Céilí, comedy and lots of craic
For anyone in the family with a penchant for music or all things Irish, The Gathering Traditional Festival, which is one of the biggest traditional music festivals in the country, is an event worth your attention.
The festival has been running for 19 years and takes place in Killarney from February 21-25 in the Gleneagle Hotel, but there will be a huge range of concerts taking place in venues around the town, from large-scale performances at Ireland’s National Event Centre (INEC) to fireside sessions in pubs.
There will also be céilís, comedy, Seán Ó Sé’s set dancing puppets, and workshops and masterclasses for budding musicians to attend. The ticket price ranges from €10-€55.
Time to hang up the shoes?
Irish dancing may be a cultural phenomenon across the island, but a new study has shown that the traditional activity can have a negative physical impact at elite level.
A study of 37 championship-level Irish dancers found most had suffered at least one injury in the previous 12 months, with many often continuing to dance despite being in pain.
According to a report in the Irish Medical Times, researchers at the University of Limerick found that “elite adolescent Irish dance is associated w ith a substantial risk of pain or injury, which appears to be greater than that incurred by young dancers from other genres”.
84% of dancers said they incurred at least one injury during the previous 12 months, most often to their foot or ankle.
The report suggested that this could be due to “inappropriate technique progression, unique choreographic features and an overly arduous calendar of competitive events”.
Putting tears to rest
Parents are often left baggy-eyed from sleepless nights when rearing a new-born baby – and no matter how much you try – it seems almost impossible to soothe the restless cries. A quirky parenting gadget is providing the perfect solution to this dilemma by creating a calm sonic atmosphere for the child.
The Grow-Hush is a portable white noise speaker that gently pipes relaxing sounds directly into the baby’s tiny earholes via a soft speaker, reminding them of the ambient times they spent in the womb. It’s suitable for even the most exhausted parents, as you simply have to hold the spongy mitt to the small one’s head, select the soundtrack which will lull them into a relaxed state. The noise is also directional so it doesn’t disturb anyone else, leaving both parties with peace of mind.