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IRELAND’S TOP 20 EVENTS

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We round up the unmissable events taking place in 2019.

WEST LIFE

SSE Arena, Belfast, May 22-23, 25–27 / Croke Park, Dublin, July 5-6

After breaking millions of hearts in

2011 with the announceme­nt that Ireland’s biggest boyband was to split, late last year Kian, Shane, Nicky and Mark broke the news of their return to action for their 20th anniversar­y. Demand for tickets to see the re-united pop-stars has been so high that extra dates were added in Dublin and Belfast, including another stadium date at the mighty Croker.

SPICE GIRLS

Croke Park, Dublin, May 24

Scary, Baby, Sporty and Ginger are set to make history by becoming the rst ever girl group to grace the stage at Croke Park. Demand was so high for the ’90s sensations, who last played Ireland 21 years ago, that all tickets for the 82,000 capacity stadium were snapped up within two hours. The tour marks the rst time the girls will be back together since they appeared at the 2012 London Olympics.

METALLICA AT SL ANE

Slane Castle, Meath, June 8

Rejoice heavy metal fans! Following a long 10-year wait, and a spate of leaks and rumours about their possible return to Ireland, Metallica have con rmed that they will play at Slane Castle in 2019. Metallica’s European Tour will run from May to August next year, and no doubt Slane will be one of their key dates.

LIVE AT THE MARQUEE

Cork City, June 8 – July 8

Always guaranteed to bring the best of music and comedy to the Rebel County, this year’s Live At The Marquee will be airing out the tent for a selection of Irish heroes, including Aslan, Versatile, Jenny Greene & The RTE Concert Orchestra, Christy Moore and Tommy Tiernan. They’re joined by internatio­nal superstars Kris Kristoffer­son, David Gray, Toto and BROS.

FLEET WOOD MAC RDS, Dublin, June 13

They may have gained back the affections and inimitable croon of Christine McVie, but 2018 saw the

Mac on the outs with iconic guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Tom Petty & The Heartbreak­ers guitarist Mike Campbell and Split Enz and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn have been subbed in to ll out the sound, which sounds like an enticing propositio­n to us! This is sure to be one of the live highlights of 2019.

MUMFORD & SONS

Malahide Castle, Dublin, June 14 & 15 Last November, London folk-rockers Mumford & Sons released their acclaimed fourth album, Delta. It found the band debuting at number 1 in the US for the third time in the row. This summer sees them back to live action with their Gentlemen Of The Road tour, including two dates at Malahide Castle with Dermot Kennedy, Wild Youth and AURORA.

HOZIER

Independen­t Park, Cork, June 25 / Belsonic, Belfast, June 27

Having stormed to the top of the charts in both Ireland and the US with his incredible new album Wasteland, Baby!,

Hozier is about to embark on a massive sold-out US tour. That trek will take him right up to June, when he returns to the homeland for hotly anticipate­d dates at Independen­t Park in Cork (with rising star Sigrid), and Belfast’s Belsonic festival.

TRINITY SUMMER SERIES Trinity College, Dublin, July 1-7

The city centre spectacula­r has burst out of the gates with a mouthwater­ing lineup for 2019. The Modfather himself, Paul Weller, will be strutting his stuff on the cricket pitch on July 4. Elsewhere, Kelly Jones and The Stereophon­ics are back on our shores on July 6, as are electro-legends New Order on July 7. The bill is rounded out with appearance­s from the electrifyi­ng Janelle Monae (3), Foals (2) and Vampire Weekend (1).

BOB DYL AN AND NEIL YOUNG Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, July 14

Two of music’s most legendary performers are Ireland bound for an incredible one-off double bill in the sunny south east. Icons of the 1960s folk revival, Dylan and Young have determined­ly ploughed their own furrow in the years since, rarely letting fans achieve a steady grip on their mercurial talent while still releasing beloved albums.

BURT BACHARACH

Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, July 20 / Big Top, Galway, Galway July 22

Recipient of three Academy Awards and eight Grammys, Burt Bacharach revolution­ised the music of the 1950s and ’60s. Renowned for hits such as ‘The Look Of Love’, ‘I Say A Little Prayer’ and‘ Walk On By ’, his songs have been recorded by legendary

singers such as Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin.

GALWAY RACES Galway Racecourse, July 29–August 4

Surely one of the greatest race meetings in the world, the famous Galway Races Summer Festival boasts seven days of superb racing, hospitalit­y, entertainm­ent, stunning fashion and an electric atmosphere. Returning for its 150th year in 2019, whether you fancy a utter or are just there for the glamour, there’s plenty for all at the festival, including Ladies Day, Super Saturday and the Mad Hatter’s Competitio­n.

DUBLIN HORSE SHOW

RDS, Dublin, August 7-11

This summer highlight has become an Irish institutio­n, ever since it was rst held in

1864. A celebratio­n of Ireland’s af nity with all things equine, from the nest show horses to the best internatio­nal showjumper­s, it effortless­ly combines sport, style and socialisin­g in a ne setting. It’s also one of Ireland’s largest events, each year welcoming tens of thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world.

FLEADH C HEOIL

August 11-18 – Drogheda, Co. Louth

The 2019 Fleadh Cheoil promises another week-long jamboree of music, song and dance. In recent years the numbers have grown signi cantly, with in excess of 250,000 ocking to the 2012 Fleadhanna in Cavan, and a staggering 500,000 attending the Drogheda event in 2018. This year sees the festival returning to Drogheda, for what’s sure to be one of the summer’s major highlights.

ALL -IREL AND HURLING FINAL Croke Park, Dublin, August 18

Limerick narrowly ended a 45-year drought against defending champions Galway in

2019, and John Kiely’s men brought the Liam MacCarthy Cup back to the Treaty City for the rst time since 1973. While Limerick will be eager to make it two-in-a-row, Galway remain the favourites to stage a comeback in this year’s tournament, and with the round robin format rmly embedded since last year, we’re sure to see the provincial competitio­n reach fever pitch in 2019.

Belfast Vital, August 19 / RDS, Dublin, August 21 Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shi ett, Pat Smear and Rami Jaffee kicked off 2018 by playing an Australian/New Zealand stadium tour followed by sell-out shows at some of the world’s biggest music venues, including Madison Square Garden, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and London Stadium. Now the ‘Best Of You’ singers have announced two Irish dates, one at the RDS Dublin and another headlining the Vital Festival in Belfast at Boucher Road.

THE ROSE OF TRALEE

INTERNATIO­NAL FESTIVAL Tralee, Kerry, August 23–27

With contestant­s from all over the world competing for the coveted title, The Rose Of Tralee – celebratin­g its diamond jubilee this year – has become one of the most renowned Irish festivals. The cultural phenomenon takes over the small town of Tralee during the run-up to the televised event and includes three Rose Parades, live concerts, huge reworks displays and much more, in addition to the Gala Rose Ball at the Rose Dome.

ALL- IRELAND FOOTBALL FINAL Croke Park, Dublin, September 1

Dublin are aiming for an unpreceden­ted

fth successive All Ireland Senior Football Championsh­ip, and all eyes will be on Croke Park for what might be a truly historic nal. Standing in their way are old foes Mayo and an in-form Kerry side who have beaten all and sundry in the Allianz League, including a razor thin one-point victory over Dublin in Tralee. The competitio­n was thrown wide open on St. Patrick’s Weekend, when Dublin made a shock exit from the Allianz League, bested by Tyrone at Croke Park – which added further intrigue to a keenly awaited football championsh­ip.

IREL AND V SWITZERL AND

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, September 5

With Captain Fantastic back at the helm, and with the guarantee that at least two Euro 2020 matches will be played on home turf at the Aviva, all eyes will be on the boys in green for this autumn clash with the Swiss. Fingers crossed that Euro 2016 talisman, striker Shane Long, will be back in the squad following his bout with injury.

GUINNESS SUMMER SERIES: IREL AND V WALES

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, September 7

The Rugby World Cup in Tokyo is just around the corner, and with the taste of bitter defeat at the hands of the Welsh during the Six Nations still fresh in the memory, Joe Schmidt and the boys will be looking for a solid victory on home soil. The Welsh were unstoppabl­e at the Millennium Stadium, their 25-point tally very nearly going unanswered. Whichever way this Summer Series match swings, the victor will set themselves apart as ones to watch in Japan.

PLOUGHIN G C HAMPIONSHI­PS Fenagh, Co. Carlow, September 17-19

Ever since it was conceived back in 1931, the National Ploughing Championsh­ips have combined heritage and a keen competitiv­e edge. In the 21st century, the championsh­ips are no longer just for ploughing or machinery enthusiast­s. There’s also a tented trade village, a food fair, craft village, livestock, forestry and education events. Plus fashion, a motor show, and much, much more!

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VERSATILE
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METALLICA
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DUBLIN HORSE SHOW
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SPICE GIRLS

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