The Rock of Cashel and a Night of Irish Music and DancePosted by in Travel
Today is the fifth post in my five part series about Ireland, leading up to St. Patrick’s Day weekend. A week about Ireland wouldn’t be complete without mention of Irish music and dance. My daughter grew up watching videos of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, so we certainly couldn’t go to Ireland without seeing some live, authentic Irish Dance. I have to give a shout out to my friend Kerry Dexter who blogs at Music Road about Irish and
Scottish music and spent a lot of time coming up
with options for me to consider for live music and dance. She is a true expert and I highly recommend her blog.
We ended up choosing to see the show at the Brú Ború Cultural Center in South Tipperary. If you are in the area, you must go. Check their
calendar since shows are not performed every night.
The center is located at the foot of the Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel is an imposing ruin that was the seat of the kings of Munster, where St. Patrick converted King Aenghus to Christianity. It is the most visited heritage site in Ireland and it is certainly an impressive collection of Celtic and medieval art. The rock is actually a church/monastery that is in ruins and which sits at the top of a very steep hill. You park at the bottom and climb up. It’s worth the climb though. The view is spectacular and you will get to see a High Cross, frescoes, and the ruined cathedral, tower, and chapel. We visited the Rock during the day and returned at night to the cultural center for the show.
The show we saw had two parts. The first half was in a theater. A cast of at least 20 played instruments, sang, and danced. There were heart rending solos, toe-tapping dances, reels, and jigs. There are harps, fiddles, and many other instruments. The show was mesmerizing, even if we couldn’t understand much of what was sung (most was in Irish). The performers were talented and seemed to really enjoy their work.
Once the show in the theater ends, guests are invited to the pub to continue the evening for a traditional céilidh, singing in a more informal venue with storytelling and impromptu dancing. We didn’t stay for this (we had a long drive ahead of us that night), but it looked to be shaping up to
be a good time.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the cultural center has a nice gift shop. There are a few tacky souvenir shops at the very bottom of the Rock’s driveway. There is a tiny cafe on the road that leads from the cultural center’s parking lot to the Rock’s driveway where we had a very satisfactory lunch.
Don’t miss the Rock or the show, but plan to stay up late!
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Again, what a memorable trip.
thanks for the kind mention, Brette — what a nice surprise. I am glad you had the chance to enjoy music and dance on your trip to Ireland, and I hope you and your family will continue to do so now that you are back —
happy Saint patrick’s Day to you all.
Sounds like a great trip. When I biked through Ireland for several weeks, it was such a treat to enjoy some wonderful music almost every night.