St. Patrick's Day on Achill Island
Details TBC St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on 17th March every year and is a national holiday in Ireland. More than that, it is an occasion celebrated by Irish people all over the world. But for traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day festivities there’s no place like Achill on the rugged west coast of Ireland. In many villages on Achill there is a tradition of pipe bands, and on St. Patrick’s Day these colourful and compelling bands play a central role in celebrations. From a 6am reveille, the bands march for most of the day – surely one of the longest St Patrick’s Day parades anywhere. For visitors, a thoroughly enjoyable day can be had following the Achill pipe bands, pausing for refreshments of course and taking time to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Achill Island. In the evening, traditional and modern entertainment is offered in many of the local hotels and pubs. 17th March – Traditional Achill pipe band marches, annually since 1882: The day starts off with "Reveiller" - the beating of the big drum to wake all the inhabitants in time to get ready for the big day. The various bands leave their villages at around 8am and march to St Patrick's Church Pollagh for 9am mass and then parade to Dookinella to play after 12 noon mass th 8.00am – Dooagh Pipe Band starts. Molly’s, Keel West. 8.00am – Keel Pipe Band starts. Minaun View Bar, Keel. 8.30am – Pollagh Pipe Band starts. Dooagh NS, Dooagh. 8.45am – Dookinella Pipe Band starts. Achill Head Hotel, Pollagh. 9.00am – Afreann Gaeilge (Mass in Irish). St. Patrick’s Church, Pollagh. 10am – all bands play. St. Patrick’s Church, Pollagh. 10.30am – begin march from Pollagh to Dookinella. 12noon – Mass @ Dookinella Church. 1pm – bands play individually, then collectively. Dookinella church. Bands then commence march back to their own villages.