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Ireland’s new February Bank Holiday – when it is, what’s on, and 10 deals for a fun little break

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things are looking up.

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That means Monday is in the rearview mirror, a bit of a stretch into the evening, and a lot of people will be looking forward to the first pay check of 2023 this week.

Best of all, there’s a new bank holiday coming up on 6 February.

When is Ireland’s new Bank Holiday?

Ireland’s new bank holiday marks St. Brigid’s Day. While that day is celebrated on 1 February, the bank holiday falls on the first Monday of February every year. In 2023, that is Monday, February 6th.

Where in future St Brigid’s Day falls on a Friday, that Friday, 1 February, will be a public holiday.

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Ireland’s new bank holiday celebrates St Brigid. Photo: Tourism Ireland

Why is there a new bank holiday in Ireland?

2022 sees an additional bank holiday on 18 March to mark the efforts of frontline workers during the pandemic. This year the extra day becomes a permanent bank holiday on the first Monday of February.

“It will be the first Irish public holiday named after a woman,” the then-Tánais, Leo Varadkar, said last year. The year.”

The bank holiday also coincides with the festival of Imbolc. Other Celtic festivals (Bealtine in May, Lughnasadh in August and Samhain in October) are already public holidays.

What are the best bank holiday deals?

Boutique Belfast

Bored of ordinary hotels? The Harrison is a boutique stay in Belfast with a difference – “a jewel box labor of love” with rooms individually styled by the owner, Melanie Harrison. Stay on Saturday, 4 February from £150/€171 and receive 50pc off your stay on Sunday with a complimentary glass of wine on arrival. chambersofdistinction.com

do dun laghaire

The Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire has a one-night special on Sunday, 5 February. B&B starts from €149 for a double sharing two, with the family rate (2+2 sharing) €169. royalmarine.ie

Brewery Tours in Baltimore

Original Irish Hotel member Casey of Baltimore has a two night stay B&B at the bar and a free craft beer paddle, dinner of your choice in the evening and a brewery tour for two at their in-house West Cork Brewery (pictured above). It costs from €380 mid-week or €395 at the weekend for two sharing. kcsofbaltimore.com

kick back in the k club

The five-star Co Kildare resort has St Brigid’s Healing Escape, which it says “combines all the elements needed to nurture body and soul in a newly-delivered long weekend”. Available from 3-6 February, it includes a two-night B&B stay, a 50-minute grounding ritual and a choice of a wellness class from €329 per night for two. kclub.ie

a limerick layover

Castle Oaks House Hotel, a member of SO Hotels on the banks of the Shannon in Castleconnell, is offering a Bank Holiday offer from €99 B&B (per room, based on two sharing). Castleoaks.ie

Luxury at Lough Raine Castle

Lough Rynn Castle Estate in Co Leitrim, another Original Irish Hotel member, is a one-night stay, with a three-course dinner served in its drawing room. on special offer From €235 for two people sharing. loughrynn.ie

Blue Book Bliss at Bushmills Inn

A bottle of Prosecco and chocolate-dipped strawberries on arrival at this Co Antrim B&B are bundled from £365/€417 per night for two to share. An early Valentine’s Day celebration, perhaps? www.bushmillsinn.com

Spring at Fernhill House & Gardens

This family-run, Co Cork hotel is new to the Blue Book of Ireland for 2023 (read our hotel review here), and has some gorgeous gardens. B&B on offer Sunday 5 February from €139 for two sharing. www.fernhillhousehotel.com

Two’s Company at Knockreenie House

The Westport four-star’s ‘Too’s Company’ experience includes a one-hour shared mud chamber treatment for a couple, followed by a back, shoulder and neck massage and facial at Spa Salvio. There is also dinner at La Fougère. Two night offer includes B&B from €370pp during the February Bank Holiday. KnockRainHouseHotel.ie

pamper press up

Press Up Group hotels have a number of specials over the bank holiday weekend, including a ‘Stay and Dine’ offer at the Clarence Hotel in Dublin with dinner for two in Clever East from €365, or the B&B at The Dean in Cork and more All types of deals are included. Dinner at Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant from €334 for two. theclarence.ie; thedean.ie

spring sale

Be aware that many hotels are still running their January sales. For example, the Trinity City Hotel in Dublin has 20pc off stays until 31 March (booking before 31 January); while Co Donegal’s Redcastle Hotel has two on offer for three nights from €282 per room (subject to availability). In Cork, The Metropole has a 20pc discount on breaks for 2023 (by 31 January). trinitycityhotels.com; redcastlehoteldonegal.com; www.themetropolehotel.ie

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St Brigid’s Day Celebrations in Co Kildare

What’s on the new bank holiday?

Brigade 1500 in Kildare

Big celebrations, as you can imagine, are in Kildare – which is shaping up to be a center for the Brigid 1500 event in 2024, the 1,500th anniversary of the saint’s death.

Highlights of the 2023 events include a Fire and Light Walk starting at 6pm in Kildare Town Square on Saturday 4 February and ‘A Concert for Brigid 1500’ at St Brigid’s Cathedral on 5 February.

Singer Aimar Quinn will perform a special concert, including a rendition of her original song dedicated to St Brigid.

Literary events and walks are also scheduled, and look for buildings and sites to be illuminated with paintings depicting the saint.

For more information see Brigid1500.ie/Events

St Brigid’s Day on the Cliffs of Moher

You’ll find bank holiday events across the country – including the Cliffs of Moher, named ‘Ireland’s Best Visitor Attraction’ in our Readers Travel Awards this weekend.

It celebrates St Brigid’s Day on Tuesday, 1 February, with Brydog dolls in the visitor center (all ages) and a demonstration of how St Brigid’s cross was made.

For more information see cliffofmohar.ie

St Brigid’s Gardens, Co. Galway

This gorgeous Galway attraction celebrates La Fille Bride, the Celtic Fire Festival of Imbolc, on Sunday, February 5 from 2-5pm.

The traditional start of spring in Ireland, its seasonal events will explore the stories and symbols of Brigitte, with opportunities to make Brigitte’s Cross and Bridog dolls and some contemplative time, as well as the sharing of songs, poems and stories.

“We will also participate in Brigitte rituals and traditions, including calling in Brigitte, passing the Krios Brid (Brigitte’s girdle), putting out the Brat Braid, and finishing with a fire (weather permitting),” it says .

It includes afternoon tea and is “best suited for adults,” he says.

Book ahead, €35/€25, www.stbrigidgarden.ie

Kilkenny Restaurant Week

It coincides rather with a celebration of Ireland’s new St Brigid’s Day bank holiday, but Kilkenny Restaurant Week (27 January to 5 February) is a delicious excuse to visit the Marble City.

It encourages visitors to experience the diversity of its culinary culture and for an entire week, participating properties will be running special dining packages, discounts, tasting menus and more.

See the full list of restaurants and offers on Visitkilkenny.ie

What are the other Ireland Bank Holidays in 2023?

Monday, 6 February – St Brigid’s Day

Friday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day

Monday, April 10 – Easter Monday

Monday, May 1 – May Day

Monday, 5 June – June Bank Holiday

Monday, 7 August – August Bank Holiday

Monday, 30 October – October Bank Holiday

Monday, December 25 – Christmas Day

Tuesday, December 26 – St. Stephen’s Day

NB: All prices and events are subject to availability and change.

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