News From The North - March 2011

Noeleen McCool

Hello from a beautiful day in Belfast; the sky is blue and spring is just around the corner, the daffodils are starting to appear in the gardens, and the evenings are getting brighter.

February saw a busy month in Belfast from the Lord Mayor having a Fair Trade coffee morning in City Hall in aid of War on Want (which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary) to Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for childrens' annual Winter Woolie Walk. This walk offers families, friends and walking groups the perfect opportunity to enjoy a winter stroll at their own pace, while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the walk's location. The non-strenuous walk is two to five miles long and takes place in Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park Belfast.

Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park
Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park

Also, we had The Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival. It is an annual music event, the only one of its kind in the UK and Ireland; it draws music industry professionals from around the globe. For more information, visit

The Chinese State Circus Mulan arrived in Belfast featuring the amazing Shaolin Warriors. It featured gravity-defying gymnastics, rolling somersaulting repertoire of the hoop drivers, the traditional lion dance and much more.

Belfast's St. Patrick's celebrations will offer a colourful carnival atmosphere for all the family to enjoy! The day will start with a spectacular carnival parade, led by the Lord Mayor of Belfast. It will leave the City Hall at 12 noon. Current World and European Pipe Band Champions, St. Lawrence O'Toole, will head up the carnival procession. The Dublin based pipe band comprises players from Ireland, UK, Canada and South America.

Ulster folk and Transport Museum celebrations - a truly traditional St. Patrick's Day with a unique festival of music and crafts including the best of traditional music, dance and song

St. Patrick's Day in the Ulster American Folk Park has a re-enactment of the countless thousands of people who left Ireland in the 1700's and 1800's. For many, the hours before departure became known as the American or Living Wake. You can re-live this dramatic re-enactment, complete with music, song and dance as the family gathered to bid a sad farewell to the departing emigrant.

Ulster Folk Transport Museum√¶√¶   American Folk Park
Ulster Folk Transport Museum
American Folk Park

The National Trust Property Patterson's Spade Mill, Co. Antrim, is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with the best local produce, ceilidh dancing and traditional music. Eels caught in Lough Neagh fried before your eyes.

Patterson's Spade Mill
Patterson's Spade Mill

Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House in Castlerock, Co. Derry, is having a Leprechaun Trail on March the 20th in search of gold and the elusive leprechaun. A great day out for all the family.

Did you know that the family of Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, lived in Carrickfergus before immigrating to South Carolina in 1765? Andrew Jackson's birthday is celebrated on March 15th with a fun- filled American and Ulster-Scots themed activities and entertainment. It takes place in Andrew Jackson Cottage, Carrickfergus.

Carrickfergus Castle is a castle with Norman architecture in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in Co. Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1923 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in the whole of Ireland. It was useful as 3/4 of the perimeter is covered by water.

Carrickfergus Castle
Carrickfergus Castle

Explore the shadows and alleyways of haunted Belfast with Horrific Ghost Stories, The Belfast's Grave Robbers, The Church Street Ghosts and much more. The tours take place every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night - NOT for the faint hearted.

Belfast City Council has just opened an online burial records search facility for Belfast City Cemetery, Roselawn Cemetery and Dundonald Cemetery site where you can research burial records in Belfast. If you have relations buried at any of the above cemeteries you can access the site:
This service should be useful to a wide range of people; whether you're tracing your family genealogy or historical searches. The service is free.

I would like to wish you all A Happy St. Patrick's Day! I will be celebrating it with my family and friends and not forgetting my grand-daughter Evie.


Irish Coffee & Tea
Irish Chocolate

Become a fan of
on FaceBook

An Lar Community Television Ireland

Irish Immersion Pro
A Simple Way to Master the Irish Language
Slash Your Energy Bill
Wind & Solar Power
How-to Guides

Terry's Favorite
Ireland Book!

Ireland: History,
Culture, People

Buy Maple Syrup
& Maple Candy
Disclaimer: is an affiliate website that receives commissions from sales of the products listed. We have purchased and sampled many, but not all, of the products on these pages.