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St Patrick's Day, Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland

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St Patrick's Day on Achill Island, Ireland

A traditional St. Patrick's Day celebration

Pollagh band passes The Crossroads pub, Dookinella. St. Patricks Day, Achill 2003St. 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.

Click any image for full size picture

Dookinella band arriving at the church. St. Patricks Day, Achill 2003In 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.

St. Patrick's Day Pipe Band Festival 2013
Times (approximate) and locations for the bands:

Dooagh, 8.30am
Dooagh Pipe Band sets off for Pollagh

Pollagh Church, 9am
Mass in Irish

Pollagh Church, 10am (approx.)
Bands from Dooagh, Pollagh and Keel play outside the church before marching in formation to Keel

Keel Lake, 11.30 (approx)
Dookinella band march to Dookinella crossroads

Dookinella crossroads, 11.50 (approx)
Bands from Dookinella, Dooagh, Keel and Pollagh converge and march to church for 12 noon mass

Dookinella Church, 1pm (approx)
All four bands play outside church

Dookinella crossroads, 1.30pm (approx)
Bands from Dooagh, Keel and Pollagh set off back to Keel. Dookinella band remains.

Minaun Bar, Keel, 2pm
Bands from Dooagh and Pollagh set off for Pollagh, Keel band remains.

Achill Head Hotel, Pollagh, 2.30 - 3pm
Dooagh band continues towards Dooagh, Pollagh band remains before marching through Pollagh village.

Wave Crest Hotel, Dooagh, 3.30 - 4pm
Dooagh band take break before continuing through Dooagh village

Gielty's, Dooagh, 6pm
Dooagh band arrive and play in car park

Useful Links:

Special Offers on accommodation for St. Patrick's Day weekend

Where to eat on Achill Island

Maps and travel information for Achill

Events Guide for Achill (weekly)


More YouTube videos of St. Patrick's Day on Achill Island:

Dookinella Pipe Band and school band arrive at Dookinella church, 2011

Keel Pipe Band arrives at Pollagh church, 2011

Pollagh Pipe Band arrives at Pollagh church, 2011

More Images: Click on an image below for full version:

Dooagh NS children's band playing at Dookinella. St. Patricks Day, Achill 2003  Dookinella childrens band playing at Dookinella. St. Patricks Day, Achill 2003

Keel band arrives at Dookinella. St. Patricks Day, Achill 2003  Dooagh band with Minuan cliffs in background. St. Patricks Day, Achill 2003


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