What's New in Ireland ....

June 2005: Bloomsday, June 16th, is celebrated in many places around the world, but most famously in Dublin. James Joyce’s novel Ulysses was set on one day, June 16, 1904, in Dublin City. Fans gather every year in Dublin for a week-long celebration and festivities. They don traditional dress and visit the locations of events in the novel, participate in readings, reenactments of events, and retrace Leopold Bloom’s fictional journey on June 16.

July 2005: Over 300,000 spectators came from all over Ireland to the Port of Waterford to view 86 tall ships representing 21 countries at this year’s Tall Ships Race. In an effort to minimize traffic congestion near the port, spectators were bused into the area. The festival began with live music and parades on Wednesday and Thursday, continued with dramatic fireworks on Friday night, and culminated with the Parade of Sail down the River Suir on Saturday.

August 2005: The small village of Feakle in County Clare was alive with the sounds of traditional music in the form of jigs, reels, hornpipes, and airs as professional and amateur musicians crowded into the four pubs of Feakle to celebrate the 18th annual International Traditional Music Festival. Thousands of people arrived to play or just listen to the sounds of fiddles, flutes, tin whistles, concertinas, guitars, mandolins, and of course, the goat-skin drum called the bodhran. It was a great opportunity for amateurs to play along side of professionals as well as to learn new musical techniques and meet fellow musicians from around the world.

September 2005: Liffey Voyage has launched a new cruise service on the River Liffey in Dublin. The voyage, which lasts about 45 minutes, goes from Bachelors Walk to the Point and return, and affords a view of many old city buildings and historical sites not usually seen by visitors. The boat, which is Swedish made, seats 48 inside, but here is no outside seating as the boat sits very low in the water. The cruise service will offer six trips a day beginning at about 10 a.m. There is a ticket booth at Bachelors Walk.

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