St Patrick’s Day, celebrated every year on 17 March, sees people from all over the world coming to Ireland to experience one of the most unique and widely-celebrated national holidays on earth.
Countless cities around the world host a St Patrick's day celebration in one form or another, but to experience the festival in its spiritual birth nation is high on many bucket lists.
St Patrick's Day (or Paddy’s Day as the locals call it) is a celebration of all that is green and over the course of the weekend many are united in wearing that colour — whether Irish or not. There are strong social traditions around the festival and it's a time when venues come alive with traditional Irish music and dancing, and parades big and small hit the streets.
The St Patrick's Day festivities might be world-renowned but much of what makes that March weekend so special can be experienced all year around. The essence of St Patrick's Day is a great starting point for any meeting, incentive, conference or event held in Dublin, Cork, Galway or beyond — here are five ways to bring that festival magic to your delegates in Ireland whatever the season.
Experience an authentic taste of Ireland at Ballyknocken House
Beautiful Ballyknocken House & Cookery School is nestled deep in Wicklow, Ireland's garden county. It offers a full range of authentically Irish experiences, all set against the picturesque backdrop of this charming farm and guesthouse. It's home to celebrity chef and award-winning food writer Catherine Fulvio, who prides herself on continuing family traditions that span over one hundred years.
This St Patrick's weekend, she'll welcome groups from around the world to Ballyknocken to share her love for Irish food and show incentive groups how to craft delicious homemade scones, become master barbecuers and make Irish coffee liquers. Groups can also explore the romance of farm life, with sheep herding, butter making and turf stacking sessions all available.
An impressive range of conference facilities are all availabe for MICE planners to choose from, while the traditional barn plays host to a sumptous feast in the evenings — with music and dancing to complete the adventure.
Spark some team bonding at an Irish hooley
The Johnnie Fox's Hooley Show is an authentic slice of Irish culture, with an atmosphere guaranteed to break the ice and inspire some St Patrick's weekend revelry. Guests are treated to a four-course meal featuring award-winning seafood dishes, followed by a live music session where top acts play lively Irish music, ranging from traditional and folk, to ballads and sing along pieces.
Celebrate Irish crafts
A breathtaking vista of exposed limestone pavement, the Burren is located in northwestern County Clare. The word “Burren” comes from an Irish word “Boíreann”, meaning a rocky place, a name that will make sense to anyone who sets eyes on the rugged karst landscape.
A visit to the Burren Perfumery is a memorable stop on any St Patrick's weekend itinerary. Comprising a Blending Room, Herb Garden and Tea Rooms, this Irish family-run business will charm any delegate group or incentive participants with its carefully crafted products, inspired by the landscape of the Burren, and locally-minded ethos.
Gala dinner event in St Patrick's Cathedral
An architectural marvel and 800-year-old Gothic masterpiece in its own right, the tallest and largest church in Ireland, (named after the nation's eponymous Saint) is high on any visitor's itinerary. The unique setting of St Patrick's Cathedral makes it an incredible venue for a spectacular gala dinner or history-soaked cocktail reception, designed to surprise and delight delegates from around the world.
Conferences at St Patrick’s Campus, Dublin City University
Ireland contains a wealth of prestigious universities, tailormade for global conferences. St Patrick’s College in
Drumcondra is one of the oldest third-level educational institutions in Ireland and also boasts impressive conference facilities. It's just one of three picturesque campuses that form part of Dublin City University, each with their own unique charm. There are 40 plenary rooms for 100 to 2,500 delegates and over 150 flexible breakout rooms, offering plenty of options for any conference or event.
To find out more about how you can bring the day alive for your next international meeting or conference in Ireland, contact the Meet in Ireland Team.