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JUNE Roundup: Best of Irish 2020

Welcome to the June edition of The Best of Irish with St. Patrick’s Festival.

Here, we curate a collection of happenings and wonderful content for the month ahead, bringing you the ‘Best of Irish’ from Ireland and worldwide. Join us in celebrating what the Irish do best, from music, dance, theatre and storytelling, to community fundraising, tutorials, interviews and other interesting virtual things to do and enjoy. We hope you find something that interests you in our Best of Irish June roundup below.

SUNDAY, 31 MAY - Bord Bia Bloom at Home

The Bloom at Home campaign by Bord Bia, will encourage the Irish public to come together and celebrate Bloom from their own homes this June Bank Holiday weekend.

Bloom at Home will take place on Sunday, 31st of May with a schedule of talks and performances, from gardening panels to live cooking demonstrations, streamed on Bord Bia Bloom social media channels and their website.

Take part and find out more on the Bord Bia Bloom website.


FRIDAY, 05 JUNE - FRIDAY, 19 JUNE - National Concert Hall Live Stream Series

The NCH Live Stream Series is truly the best of Irish coming together to create something wonderful. The series will see four concerts live streamed from the National Concert Hall, Dublin stage starting Friday, 29 May with star of the international opera stage Tara Erraught and pianist Dearbhla Collins performing Songs of Comfort and Hope.

The June schedule is as follows:

  • 05 JUNE: Paul Noonan (8pm)

Paul Noonan is a Dublin based songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. He is best known as the frontman of the Irish group Bell X1 and as a solo artist and collaborator on various musical projects including Printer Clips, Starboard Home, and Imagining Ireland: 21st Century Song.

  • 12 JUNE: Lisa O'Neill (8pm)

Lisa O’Neill is a songwriter like no other. Her roots may be sourced in folk and traditional music but her work opens up a landscape beyond any settled sense of genre. On her last album, Heard a long gone song, she sets her remarkable incisive voice against impressionistic instrumental back-drops, like Margaret Barry colluding with the Dirty Three or some such meeting of minds.

  • 19 JUNE: Barry Douglas (8pm)

Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage whilst also maintaining a busy international touring schedule.

All concerts will be available worldwide to view on NCH YouTube channel, Facebook and RTE.ie. Join the conversation on Twitter at 7.30pm with #NCHLIVE before each concert, where broadcaster John Kelly will take over the @NCH_Music account for live discussion.


SUPPORT LOCAL - Saint Patrick's Plate

Something different for this month’s Best of Irish roundup - a recipe book by Terry McCoy of Saint Patrick's Plate. This book is an attempt to imagine the recipes that would have been used in the 5th century as St. Patrick and his followers traversed Ireland.

What we do know about food and cooking from St. Patrick’s time is that it was healthy, high in energy values, and free from modern methods of preservation and extension of shelf life.There are over 60 recipes in Saint Patrick’s Plate and there is something for everyone – from first time cooks to more accomplished chefs who want to add to their repertoires.

Recipes include fabulous seafood dishes, tasty snacks and starters, mouth-watering desserts, as well as homemade stocks, pasta, jams, cheese, wine, beer, gin and much more.

You can learn more about Saint Patrick's Plate and purchase the book on the website.


THURSDAY, 11 - TUESDAY, 16 JUNE - Bloomsday Festival

The Bloomsday Festival is a world famous literary carnival in honour of James Joyce and his famous novel Ulysses that was set in Dublin on 16 June 1904. This year’s festival is going to be hugely different due to the pandemic but the organisers promise that fun will still be had.

Like James Joyce, we will all have Dublin ‘written on our hearts’ and this year will experience a journey across Dublin from our own homes. This year’s festival programme offers an inspiring digital trail of discovery across Joyce’s Dublin and the places immortalised in Ulysses. Festival events range from readings, lectures, children’s activity books, maps, Joyce on film, recipes, fashion tips, poetry, theatre and music. A perfect encapsulation of what the Best of Irish is all about.

Go to their website for further updates and stay tuned on their socials.


CONTENT: Virtual Tours of Ireland

Conde Nast Traveller made a list of their top picks for virtual tours of Ireland. Starting in Northern Ireland, the list makes its way through the island exploring landmarks in places from Cork to Mayo. Fairytale castles, endless natural beauty and charming galleries can all be explored from the comfort of your couch.

*Spoiler: They have the Cliffs of Moher on that list and it has to be our favourite, it's simply so impressive. Check out the sunset over one of Ireland's most loved and treasured natural landmarks in this virtual tour here.


SATURDAY, 13 JUNE - Cruinniú na nÓg / National Day of Free Creative Activity for Young People

Cruinniú na nÓg is Ireland's national day of free creativity for children and young people. This year they are doing things differently and everything is going online, but everything you will need for a fantastic day of creativity is available on their website; from making your own video game, to having a céilí in your kitchen and from learning how to make a real kite to making up fabulous stories about one of Ireland's Great Lighthouses.

The best part about this online selection of events, is the ability to filter by age range and location. The team have done an amazing job of catering to a huge range of young humans. Don't wait until 13 June, get started now...Cruinniú na nÓg 2020 is going to be a colourful and beautiful day across Ireland.

Supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht and Creative Ireland, in partnership with the 31 Local Authorities and supported by RTÉ.

Link to Creative Ireland Event Listings

SATURDAY, 20 JUNE - Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, marked by the sun reaching its highest position in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere. In pagan times, this time of year in Ireland was tied to agriculture and the celebration of summer's arrival, bringing ease and success to growing crops after tough winters.

The Summer Solstice has brought society closer to nature for centuries, helping us to further understand the environment and the Earth itself. The Hill of Tara in Co. Meath (pictured below) has deep links to Irish heritage and folklore and is a popular location to celebrate the solstice in normal circumstances.

If we find any virtual celebrations of Summer Solstice 2020 in Ireland, we will add it here, so be sure to check back! If not, enjoy the longest day of the year in your own way, and feel free to share it with us on Instagram (@stpatricksfestival) by tagging #SPFBestofIrish.


THURSDAY, 18 - SUNDAY, 28 JUNE - Dublin Pride Festival

Just like the St. Patrick's Festival Parade, we won’t be able to get together on a rainbow coloured O’Connell Street for Pride 2020 celebrations… but that won’t stop the island of Ireland coming together to support one another.

Dublin Pride is the largest fundraising event of the year for many LGBTI+ community organisations and charities in Ireland, so, they will still be going ahead in June to host the first Digital Dublin Pride Festival with a fully interactive virtual Pride Parade and a Pride Concert.

Throughout the 18-28 June period, Dublin Pride Festival will host a number of online events of their own and promote events run by other organisations too. These will include virtual walking tours, talks, exhibitions, Geillí and more.

  • Global Pride 2020 – Saturday, 27 June

Dublin Pride will join hundreds of Prides around the world for a 24 hour Global Pride event.

  • Virtual Pride Parade – Sunday, 28 June

Interactive Pride Parade compared live by Paul Ryder and Eddie McGuinness. The parade will be a mix of submissions from the various LGBT+ community organisations and partners who normally take part as well as pre-recordings & live submissions from the public. Want to get involved? Email parade@dublinpride.ie.

  • Dublin Pride Concert – Sunday, 28 June

Tune in to the Dublin Pride concert as they bring the traditional post-parade main stage concert, direct to your own home. They have some special guest performers ready to entertain you, so why not have a viewing party with the people you live with?

Buildings will still light up for Pride, flags will be flying high across the city and our community will still be there to support each other. Pride isn’t cancelled, they're just bringing it home.

Full details about what's on for Dublin Pride Festival 2020 on the website.

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Know about something happening in July that deserves to be on our Best of Irish list? Submit your event/ content that will be available online in July by filling out the Best of Irish Event Submission form here.