10 things to check out at this year's very special online St Patrick's Festival

From a virtual parade to music, comedy, film, poetry and performance, there's something for everyone as celebrations go digital.

Five children hold up a green banner in their sitting room

Promising a week jam-packed with entertainment, the St Patrick’s Festival is on the way, inviting us to throw off the long, dark months and rise to embrace the brighter days ahead!

While we can’t gather together in person, it doesn’t meant we can celebrate together, as festival organisers have a huge range of digital events planned which can all be enjoyed on the dedicated TV channel — St Patrick’s Festival TV (SPF TV).

There’s a ton of incredible events ahead, all culminating in a virtual parade – always a Patrick’s Day highlight. So what can you expect? There’s comedy, music, film, animation, storytelling, poetry, performance, and that’s just the tip of the shamrock.

Although it was near impossible to pick only 10, we’ve rounded up our own unmissable top tips for the festivities. Check them out!

Comhrá Le Marian

Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss, will join beloved broadcaster Marian Richardson for Comhrá Le Marian, a series of lunchtime chats Marian will host from the National Gallery of Ireland with some of Ireland’s best minds, including Sabina Higgins and Liz Nugent.

In Focus: Jennie Wyse Power

The fabulous Mary McAuliffe, who hosted GCN’s Town Hall Talks series as part of our In And Out Festival, will join fellow distinguished feminist historians, Margaret Ward and Sinéad Mc Coole, to look at the life of one of the most important figures in modern Irish history – Jennie Wise Power – though few know her name. 


National treasure, artist, writer, podcaster and musician, Blindboy will appear at events throughout the festival including Blindboy Boatclub presents Creativity and Mental Health – five short films exploring the importance of good mental health practice as an essential part of the creative process.

Celebrating Pat Ingoldsby

The Irish legend that is Pat Ingoldsby will be celebrated as three of Dublin’s finest illustrators and animators, Ashwin Chacko, Grace Enemaku and Pati Matsushita, create bespoke works to accompany his poetry. A definite highlight.


The one-and-only Niall Sweeney will team up with other Irish artists, Eamonn Doyle, David Donohoe and Kevin Barry, to create a fantastic body of collaborative work, bound to blow us away.

Mindful Moments

Mindful Moments – Teen Spirit with Bressie, will see the musician and mental health advocate share his spoken word piece where he returns to his secondary school classroom and ponders what he would have said to his teenage self back then.

The Dodgy History of Ireland

Something for all the family to enjoy, this animated series presented by Myles Dungan takes a lighthearted look at famous people and events in Irish history, including the pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, and the big man himself – St Patrick.

Pillow Queens

Over the course of the festival, there promises to be a huge line up of musical guests, including GCN cover stars, Pillow Queens, who will be performing from the Guinness Storehouse, alongside Gemma Dunleavy and Adam Mohammed, and hosted by 2FM’s Tara Stewart.

Foil Arms and Hog

One thing the festival certainly won’t be short of is laughter. Expect the best of Irish comedy, including this much-loved comedy troupe who will be popping up for some topical hilarity with a series of Paddy’s Day sketches.

Oscar Wilde

For those who’d like to explore Ireland outside their homes, there’s a series of virtual tours to be enjoyed, including a food tour of Galway, and a look at Dublin’s literary legacy through the witty lens of the legendary Oscar Wilde.

That’s just a hint of what’s on offer from 12-17 March, so check out the St Patrick’s Festival website for the full line up. And watch St. Patrick’s Festival events on SPFTV as stpatricksfestival.ie and on RTE’s dedicated culture website rte.ie/culture!

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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