What’s on this May? The Best Events around the Irish Coast

With the May Bank Holiday weekend coming up and the start of the summer festival season on the horizon, there are lots of reasons to be excited about the month ahead –  especially if we get another blast of that warm weather!

Here are our top picks of events this month:

1. May the Fourth festival – Wild Atlantic Way, Donegal & Kerry | 3rd – 5th May

Grab your lightsaber and get ready for the May the Fourth festival. The 4th of May has become a particularly notable day for sci-fi lovers around the globe and this year to celebrate Star Wars its spiritual home in the west will be holding a special festival.

There will be three days of fun-filled family events to unleash your inner Jedi and experience the best of the Wild Atlantic Way. With film screening, scenic tours, guided walks, exhibitions and much much more this is definitely a weekend not to miss!

May the Fourth Festival – Find out more here

2. Shine a Light on Summer | 3rd – 6th May

Shine a Light on Summer Festival takes place this May Bank Holiday weekend at five of Ireland’s great lighthouses. Visit Fanad Head in the wilds of Donegal, Hook the world’s oldest working lighthouse in Wexford, the majestic Loop Head in Clare and on the islands of Rathlin in the north and Valentia in the south-west. Meet fascinating lighthouse Storykeepers.

Enjoy their tales of maritime marvels and nature’s wonder, of heroic feats and the light-keeping life. Discover crafts and traditions of times past and learn about modern coastal technology too.

Shine a Light on Summer – Find out more here

3. Riverfest Limerick | 3rd – 6th May

Limerick will be rocking with this festival, so much for for families, foodies, fun runners and watersport enthusiasts to do!

Highlights of the festival include Riverfest on the Shannon, the Riverfest BBQ Competition, the Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park, Regeneron Great Limerick Run and a spectacular fireworks display.

Riverfest Limerick – Find out more here

4. Hike to the Hook | 4th May

Join the annual Hike to the Hook, a 20km road walk along one of Ireland’s most scenic routes, it will start out from the majestic Tintern Abbey and end at the world-famous Hook Lighthouse.

Proceeds from Hike to the Hook 2019 will be shared between Hook Tourism, Fethard on Sea RNLI and Tintern Trails.

Hike to the Hook – Find out more here

5. Rosslare Harbour Coastal Run/Walk | 5th May Rosslare Harbour

This event in aid of the Rosslare Lifeboat has two options to compete in a 5k and a 16k. Walk, jog or run this lovely coastal route with friends and family all for a fantastic cause. Register in the day – Adults €10, teenagers €5 and kids are free.

Rosslare Harbour Coastal Run/Walk – Find out more here

6. Shore Explorers, Galway  | 6th May

Celebrating European Marine Month, Galway Atlantaquaria, Marine Dimensions and The Explorers Education Programme are hosting a series of public events to create awareness of life underwater.
The first event ‘SHORE EXPLORERS’, on the 6th of May looks at the diversity of life in Rockpools.

Join the Galway Atlantaquaria Aquarists on Grattan beach, Salthill as they take the public on a guided tour of the beach and shore. Learn about seaweed, crabs and a host of fish species that exist in the bay and the small steps we can take to keep them safe. Shore Explorers starts on the 6th of May at 11 am.

Shore Explorers – Find out more here

7. Dublin Bay Prawn Festival | 17th – 19th May

Howth has tons of great restaurants that participate and they have a stacked programme of events with loads of stalls and family entertainment. Whatever way you like your prawns – Howth’s many award-winning restaurants will serve your favourite prawn dishes in bite-sized portions at the food village of this year’s Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, in addition to a variety of other fish and chip and luxury lobster dishes. In such a picturesque setting, make sure to get a cliff walk in as well!

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival – Find out more here

8. National Biodiversity Week, all around Ireland | 18th – 26th May

Over the course of nine days, from 18th – 26th May 2019, over 50 free, family-friendly events will be taking place all over Ireland celebrating our diverse species and habitats.

National Biodiversity Week – Find out more here

9. Baltimore Wooden Boat & Seafood Festival, Cork  | 24th – 26th May

Summer is truly here and where better to spend a few days that Baltimore, West Cork, truly one of the best places in Ireland, and a fantastic spot for a festival, or two! The Baltimore Seafood festival is held in conjunction with the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival, making this one of the most festive weekends of the year.

Visitors have the opportunity to sample some of the best of the fish and shellfish from the seas off Baltimore while celebrating the traditional timber sailing boats of Ireland.  This is not to be missed for all seafood and boat lovers out there!

Baltimore wooden boat and seafood festival – Find out more here

10. Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival | 24th May – 2nd June

Festival season is truly ramping up with another big maritime festival taking place the same weekend at the other end of the country. Located along the spectacular Causeway Coast and Glens, this festival is centred on Rathlin Sound, the body of water that lies between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle.

There’s a Sailing Regatta and races as well as exciting have-a-go activities, craft markets, guided walks, exciting talks and tours, exhibitions and demonstrations, fun competitions, laid back lunches, friendly giants, curraghs and Viking ships.

Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival – Find out more here

11. Battle for the Bay, Dollymount Strand, Dublin | 25th – 26th May

Head to Dollymount Strand for some fun in the sand with Battle For The Bay, a truly unique watersport event. The two-day event is a celebration of Irish watersports with the best riders from around the country and around the world coming together to compete at this kite surfing hot spot. Check out all the action on and off the water with watersports, kitesurfing, stand up paddle boarding, beach volley, live music, children’s entertainment, food stalls and so much more.

Battle for the Bay – Find out more here

Did we miss out your favourite event this month? Get in touch and we’ll share it!

About the Author

Daniel Farrell
Interested in all things on the Irish coast and sharing the best of it. // Email: Daniel@coastmonkey.ie // Follow on Twitter: @DanielsSeaViews