Edinburgh’s Festival of Ireland at a glance

Festival of Ireland
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GET ready to pin a sprig of Shamrock to your lapel, it’s nearly St Patrick’s Day, which will see Edinburgh’s Festival of Ireland paint the city emerald green with celebrations across the Capital from tomorrow to 23 March.

The opening event on 15 March, welcomes Cór Geal, a 40-strong adult choir from Co Cork, to Edinburgh.

C�r Geal, 40-strong adult choir from Co Cork

C�r Geal, 40-strong adult choir from Co Cork

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the award-winning choir will be singing a mix of sacred and secular songs at St Patrick’s Church in the Cowgate from 8pm.

The concert programme will include Irish favourites such as Danny Boy, Rocky Road to Dublin alongside favourites such as Nella Fantasia, Toto’s Africa, Coldplay’s Fix You and many more, including a special version of Auld Lang Syne, just for this tour.

Celebrating the links between Edinburgh and Ireland, the Festival has something for everyone; music, comedy, dance, talks and a family-friendly community pageant along Portobello Promenade.

There’s also an Irish Dance Spectacular with Edinburgh-based Siamsoir Irish Dancers, an evening of traditional Irish music at Edinburgh Folk Club and a Grand Charity Ball at the Sheraton Grand Hotel to bring this years event to a close.

On 15 March, laugh along with Irishman Johnny Candon who hosts The Friday Show at The Stand, 7pm, or at 7.30pm take part in a taster session of Irish set dancing at The Quaker Meeting House, Victoria Terrace. Free for new attendees.

There’s also a traditional music session with The Sessioneers at Sandy Bell`s, Forrest Road, 9pm.

16 March sees comedy from Keith Farnan in Kidocracy! at The Stand, 12.30pm, an Irish music session with Sean Paul Newman at Dalriada, 3pm, another at 3.30pm, with Gerry Mulvenna at the Captain`s Bar and, at 6pm, Siamsoir Irish & Scottish Dance Show: A Celtic Faery Tale at The Jam House.

The highlight of St Patrick’s Day, 17 March, itself will be the St Patrick’s Pageant on Portobello Promenade at 3pm; a family day out with face-painting, genealogy,parade and more.

Then at 4pm, there’s a family ceilidh at Lauriston Hall, which coincides with a St Patrick`s Day music session with Eddy & Ibby, the Captain`s Bar, South College Street.

Other weekday highlights include a screening of the film I Went Down at Grassmarket Community Centre on 18 March, 7.30pm.

A talk about Belfast’s 1919 General Strike at the Augustine Centre on George IV Bridge on 19 March, 7pm.

Meanwhile, 20 March brings the Paddy Callaghan and Band to the Edinburgh Folk Club at 7.15pm.

Finally on 22 March, there’s a chance to see the play, Beyond at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, 8pm, and on 23 March the Festival comes to a close with the St Patrick’s Day Charity Ball at The Sheraton Grand Hotel, 7pm.

For full details of all events visit www.edinburghsfestivalofireland.org