two of the beaches on Inishbofin have been awarded the ‘Green Coast Award’, prized for their exceptional water quality and their natural, unspoilt environment.

Croagh Patrick



Mullaghmore is one of the surfing capitals of the Irish Atlantic coastline, and is recognised as one of the top surfing destinations in the world. Indeed, on 8 March 2012, surfers and windsurfers from all over the world rode waves up to 15 metres (49 ft) high off Mullaghmore Head. The area is also safe for bathing, and has all the modern facilities that you could wish for to make your stay enjoyable. And it is overlooked by the majestic Ben Bulbin mountain.

Connemara is one of God’s gifts to this world with unspoilt natural beauty, rolling hills, leafy glens and crystal clear mountain streams all overlooked by towering majestic mountains. Travel from the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the North through lake-rich Roundstone Bog, to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean. This wondrous landscape is bounded on the West, South and North by the Atlantic Ocean. Connemara’s land boundary with the rest of County Galway is marked by the Invermore River which flows into the north of Kilkieran Bay.

Croagh Patrick is 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport, and its conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside. You get spectacular views of Clew Bay and the surrounding Mayo countryside from all stages as you climb. Widely considered the holiest mountain in Ireland, pilgrimages date all the way back to the time of the pagans, when people are thought to have gathered here to celebrate the beginning of harvest season. It was on the summit of this mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD, and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. On the last day in July 25,000 pilgrims climb it, and over a million people visit Croagh Patrick every year. Tel: 098 64114 March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Helena Byrne Scéal


lady of many talents, Helena Byrne is an actor, director, singer/songwriter and storyteller. A previous finalist in the 2fm Young Songwriter’s Contest, she has supported the likes of James Taylor, Katie Melua, Bob Geldof and Moya Brennan in the recent past. She is also the Resident Storyteller for Irish Folk Tours’ show ‘An Evening of Food, Folklore and Fairies’ in Dublin and has performed as a storyteller at Dalkey Castle, the National Leprechaun Museum and the Yarn Storytelling Festival. It is this love of storytelling that she brings to her new album, Scéal. Inspired by the stories and folklore of Ireland’s past, which Helena learned from her grandparents, Scéal features stories about leprechauns, banshees and fairies and captures a piece of Ireland from times past when belief in these mythical creatures was strong. Throughout the album, Helena’s natural ability for storytelling shines through as she takes us on a journey through Ireland’s past with her interpretations of work from the likes of WB Yeats,

Douglas Hyde and Thomas Crofton Croker. Some of her family members help out with the stories to give the whole album the feeling of sitting around the fire swapping stories as was done long ago. The gentle piano of Josh Johnston and the subtle tin whistle of Kila’s Colm Ó’Snodaigh complement the stories perfectly and never overwhelm the tales that are being told. Helena’s own musical skills come to the fore late in the album as she delivers a stirring rendition of My Lagan Love. If you don’t get goosebumps when you hear her beautiful voice then you may need to consult a medical professional because chances are, you’re dead inside. It’s great to see a new generation carrying on the grand old Irish tradition of storytelling and keeping our heritage alive. If you’re looking to delve into Irish folklore then Scéal is the perfect place to start.

Great Irish Writers

WB Yeats


ecognised as one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature, William Butler Yeats is one of Ireland’s best known and influential writers. Although primarily known for his poetry,Yeats was also a prolific playwright and was a founder of one of the country’s best known theatre’s - the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. He was also the first Irish winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and served as a Senator after the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, where he acted as a passionate advocate for minority rights. Yeats was born into a highly artistic family in Dublin in 1865 but spent most of his childhood in Sligo, a part of the country that Yeats is still closely associated with. Heavily influenced by mysticism and the work of Percy Bysshe Shelley, his first work was published when he was seventeen. In 1889 he met the ardent Irish nationalist Maud Gonne and he fell in love with her,



although she did not return his feelings and turned down several marriage proposals from him over the next few years. His work evolved around this time to include themes of the unrequited love that he felt for Maud Gonne, as well as social commentary, including the poem Easter 1916 about the Easter Rising. In 1899 he met Lady Gregory and along with a group of other writers opened the Abbey Theatre in 1904. He remained involved with the theatre for the rest of his life and wrote many plays that were staged there, starting with Cathleen Ní Houlihan, which was performed on the theatre’s opening night. Remarkably, Yeats’ work is considered to have gotten better after he won the Nobel Prize in 1923 and he wrote prolifically and to great acclaim in his later years. After his appointment to the Irish Senate he became a passionate advocate for divorce in Ireland and often spoke out against censorship.

In 1917 he married Georgie Hyde-Lees, who was 27 years younger than him. In spite of the age difference and rumours of several affairs that Yeats had, the couple remained married for the rest of his life and had two children. Yeats spent much of his later years travelling and he died in France in 1939. Yeats is still hugely influential today, with his work having a huge effect on a diverse range of artists and writers. There are many who consider him not just Ireland’s greatest poet but one of the world’s greatest poets and a man whose work will live on for a very long time.

Recommended Pubs in Connaught Tigh Neachtain (Naughtons)

Just across the road from Galway’s justly celebrated Druid Theatre, the Neachtain family have been running this pub here since 1894. And the artsy crowd that congregate here are as likely to be treated to a live jazz trio as they are to the best in Irish trad. 17 Cross st, Galway Tel: 091 568 820

Furey’s Pub

The Quays

Furey’s is located in the centre of Sligo, and is your no nonsense, strictly Irish trad music only, Irish pub. And they are as keen on real beer as they are on serious music, offering up an impressive choice craft beers. Bridge St, Sligo Tel: 087 958 3080 Don’t be put off by the reams of tourists that flock here all year round, there’s a reason that this pub enjoys such a lofty reputation. It looks and feels exactly like an Irish pub should. And be sure to check out the back of the pub which has been decked out with stained glass and wooden pews borrowed from a Medieval French church!

Bosh Bar and Restaurant Whether you are looking for a bit of good quality food, hoping to catch some live music, or just want to watch the match, this is the place you’re looking for when you find yourself in Castlebar.

11 Quay St, Galway Tel: 091 568 347

Linenhall St., Castlebar, Co Mayo Tel: 094 925 0534

Roísín Dubh

Matt Malloy’s

It might have changed hands a few years ago, but the Roísín Dubh is still the premier music venue in the West. In the past they played host to Ray Davies, The New York Dolls and Townes Van Zandt and, more recently the XX, DJ Shadow and Dinosaur Jr. The only difference is, they’ve got a beer garden on the roof now!

This is exactly the kind of pub you’d expect the flute player with the Chieftains to have opened. And when he’s not on tour with them, you can expect to see Matt Malloy here in person, joining in on the sessions that take place within.

Lower Dominick St., Galway Tel: 091 586 540

Bridge St., Westport Tel: 098 26655 March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Welcome to Ulster

Belfast City Hall The Ancient Irish province of Ulster, made up of 9 counties, was partitioned in 1921 and six of the counties in it now make up Northern Ireland. These are Fermanagh, Antrim, Down, Derry/Londonderry, Armagh, and Tyrone. The other three counties are Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. County Fermanagh has over 300 square miles of water, 365 islands, breathtaking scenery, the mystical Marble Arch Caves Geo Park, world class fishing and more historic monuments than you could shake a stick at. In short, Fermanagh is a Lakeland Paradise. County Donegal is in the northwest of the

Malin Head Republic of Ireland. The name “Donegal” comes from the Irish, meaning “the fort of the foreigners”. The county consists chiefly of low mountains, with a deeply indented coastline forming natural loughs, of which Lough Swilly is the most notable. The famous mountains or 46


‘Hills of Donegal’ consist of two major ranges, the Derryveagh Mountains in the north and the Bluestack Mountains in the south, with Mount Errigal at 751 metres the highest peak. The Slieve League cliffs are the second highest sea cliffs in Europe, while Donegal’s Malin Head is the most northerly point on the island of Ireland.

new Titanic Quarter and the Odyssey Arena to name but a few. This vibrant city has a culture all of its own and its restaurants, theatres and nightlife are amazingly good value.

Giants Causeway

County Antrim with its beautiful coast road and famous glens is the most north easterly county on the island. On a worldwide scale Antrim’s most famous attraction is the Giants Causeway. However the renowned ‘Glens of Antrim’, the Bushmills Distillery and Carrickfergus Castle are well worth visiting as well. Belfast City too has many things to see including the grandeur of the City Hall, the

Marble Arch Caves



Explore Ulster

The Old Bushmills Distillery

Belleek Pottery

Titanic Belfast Since opening in March 2012 Titanic Belfast has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland, with over a million visitors through its doors in its first year. Housed in an iconic, six storey building, it’s located in the heart of Belfast, right next to the site where the famous ship was built. Once you enter the building proper, you’re introduced to the building’s giant atrium surrounded by the four “ships”, which act as the beginning of the Titanic experience. Your journey will then take you through the building’s nine galleries, telling the story of the Titanic from its conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through its construction and launch, to its famous maiden voyage and tragic end. Tel: 028 9076 6386

In 1608, King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillipps a license to distil whiskey, and Bushmills became the first distillery in the world to begin officially producing it. Bushmills is the only distillery in Ireland to make triple-distilled malt whiskey. This is at the heart of all Bushmills whiskeys, whether Bushmills or Black Bush, and it is this that gives them their unique combination of smoothness and richness. Today, over 120,00 visitors come to the Old Distillery every year to discover more about how it is all done, and to see for themselves where the magic happens. Tel: 028 2073 3218

Ulster American Folk Park

The Giant’s Causeway The Giant’s Causeway stretches for around five kilometres along the Antrim coast. Legend has it that it was built by Finn MacCool so that he could get across to Scotland to take on a giant who lived there. Visitors flock here from all over the world to marvel at one of Europe’s most magnificent coastlines and its unique rock formations. In 1986 the Giant’s Causeway Visitors centre opened, after the World Heritage Conventions added it to its list of sites which are of exceptional interest and universal value. The National Trust oversees the Causeway and provides the half million tourists who go there every year with all the information that they need. 48


Situated 5 miles outside of Omagh on the road to Strabane, the museum is your chance to mix family fun with a fascinating exploration of our shared histories. Immerse yourself in the world famous story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Follow the emigrant trail as you journey from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship leading to the log cabins of the American Frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share. You can also avail of the facilities at the residential centre and museum restaurant. Museum: +44 (0) 28 8224 3292 Residential centre: +44 (0)28 8224 0918

When you step into the world of Belleek Pottery you enter one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and most fascinating attractions. Visitors can take a personally guided tour of the factory and see how the techniques developed by the very first Belleek craftsmen 158 years ago are still followed today. An audio visual presentation informs visitors of the rich history of the pottery from its beginnings right the way through to present day, while the Belleek Museum offers a display of pottery through the ages. Visitors can enjoy a little retail therapy in the Belleek Pottery showroom and no visit is complete without taking a little time out at the Belleek Pottery restaurant to enjoy some well deserved refreshments from the savoury and sweet menu served. Tel: +44(0) 28 6865 9300 Email:

Florence Court

Florence Court is the former home of the Cole family, Earls of Enniskillen. The three storey Georgian mansion contains fine plasterwork and 18th century Irish furniture and also offers extensive gardens, outdoor trails and a woodland children’s play area. Every aspect of life in this classical Irish House, with its fine interiors and exquisite decoration, is brought to life on guided tours. Outside, visitors can discover the working estate including a sawmill, forge and carpenters shop, ice house, the historic rose garden and the mother of all Irish Yews. The Stables tearoom and Coach House gift shop are also onsite. The forest park has 10 miles of trails to enjoy on foot, by bike or on horseback. Tel: 028 6634 9001

Recommended Restaurants in Ulster Ox

Having won the Best Newcomer Award in 2013, Ox took Best Restaurant, Best Chef and Best Wine Experience in Antrim for 2014. Chic, smart and very good.

The Ginger Bistro


1 Oxford St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 4121

55 Degrees North Located in Belfast’s historic Linenhall Street just behind City Hall, this is one of the best dining experiences you will find here in the city centre in Belfast. Its chic boutique surroundings make it very much the place to see and be seen.

This family run business has been open since 2005. And this stylish restaurant has been receiving plaudits ever since, both for the quality of its food, and the spectacular views of the Atlantic that it offers. 1 Causeway St, Portrush, Co Antrim Tel: 0044 28 7082 2811

The ginger in question is owner chef Simon McCance, and since relocating here closer to the centre his reputation for producing quality food at surprisingly reasonable prices has got even stronger. 7-8 Hope St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9024 4421

Deane’s Restaurant

7-11 Linenhall St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 1150


They serve deliberately simple, Frenchinfluenced food here using only the best seasonal ingredients, and all served at a reasonable price in an elegant location. And you can have a drink in the cocktail bar in the basement while you are waiting for your table. 253 Lisburn Rd, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9038 1655

Vanilla Restaurant

Local man Darren Ireland opened this smart new establishment here in 2009, and it’s one of the best quality bistros on the East coast.

Telfords Restaurant

Overlooking the river Lagan and situated in a maritime building that dates back to 1843, Telfords operates on three levels and is in walking distance from the Waterfront Hall, the Odyssey complex and the Ulster Hall.

67 Main St, Newcastle Tel: 0044 28 4372 2268

Lough Erne Resort

5 Donegall Quay, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9043 4000

Sun Kee Restaurant

One of the best Chinese restaurants in Belfast, the Lo family have been producing impressively adventurous and authentic Chinese cuisine here for years. 42-7 Donegall Pass, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 2016 Michael Deane trained at London’s prestigious Claridges and since returning to Belfast he has opened up a number of top quality restaurants across the city. And losing the Michelin star he had in 2011 has he says liberated him, allowing him to concentrate on the food without having to worry about critics. 36-40 Howard St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9033 1134


In the city’s busy Botanic Avenue, this is one of the city’s few authentic sushi bars, but they also serve a variety of fusion dishes if sushi is not your thing. A superior Japanese restaurant. 82 Botanic Av, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9043 9590

Speranza Restaurant

This 5 star hotel just outside the town of Enniskillen is quite simply one of the most spectacularly situated hotel resorts you will find anywhere in Europe.

Lusty Beg

This island spa is set on 75 acres in the heart of the lakes of Fermanagh, and where better to unwind than in its award winning restaurant.

Hand made oven baked pizzas are one of the specialities here, but there is a wide choice of all types of Italian food on offer here in one of Belfast’s finest Italian restaurants.

Belleek Rd, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh Tel: 0044 28 6632 3230

Boa Island, Kesh, Co Fermanagh Tel: 0044 28 6863 3300

16-9 Shaftesbury Av, Belfast Tel: 044 28 9023 0213 March 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Pubs in Ulster The Crown Liquor Saloon

Located in Belfast’s Cathedral district, very unusually this pub is owned by the Belfast Unemployment Resource Centre, which was opened by local poet, socialist and Freeman of the City, John Hewitt. Hence the name. They’ve an extensive range of craft beers, both on tap and in bottles. And if that’s not enough, they even have a genuine gin palace! Which includes locally made Shortcross Gin. 51 Donegall St., Belfast Tel: 028 9023 3768

White’s Tavern

Dating all the way back to 1630, this is the oldest tavern in Belfast, and one of the oldest anywhere on these islands. You can warm yourself by the fire downstairs where you’ll find the original pub, whilst upstairs they’ve opened a second bar where more livelier fare goes down. 2-4 Winecellar Entry, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 3080

Kelly’s Cellars Now owned by the National trust, this is one of the most justly famous pubs to be found anywhere in Britain or Ireland, with its mixture of oak panelling, leather chairs and its exquisite, ornate Victorian tiling. And, just as you’d expect, they’ve a wonderful selection of real ales and home made food. 46 Great Victoria St, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 3187

This is the oldest pub proper in Belfast, dating back to 1720. Stone floors, white washed walls, and traditional Irish music rings through its low ceilinged rooms. It’s like finding a country pub in the middle of the city. 30-32 Bank St, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 6058

The Duke Of York

The John Hewitt

One of the liveliest pubs in town, its walls are busy with paraphernalia and whatnots, and the place is hopping with (mostly) young people who fill the place up all weekend and most of the week. And if you are looking to treat yourself to a sneaky, antique whiskey, look no further. 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 1062

Peadar O’Donnell’s

There are three bars to choose from here at this famous Derry pub, and music to suit any and all tastes. You can move from an impromptu session that might have materialised magically in the corner of the traditional bar downstairs, to a gig proper upstairs in the Gweedore. Before coming back downstairs to what they swear is the best pint in Derry. 59-63 Waterloo St., Derry Tel: 028 7126 7295 50


BLARNEY CASTLE & GARDENS Renowned for bestowing the gift of eloquence Take the time to enjoy our magical CASTLE GARDENS

Opening time for March 9am – 6pm (last admission 5.30pm)

5 miles from Cork