2021 Cork St Patrick’s Festival Saturday March 13 to Wednesday March 17


12th March 2021

Organised by Cork City Council, the Cork St Patrick’s Festival will take place this weekend from Saturday March 13 to Wednesday March 17 and will celebrate our national festival through word, film, music, projections, video and workshops.


As we must stay close to home this year, the festival has co-ordinated a huge range of buildings and other structures to ‘Go Green’, to bring a sense of unity through light all across the city. Over 40 iconic Cork buildings and public spaces will light up by night, including top international tourism venues Blarney Castle and St Anne’s Shandon, more local Cork icons The Shakey Bridge and The Red Abbey. Also participating are some of our newest corporate buildings, and those representing our lockdown heroes in Cork City Fire Service, Garda Síochána at Anglesea St., and Cork University Maternity Hospital.


Adrienne Rodgers, Director, Community, Culture & Placemaking Directorate, Cork City Council said:  “It is delightful to see such enthusiasm for the ‘Greening of Cork’ this St. Patrick’s Day. In this year when we are all feeling a little isolated, these spots of green light illuminate our evening sky, showing both our immediate neighbours and our international friends that we are still celebrating our National Day.  We hope that everyone will share these wonderful projections through social media with all their connections across the globe to shine a light on this special St. Patrick's Day to bring some light and hope to all.”

“Meitheal” is the theme of the festival this year, and beginning on Saturday March 13 a stunning display of words will be projected on the walls of the R&H Hall Building, Kennedy Quay, each evening during the festival from 7-11pm. The projection will feature the phrase “Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine” in Irish and “In the shelter of each other, we live” in English.

Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland said: “While we can’t celebrate in the same way this year, we hope to keep Ireland front of mind and position Ireland as ‘the’ place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day when it is safe to travel again. We have been working with the festival organisers in Cork to green the town this March and showcase what Cork has to offer. We look forward to welcoming international visitors to celebrate our national festival with us in 2022 once it is safe to do so.”

Events for the Festival include music, ‘parade craft’ activities, film and theatre.

Two of Cork City's most beloved music venues, The White Horse & Coughlan's, in association with Cork's St. Patrick's Festival and Cork City Council, present ‘From the Heart at the Hearth’, a televised fireside session in the company of some of Cork’s favourite musicians. This one hour special, filmed in compliance with Covid guidelines, will feature John Spillane, The Ceili Allstars, Caoimhin O Fearghaill, Emerald On Ivory, Oisín Morrison and The Lee Valley String Band amongst others, from both Coughlan's and The White Horse. Reaching out to the diaspora, the show will be viewed online by viewers from Cologne, Germany, Rennes, France and both Boston, and San Francisco USA, due to Cork City’s Twin Cities initiative and also the musician’s international followings. The show will air on March 17 at 5pm on www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie, www.whitehorse.ie & www.coughlans.ie. It will remain available to watch for the rest of the festival week.

In the lead in to the big day, the Festival has several video workshops to choose from for those making a St. Patrick’s Day Parade at home, all can be found via links on www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie

Graffiti Theatre and Costumer Designer Deirdre Dwyer have created a series of videos where children aged 5-12 (and their adults!) can learn how to design and make a St. Patrick’s Day costume based on the theme of Celtic Heroes.

Cork Creates presents If Your House Could Fly, inviting young people to turn their house into a float, Cork Circus Factory has some facepainting ‘Looks’ to learn, and Cork Puppetry Company will help you make a St. Patrick Puppet or hat for your parade. Participants in the workshops are encouraged to submit their work for virtual showcase, including a Puppet Parade, which will take place at 1pm on St. Patrick’s Day.

Inspired by the legend of the Goddess Cliodhna, Patron of Cork, and the healing melody of her three other-worldly songbirds, Cork Community Art Link presents an online experience of audio recordings sourced for an installation planned for post-lockdown, titled A Tale of Cork. The installation will feature an audio recording which will blend natural birdsong with the voice submissions of participants reciting poetry or poems they have written. A special gallery featuring beautiful images of the birds and their creation will be live on www.corkcommunityartlink.com this weekend. Staying with our feathered friends, Little Bird Babble artist Rachel Doolin invites the public to find a suitable outdoor spot to create their own EARTHBIRD. Watch her tutorial video on www.corkcommunityartlink.com

Back indoors, from March 13 to March 17, Cork City Council and Cork International Film Festival will present a special St. Patrick’s Festival programme of Irish film shorts which the public can watch online for free. From heart-warming stories of a mother’s love to an Irish dancing drama, enjoy a selection of wonderful short films in the comfort of your own home. Tickets for all screenings can be booked on www.corkfilmfest.org 

For more events listings and further information see www.corkstpatricksfestival.ie