The Táin Walking Festival
The Táin Walking Festival is inspired by the ancient Irish epic the "Tain Bó Cuailgne" ("The Brown Bull of Cooley"), taking participants on trails and byways used by the hero CúChulainn. The festival offers walks for people of all fitness levels, from trails along the top of the Cooley Mountains to the rocky edges of Carlingford Lough. Based in the town of Carlingford, County Louth, the festival strives to bring the culture of the Irish people back to the natural world, making history and myth come to life. The festival takes place during the first week of March, with the 2010 event taking place from March 5 to 8.
Festival of the Fires
Festival of the Fires is a truly special event in County Westmeath that blends the ancient Irish holiday of Bealtaine with a modern festival of arts, culture and music. The festival is considered a rebirth of the oldest known European holiday, Bealtaine, which falls on May 1st. Celebrated with music, hill walking, story-telling and tours of the local prehistoric sites, the festival keeps a sacred firing burning for the three days during which it takes place. The Festival of the Fires takes place on the hill of Uisneach, in County Westmeath.
Tarbert Cuckoo Walking Festival
On the first weekend in May, Tarbert in County Kerry hosts the Tarbert Cuckoo Walking Festival. These 5-to-15-kilometer cross-country walks pass through woodland, farmland and along beautiful, untouched bogs in the hopes of hearing the cuckoo singing, which is a sure sign of spring's arrival. The walk is suitable for people of all ages and ends in a large social gathering back in the town of Tarbert, where refreshments are served.