Ireland’s real home of St Patrick, Armagh, has kicked off its packed six-day schedule of events to celebrate the island’s famous patron saint with the world.

Armagh, Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital and the historic, legendary city which St Patrick founded on his mission of change, wants millions of people at home and away to join in on an enthralling showcase of events designed to inspire a new global audience.

Starting today, Friday 12 March and concluding on St Patrick’s Day (Wednesday 17 March), this fully online ‘At Home with St Patrick Festival’ will take you through a thrilling showcase of rousing events themed with snakes, shamrocks, history and culture, traditional music and dance – and plenty of inspiring food and drink ideas.

From the iconic Navan Fort – one of Ireland’s most iconic archaeological sites and steeped in myth and legend – to its famous orchards, cathedrals, theatres and libraries, few will be untouched by the spirit of a city that St Patrick made his home.

“Built, shaped and steeped in St Patrick, Armagh remains the true home of Ireland’s first citizen and we’re proud to celebrate his iconic legacy from a remarkable city that will bring laughter, enjoyment, reflection and hope to the world in this challenging year, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Cllr Kevin Savage, said.

“Famed for its orchards, its warm hospitality, friendly people, history, culture and outstanding food and drink, Armagh will continue to surprise many for its must-visit destination appeal and we really hope that this local and global celebration will inspire and engage many people of all ages to experience this place for real when all of us can.”

With 19 free-to-attend events planned, the festival line-up includes:

  • Irish dance masterclass from Riverdance’s Jason O’Neill: Irish dance sensation and Riverdance lead, Jason O’Neill takes centre-stage to present a high-energy dance masterclass from Armagh’s Market Place Theatre. Jason is joined by two inspiring local female dancers, twelve-year-old world champion Blaithin Mohan from Armagh City and Ciara McGivern from Markethill who is placed ninth in the world.
  • The Story of St Patrick & Daire: An exciting online dramatisation at Navan Fort which will uncover St Patrick’s early life and his discussions with lord chieftain and legend Daire as he searched for a site in Armagh to establish his first church.
  • The Staff, The Snake and The Shamrock: An illustrated talk of by Dr Rachel Moss of Trinity College Dublin will be providing an illustrated presentation that gives insights into the iconic symbolism and arts linked with St Patrick.
  • Réalta – Live from The Market Place Theatre: Réalta take a lively, exciting and respectful approach to Irish traditional music at this must-visit event. Reared on a staple diet of The Bothy Band, Planxty and other such classics, this big-name band captures the timeless aspects of the tradition and presents it in its raw form – fresh and beautiful.
  • St Patrick’s Day Breakfast Cook-Along with Simon Dougan & May McFettridge: Simon Dougan from Yellow Door cooks up a storm with leading theatre entertainer May McFettridge to share hearty Ulster breakfast using the finest ingredients from across the region’s food heartland.
  • All Folk’d Up – Live from The Market Place Theatre: One of Ireland’s most popular groups who play a mix of classic sounds from folk and country music traditions, while still sprinkling their own unique, modern twist.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Cllr Kevin Savage, added:

“From our home to your home, our ‘At home with St Patrick Festival’ will safely delight and excite everyone from near and far. Let us awaken your senses!”

All events are free to attend, however some events require registration in advance. To download the full programme of events, visit visitarmagh.com/stpatrick.