Celebrate Ireland: the best cultural events in March

By , 18th February 2016

With St. Patrick’s Day and 1916 centenary celebrations in full swing, March is the ideal month to explore Ireland, reconnect with Irish history and be inspired by the array of cultural events and shows.

With so much happening throughout the country, it’s hard to know what to attend but trivago is here to help. We’ve done the hard work for you and handpicked our favourite events taking place in Dublin and throughout the country for you to enjoy.

So load up the car, hit the road, wear your country colours with pride and celebrate Ireland in 2016!

St. Patrick’s Day | 1916 Commemorations | Cultural Events

St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day Festival

17-20 March, Dublin

St. Patricks Festival

An unmissable spectacle, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the highlight in the capital’s events calendar. Each year the streets throng with revelers all looking to celebrate Ireland’s premier cultural celebration. This year the parade’s creative theme – What If – will see a colourful, thrilling and entertaining procession move through the streets as the beats and rhythms of numerous marching bands ring through the air. Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day pageantry is something to behold!

Find your ideal hotel in Dublin here (£) and here (€) 

Cork St. Patrick’s Festival

17-20 March, Cork

cork st patrick's day

Celebrating the theme of 1916 – The Legacy, Cork’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade takes place in the heart of the Rebel City and runs along the South Mall, Grand Parade,St. Patrick’s Street and finishes on Merchants Quay. With something for the young and young-at-heart, the parade will feature a kaleidoscope of vibrant colours, amazing live acts and of course special performances commemorating the Easter Rising.

Find your ideal hotel in Cork here (£) and here (€) 

Limerick St. Patrick’s Festival

17-20 March, Limerick

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Every year thousands of spectators line O’Connell Street hoping to soak up the jovial atmosphere that engulfs Limerick City each Paddy’s Day. However, for many the highlight of the festival is the International Band Championship, held on the 20th of March. More than 1000 musicians are expected to take part in the championship and entertain audiences with their loud energetic stateside enthusiasm.

Find your ideal hotel in Limerick here (£) and here (€) 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

17 March, Galway

st patricks day

In its 113th year, Galway’s St. Patrick’s Parade showcases the best in homegrown talent promoting the diverse of Galway’s communities and cultures. The parade will feature appearances and performances from the Galway Arts Centre, Colours Street Theatre, The Russian Culture Club and dozens of local GAA clubs.

Find your ideal hotel in Galway here (£) and here (€) 

St. Patrick’s Festival

10-20 March, Armagh

st patrick reenactment

Nowhere in Ireland does St. Patrick hold as much resonance as in Armagh. St Patrick was famously held captive in the county before becoming a Christian missionary and later Bishop of Armagh. The city’s St. Patrick’s Festival runs over ten days and plays host to traditional Irish music sessions, an educational history fair, an Irish language festival and a carnival-inspired parade.

Find your ideal hotel in Armagh here (£) and here (€) 

1916 Commemorations

Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising

3 March, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin

1916 centenary

This March a new exhibition commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising opens in the National Museum of Ireland. Exploring the ideals, reasons and consequences of the rebellion, the collection details the dramatic events of Easter week and the impact it had on Dublin and the Irish nation as a whole. A powerful and informative project, Proclaiming a Republic is not to be missed.

Easter Rising Centenary Visitor Centre

25 March, GPO, Dublin

The General Post Office (GPO) has launched a new Visitors Centre, which will open just in time for Easter Sunday. The museum brings 1916 to life with its interactive and immersive exhibition and visitors are sure to be captivated as they reimagine the sights and sounds of 1900’s Dublin. The extraordinary exhibition is suited to all ages from the curious, young international visitor to the well- informed history buff – there’s plenty to interest and engage individuals, families and touring groups.

Rebel Rebel

24 March, Draíocht, Dublin

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The critically-acclaimed play Rebel Rebel returns to Draíocht this March led by outstanding performances from Aisling O’Mara and Robbie O’Connor. The historical play centers on the eventful first hour of the 1916 Easter Rebellion when two Abbey Theatre actors – Helena Molony and Sean Connolly – attempted to take over Dublin Castle. The show culminates in an emotional finale, which sees a main character fatally shot by a sniper on the roof of City Hall.

1916 Rising Tours

1 March – onwards, Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Glasnevin Cemetary 3

This centenary year, Glasnevin Cemetery is hosting a new guided tour dedicated to the Easter Rising. The tour will take-in the graves of combatants and civilians involved in and affected by the 1916 Rising. Your expert guide will recall the dramatic events that shaped Ireland into how we know it today. Make sure to book the 14:30 tour to be in with a chance of catching the live re-enactment of Padraig Pearse’s graveside oration at Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral.

Imagining Home

March 28 – 3 April, National Concert Hall, Dublin

imagining home

Inspired by the 1916 Proclamation, Imagining Home speaks of Ireland’s cultural journey over the last 100 years, its place in the world today and its promising future. A collective of Irish artists, writers and performers will celebrate Ireland’s cultural revival with seven stunning shows at the National Concert Hall. One of the event’s major highlights is Glen Hansard’s sold-out performance as well as a traditional Irish music concert entitled Imaging Home: Out of the Tradition.

The Arts Council

Throughout 2016, Nationwide

As a response to the huge number of cultural events taking place in 2016, The Arts Council have put out an open call to all artists and organisations who wish to partake in Ireland’s cultural revival. So far, fans of Irish history can expect to see live performances by CoisCéim Dance Theatre in there mesmerising show These Rooms. The moving piece demonstrates the effects of conflict on ordinary people’s lives through the medium of dance. There’ll also be many other artistic installations and exhibitions featured throughout the capital and country, so make sure to check out their website.

Find your ideal hotel in Dublin here (£) and here (€) 

Cultural Events

Seachtain na Gaeilge

1-17 March, Nationwide

march events

Seachtain na Gaeilge is the biggest Irish language festival in the world and celebrates Ireland’s unique first language and proud culture. The festival runs each year from the beginning of March until St. Patrick’s Day and with countless events happening across the country, such as live traditional music, home-produced plays and Irish language classes, there’s lots of options available. Check out the Seachtain na Gaeilge website to find out what’s happening in your locale.

Dingle International Film Festival

17-20 March, Dingle, Kerry

march events

This March, the charming seaside town of Dingle transforms itself into a cinematic haven with the annual Dingle Film Festival. Showcasing projects from both domestic and international film-makers, the festival embraces the best in global cinema no matter what the genre. Renowned for featuring animated movies, the festival will host lots of workshops and masterclasses from the industry’s foremost artists and producers.

Find your ideal hotel in Dingle here (£) and here (€) 

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

18-20 March, Howth, Dublin

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A fun-filled family day out, the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival is the ideal way to round off the St. Patrick’s weekend. Held in the picturesque seaside village of Howth, the festival showcases the best in fresh Irish seafood with live cooking demonstrations from top chefs as well as providing live entertainment.

Find your ideal hotel in Dublin  here (£) and here (€) 


Are you going to one of our chosen events? Let us know in the comments below.