Engaging Ireland News

Current news and information about Ireland and Irish travel

Titanic Exhibit Docking at Milwaukee Irish Fest in 2010

August 2, 2010

MILWAUKEE Milwaukee Irish Fest will be highlighting the Titanic in 2010, the Belfast built ship that met a disastrous end upon striking an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean on April 14, 1912. Titanic was owned by the White Star Line and constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. A replica of the Titanic’s hull, housing an exhibit from its origin city of Belfast will be housed on the south end of the grounds in the Cultural Pavilion.

“The ‘biggest’ exhibit at Irish Fest this year will be our Titanic feature,” said Jane Anderson, executive director of Milwaukee Irish Fest. “The Titanic is perhaps the most talked about ship of all time, so we’re really excited to have  an entire exhibit dedicated to it as a part of our Northern Ireland Showcase.”

The exhibit will feature story panels from a display produced by the city of Belfast, and will be housed in a replica of the hull of the ship. In addition, the Belfast Visitors and Convention Bureau will have displays on both the Titanic and the city of Belfast.  Titanic memorabilia from Milwaukee area collectors will augment the display.

About Milwaukee Irish Fest

Milwaukee Irish Fest is the world’s largest celebration of Irish music and culture, showcasing more than 100 entertainment acts annually at the four-day, 16-stage event at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Passionately committed to igniting a love of Irish culture in all people, Irish Fest teaches Ireland’s music, dance, drama, sports, culture, children’s activities, and genealogy at the festival and through year-long programming. For more information, visit IrishFest.com.

(The preceding post is a press release from Milwaukee Irish Fest at www.irishfest.com)

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 4:18 pm.

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August in Dingle

Sign post in Dingle Town

If you’ve not ventured to the  Dingle Peninsula during your travels in Ireland, you should definitely add it to the itinerary for your   next trip. The Dingle Peninsula offers spectacular vistas and friendly faces, and Dingle Town has something you’ll find in few other places in Ireland (or the world, for that matter): a Murphy’s Ice Cream shop! But that is another story…

In August, Dingle plays host to two events of considerable size. The first  of these events is the Dingle Races, held from August 6-8. Races take place in a converted field in Ballintaggart, just up the N86 from Dingle Town, and the Dingles Races website (www.dingleraces.ie) describes the races as “the biggest of all flapper races in Ireland.”  (We’ll just be honest and admit that we do not know what a “flapper race” is, but based on the photos, it has nothing to do with those women from the ’20s… If you can enlighten us and other readers, please do so in the comments!)

It is apparent that they will have something for just about everyone, as the website also declares that the centre of the course will have entertainments such as a bouncy castle and fair stands that will be hawking goods. Sounds like a lovely day out!

The Dingle Regatta will take place August 14 – 15, as boatmen put their skills to the test in Dingle Harbour in a series of races. If the weather is fine, this event is a spectacular site to behold, but bring your binoculars for the best view.

Even if you aren’t able to take in one of these great events, the Dingle Peninsula has many other activities to offer the visitor. Check out the possibilities on http://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/.

Boats in Dingle Harbour

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 7:31 pm.

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Ireland Discount Cards

One of the most overlooked regions of Ireland, in our opinion, is the beautiful Shannon Region. To be fair, if you’ve been along with us for very long, you realize our love for County Tipperary, so we might be a little biased. But maybe not… Of course, some of the attractions, like Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, are very well known and frequently visited. But have you visited Birr Castle or Craggaunowen? How about Aillwee Cave or the West Clare Railway?

In order to help entice you to make a visit to some of the wonderful attractions of the region, you can download and print a discount card that is good through December 31, 2010. Visit the Short Breaks Ireland website (http://www.shortbreaksireland.ie/25DiscountCard/) to get your discount card.

Lough Derg, Co. Clare side of the lake.

Another region that often does not get the respect it deserved is the Mid Ireland region, which is made up of the following counties: North Tipperary, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath, East Galway. The region also boasts its own discount card, and, if you drop by the Mid Ireland Tourism website (http://www.midirelandtourism.ie/visitors-card/), you can download and print the card and a list of some great special offers.

The majority of the attractions can be reached by public transport, if you are not on a self-driving holiday. Don’t forget, if you’re over 65, you can ride the rails for free with the Golden Trekker offers in Ireland (until 31 December 2010 in the Republic and until 30 September 2010 in Northern Ireland).  Discover Ireland’s website has some useful links to public transport, if you visit http://www.discoverireland.com/us/ireland-plan-your-visit/getting-around/by-bus-and-train/. Enjoy your visit to “the middle” !

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 8:04 am.

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What’s on in Ireland

The festival season in Ireland is still in full swing as we enter the month of August. We’re highlighting just a few of the myriad events taking place all over Ireland.

Belfast Taste and Music Fest 2010 runs 4 – 8 August in, of course, Belfast at the Botanic Gardens. This festival brings together two favorite pasttimes of just about everyone we know: food and music. For more information on this event, visit http://www.belfasttasteandmusicfest.com/.

Also running from 4 – 8 August is the Dublin Horse Show, brought to you by Fáilte Ireland. This annual extravaganza was first held in 1864 and is aptly described on their website as  “a celebration of Ireland’s affinity with the horse, from the best show horses to the best international show jumpers.” The event is held a the Royal Dublin Society’s complex in Dublin. A list of events and details about the show can be found at http://www.dublinhorseshow.com/.

Don’t forget the annual Kilkenny Arts Festival, which begins on August 6 and continues through August 15, with events taking place in venues around Kilkenny. The festival website proclaims that this festival is “the very best in Irish and international visual art, clasical music, theatre and dance, jazz, world & traditional Irish music, literature, film, architecture, indie music, craft and children’s events.” Their website can be accessed at http://www.kilkennyarts.ie/ for a complete listing of events and festival information.

And, finally, if you’re anywhere near Kenmare on August 15, you will want to make a special effort to visit the Kenmare Traditional Annual Fair. You’ll experience a fair like the ones that used to take place all over Ireland but have faded into just a memory in most places. The Kenmare Chamber of Commerce website has a little bit of information and a contact e-mail at http://www.kenmare.ie/community-event-view.php?id=1.

These are just a scant few of the gatherings and festivals that will occur across Ireland this month. If we have left out your favorite event, leave a comment telling us about it. Slan go foill!

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 10:25 am.

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Spike Island Tours Commence

Guided tours of Spike Island, the former prison site off the coast of Cobh in Cork Harbour, began on Saturday, July 31st. By all accounts, there is a great deal of interest from people wanting to take the tour. The first boat that left Kennedy Pier at 2 p.m. for the island’s inaugural tour was packed to capacity, with a substantial queue waiting to purchase tickets from the booth on the pier (http://cobhedition.com/?p=5608).  The Cobh Edition online newspaper reports that 2010 tours will take place seven days a week at 2 p.m., beginning with the inaugural tour on July 31 and continuing until the end of September, with additional tours being added each day if there is demand.

Tickets for the tours may be purchased at the ticket booth on Kennedy Pier. An adult ticket currently costs €12.50, which includes the boat trip and the tour. Children under the age of 12 cost €8. And an ‘introductory’ ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children costs €30. For further information, send your enquiries to spikeislandguidedwalkingtours@gmail.com, or you may visit the booking office on Kennedy Pier.

The Cobh Edition has a great article here about what you can expect on the tour: http://cobhedition.com/?p=5601, and, if you’re interested in reading more about the history of Spike Island, there’s a bit of information here: http://www.passagewestmonkstown.ie/spike-island.asp. Wondering what else you can do in Cobh and the Great Island? Here are 101 ideas: http://www.cobhharbourchamber.ie/island101.html!

Posted 7 years, 6 months ago at 4:56 pm.

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