What’s on in West Cork this Patrick’s Weekend?

March 15th, 2023 11:45 AM

Celebrating St Patrick's Day at Bandon Bridge National School in 2021 were Luke Muyiji and Michael Mitras. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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Looking for something to do this St Patrick's weekend in West Cork? We have everything you need to know ahead of the festivities


The Ballydehob St Patrick’s Day Parade will start at 1pm. Organised by the Ballydehob Area Community Council, prizes will be awarded for floats that are the most colourful and creative, the most humorous and topical, the most sustainable and the best vintage/traditional.

For further details contact [email protected] 

Laura Dunne in jubilant mood at the St Patrick's Day Parade in Schull last year. (Photo: Carlos Benlayo)


The Baltimore St Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 12pm with prizes for the best eco green float, the best maritime float, best newcomer float and best overall float.


The Bandon parade starts at 2.30pm with floats assembling in St Patrick’s Church car park. As always the day promises to be a fun filled day for all ages. With many local groups and clubs participating, the parade is an opportunity to celebrate all the achievements and accomplishments of local groups and individuals. 

A number of vintage groups will also be participating, and there will be plenty of free events for children, including balloon modelling, face painting and other treats. 


Each year the town of Bantry ‘Goes Green’ to celebrate St Patrick.  Ahead of the parade there will be Irish dancing in the Square from 12.15pm with Scoil Rince Carney. The parade will start at 12.45pm from the Square and will be led by grand marshal Hazel Vickery and the Ballingeary Pipe Band. Bantry Market will run from 9am to 5pm on the day.  On Saturday March 18th there will be a Leprechaun Family Walk on the grounds of the West Lodge Hotel from 11am. There will be live music in venues throughout the town over the course of the weekend.

Ballingeary Pipe Band leading the St Patrick's Day parade through Bantry last year. (Photo: Evan Doak)


Castletownbere St Patrick’s Day Parade starts at 3pm and will be led by piper Etienne Baranger. The parade will follow the usual route through the town to the West End before heading back to the viewing stand in the Square. Ahead of the parade, Bere Island Community Radio will be broadcasting live in the Square from 11am to 1pm on 100.1FM, and there will be live music in the square with Aoife O’Neill from 2.30pm. Following the parade there will be a display of Irish Dancing from Scoil Rince Carney.

Rua, Doire and Niamh Murphy enjoying the Catletownbere St Patrick's Day parade in 2022. (Photo: Anne Marie Cronin)


The Clonakility St Patrick’s Day parade will start at 2pm from the Imperial Hotel. Sponsored by Clonakilty Credit Union, the theme of this year’s parade is Cool Clon/Climate Change. The parade will be led by the Cork Butter Exchange Brass and Reed Band and the Clonakilty Brass Band will provide street entertainment. Following the parade trad sessions will take place in various pubs and hotels across the town.


A fantastic 52 years after their first St Patrick’s Day Parade, Coppeen Community Council’s 2023 event promises to be a great day for all ages. Local man Mick O’Callaghan, flamboyant winner of the recent highly successful Diarmuid Ó Mathúna GAA LipSync Battle event will perform the official opening. The Parade begins at 3pm in Coppeen Village with local schoolchildren, clubs and groups taking part. Following the parade will be the official opening ceremony with special guests and public representatives followed by a feast of traditional music and dance, bowl pitching, children’s sports and games, horseshoe pitching, the long shot, and much more.


Courtmacsherry is celebrating St Patrick’s Day with a land and sea parade. The sea parade starts at 4pm with the land parade taking place at 4.30pm. The parade will be led by the Butter Exchange Brass and Reed Band. Earlier in the day a bilingual Mass will be celebrated at 10.00am at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Barryroe. A bowl of shamrock will be blessed and available for all to take home. 


Dunmanway is planning a great family fun day to mark St Patrick’s Day. The theme of the town’s parade is Irish Folklore, and it will start at 1pm from St Patrick’s Church, heading up the main street to the market square. There will be an autism- friendly stretch from CoAction to SuperValu where the noise levels will be kept to a minimum to allow everyone to enjoy the parade. Following the parade there will be family fun and games including a cream cracker eating contest, a ball race down St Mary’s Hill, golden ticket duck fishing and much more with great prizes sponsored by local businesses. The prizes for the different categories in the parade are sponsored by ‘Tar Isteach’ charity shop. 

Dunmanway's Conor Cahalane and Johnny Deane getting into the spirit of things for St Patrick's Day in 2021.


Inchigeelagh residents are celebrating the St Patrick’s festivities with a pop-up Gaeltacht event in Creedon’s Hotel on March 16th, and on March 17th there will be bingo in the parish hall, and music with Jack Healy in Creedon’s Hotel. The festivities continue throughout the weekend with music by Paudy Hourihane in Creedon’s Hotel on March 18th, and on March 19th there will be a tea dance in the parish hall from 3pm to 5pm followed by cards at 8.30pm. 


The much-loved Kinsale St. Patrick’s maritime parade is back this year and there’s sure to be plenty of fun and excitement. This beautiful boat parade and light display is a unique way to spend the eve of St Patrick’s Day with family and friends.

Kinsale harbour, March 16th, 7.30pm to 10pm.

Organisers of the St Patrick’s Day parade in Kinsale are thrilled to announce it is back this year to spread joy on our national holiday! As ever this super event features familiar faces on incredibly designed floats and is a great day out for all the family. March 17th, Pearse St, Kinsale, 3pm to 5pm.


After four long years, the organisers of the Kealkil St Patrick’s day parade are delighted to announce that it’s back with a bang. Entertainment starts at 2pm with music and dancing and the main event kicks off at 3pm. As always, there will be an array of floats, vintage vehicles, entries from local schools and sports clubs and much more, and an outdoor food truck on site as well. Anyone who has a vintage vehicle is invited to participate, for details contact [email protected]


Organisers of the Macroom St Patrick’s Day Festival are busy preparing for this year’s festivities, which will see the town’s first parade since the opening of the new N22 bypass in December. With organisers promising a parade to remember, they are also getting set to welcome the return of some familiar faces from across the pond.

The Philadelphian Woodland String Band will return to the Cork town for the first time since 2020 after the pandemic put an abrupt halt to their plans on arriving in Ireland.

The town of Macroom is expecting over 120 visitors from Philadelphia who will march through the town, while 30 members of the Woodland String Band dressed in Latin-themed costumes will perform along the streets.  Macroom has a week-long programme of events starting on Saturday March 11th with the Flower of Macroom contest taking place in the Castle Hotel.

All contestants will be presented and interviewed by Alf McCarthy (formerly of RTÉ) and the winner will receive a cheque for €500 and will have the honour of being the Grand Marshal of the 2023 St Patrick’s Day Parade.

On Monday March 13th, a 70’s theme party will take place in the Castle Hotel at 8.00pm and everyone is invited to dress up in their finest 70s style clothing.

On Wednesday March 15th there’s a Karaoke contest followed by traditional music with The Pile at the Castle Hotel and on Thursday March 16th The Woodland String Band will entertain the students of St Colman’s National School and St Joseph’s National School.

On the big day itself, Friday March 17th, there will be a St Patrick’s Day Mass at St Colman’s Church at 11.00am and the parade will start at 3.30pm from St. Colman’s Park, followed by music in local bars afterwards. 


The St Patrick’s Day parade in Schull starts at 2.30pm. Cllr Caroline Cronin will be the grand marshal along with new members of the Schull community.  The theme for this year’s parade is ‘Failte’ so it is apt that some of the newest ‘incomers’ should be included. Entries for the parade on the day and floats to gather by 1.45pm at the Garda Barracks. This is always a great day with everyone on the street – wear the green and come for the craic! More information available from Deirdre Quinlan on 086 052 9618 or Con O’Sullivan on 086 894 4916.


The theme of this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Skibbereen is Celebrating All Nations. The parade starts at 3pm and everyone is encouraged everyone to join in the fun on the afternoon and celebrate the national holiday, whilst at the same time recognising and celebrating all the other wonderful nations that make up the local community. The overall winner of the parade will be awarded the Julia Hickey Memorial Trophy with other cash prizes on the day too including ones for best dressed window. The route will start from the Children’s Playground on the Cork Road, continuing along North Street, before turning right into Main St, past the viewing platform on the Bridge and will finish in the Fairfield/Old Mart Car Park. 

Myles, Iris and Nicola Sheehan having a colourful time at last year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Skibbereen. (Photo: Anne Minihane)

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