Parallel's Alternative Guide To St Patrick's Day


Whenever 17 March rolls around in Dublin, the streets come to life in a sea of shamrocks and green attire.

Revisit 1980s Dublin with John Carney’s Sing Street at the Irish Film Institute

Dublin-born filmmaker John Carney (of Begin Again fame) has a treat in store on Saturday 18 March. He’ll be at the Irish Film Institute presenting a special screening of Sing Street, a comedy described as a pitch-perfect reconstruction of Dublin teen life in the 1980s. It’s about a boy who forms a band to attract an older woman whom he hopes will star in his band’s music videos. Cue hilarious 80s jackets, pearls and OTT eyeliner. Carney will be joined on stage by cast members to answer all your burning questions about 1980s Dublin. Book tickets here.

Head to the Look-See RUN for some fun on 18 March

Turns out five Euros can buy you tons of fun during St Patrick’s Day. The Look-See RUN, which starts at Hugh Lane Gallery at 6.30pm on 18 March, isn’t for health conscious or sporty types at all. In fact, you don’t even have to run. It’s described as “a performance that is also a walk, that is sometimes a talk, and we might have to run”. Take your friends. Or go by yourself. You’ll meet all sorts of people and you’re guaranteed to experience the city of Dublin as never before. It’s also for a good cause: all proceeds are donated to Bradóg Regional Youth Service. Grab your tickets here.

Experience the BoNs Synth Ensemble at St Patrick’s Cathedral on 19 March

Three days into the festivities, you might want to tone things down a bit. But only a bit. The soothing sounds of the BoNs Synth Ensemble should do the trick. Performing Rounds, in the atmospheric St Patrick’s Cathedral, multi-instrumentalist, producer and synth wizard Glenn P Keating will utilise sound and light in his specially curated composition inspired by the cathedral’s bell-ringing traditions. The most exciting thing about it? You can get involved too. Audience members will be able to participate via a customised app. Going to church has never sounded so appealing, huh?

Visit The Irish Beer and Whiskey Village

This year, the Irish Beer & Whiskey Village is open from the 16th to the 19th, so you’ll have no problem cramming in a few jars in between the cultural shenanigans. Located in Hall 1 at RDS, there will be beer and whiskey, of course, but also cider, food, live music and DJs. It’s also probably the best place in the city to scream at a massive screen showing the Ireland v Scotland game on Saturday 19 March. An added bonus: ticket prices include a festival pint glass, so you’ll never forget how much fun you had. Details here.

Attend a Special Free Screening of documentary Older Than Ireland

At 2pm on the Saturday, there’s a special screening of Older than Ireland at the National Gallery of Ireland. The landmark documentary tells the story of 100 years of a life as seen through the eyes of thirty Irish centenarians. In other words, it features thirty men and women who are literally older than the independent republic of Ireland. The characters recount their often-hilarious anecdotes about their live stories, from their birth during Irish independence and the revolts against British rule to their lives as centenarians in modern day Ireland. Oh, and it’s free! Just make sure you book your ticket ASAP to avoid disappointment.