Ireland’s new bank holiday 2023 – when is it, what’s on and 10 short break deals

Things are looking up.

Lue Monday is in the rearview mirror, there’s a big Wee Stretch in the evening and best of all, there’s a new public holiday on February 6th.

When is Ireland’s new bank holiday?

Ireland’s new bank holiday marks St Brigid’s Day. While this day is celebrated on February 1st, the bank holiday falls annually on the first Monday in February. In 2023 it is Monday February 6th.

If future St. Brigid’s Days fall on a Friday, that Friday, February 1st, will become a public holiday.


Ireland’s new bank holiday celebrates St Brigid. Photo: Tourism Ireland

Why is there a new bank holiday in Ireland?

2022 saw an additional holiday on March 18 to recognize the efforts of frontline workers during the pandemic. The extra day this year becomes a fixed holiday in February.

“This will be the first Irish public holiday to be named after a woman,” then-Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said last year. “It marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the equinox, the beginning of spring and the Celtic New Year.”

The Bank Holiday also coincides with the Imbolc Festival. The other Celtic festivals (Bealtaine in May, Lughnasa in August and Samhain in October) are already public holidays.


Model Bonnie Boux at Dublin Castle for the launch of Brigit: Dublin City Celebrating Women

What’s going on over the new holiday?

Brigida 1500 in Kildare

The big celebrations, as you might imagine, are taking place in Co Kildare – which is in the year 2024, the 1,500th. Death of the Saints, emerging as a hub for the Brigid 1500 program.

Highlights of events in 2023 include a Fire and Light Walk starting at 6pm on Saturday 4 February in Kildare Town Square and ‘A Concert for Brigid 1500’ on 5 February at St Brigid’s Cathedral .

Singer Eimear Quinn will perform a special concert including a rendition of her original song dedicated to St Brigid.

Literary events and walks are also planned, and look out for buildings and sites illuminated with illustrations depicting the saint.

For more information, see

St Brigid’s Day at the Cliffs of Moher

Bank holiday events can be found across the country – including the Cliffs of Moher, which won ‘Ireland’s Best Visitor Attraction’ in this weekend’s Reader Travel Awards.

St Brigid’s Day is celebrated on Tuesday 1st February with demonstrations of making Brideóg dolls and St Brigid’s Crosses at the Visitor Center (all ages).

For more information, see

Brigit: Dublin City celebrates women

The festival returns this year from 1st to 6th February, with Dublin City Council putting together a program of events to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women, past and present, while also welcoming the arrival of spring.

The program will be announced this week


St Brigid’s Day celebrations in Co Kildare

St Brigit’s Garden, County Galway

This beautiful Galway attraction celebrates Lá Fhéile Bríde, the Celtic fire festival of Imbolc, on Sunday 5th February from 2pm to 5pm.

Traditionally the start of spring in Ireland, its seasonal events will explore the stories and symbols of Brigit, with opportunities to make Brigit’s crosses and Brídeog dolls and share a time of reflection, as well as songs, poems and stories.

“We will also participate in Brigit rituals and traditions, including summoning Brigit, passing through the Crios Bríd (Brigit’s belt), laying the Brat Bríde outdoors, and ending with a fire (weather permitting),” it says in this.

It includes afternoon tea and is “best suited for adults,” they say.

Book in advance, €35/€25,

IMMA and the National Museum

Special cultural events are held around St Brigid’s Day at all of Ireland’s national cultural institutions, recognizing the crucial role women have played in Irish history, culture and society.

IMM opens Irish Gothic, a major retrospective of Irish artist Patricia Hurl. The National Museum of Ireland – Collins Barracks will also feature Caps, bandoliers and ballot paperswhich offers an insight into the changing role of women in the first decades of the 20th century through the lens of the artifacts in the collection.

More at;

Herself at Gort, Co. Galway

herself – a large scale public ‘Projection Project’ – takes place in Galway on 4th February. Artists Shona MacGillivray and Jill Beardsworth have worked with local community groups to identify women whose lives and work embody the qualities Brigid is known for, and created portraits of each. Projected onto the courthouse in Gort’s town square at dusk on the new bank holiday weekend, the images illuminate “the women quietly working in the background, nurturing, protecting, growing, healing, listening and making our world a better place to be”.

Read more here at

Kilkenny Restaurant Week

It coincides with, rather than celebrates, Ireland’s new bank holiday, St Brigid’s Day, but Kilkenny Restaurant Week (27 January to 5 February) is a tasty excuse to visit the Marble City.

It encourages visitors to experience the diversity of its culinary culture, and participating hotels offer exclusive dining packages, discounts, tasting menus and more.

For the full list of restaurants and offerings, see

What else is there for the holidays?

Local authorities across the country are organizing a range of community-based events. For example, Herstory light show will illuminate a range of local landmarks with artwork of Brigid and Irish goddesses in several locations and a giant Sliabh na mBan cloak made by local women will be unveiled in Tipperary.

What are Ireland’s other public holidays in 2023?

Monday 6 February – St Brigid’s Day

Friday March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day

Monday 10 April – Easter Monday

Monday May 1st – May Day

Monday 5 June – June holiday

Monday 7 August – public holiday in August

Monday 30th October – Public holiday in October

Monday 25 December – Christmas Day

Tuesday, December 26 – St. Stephen’s Day


The Harrison Chambers of Distinction in Belfast

What are the best holiday deals?

*NB: These listings were correct as of 1/23/23 and are subject to change*

Boutique Belfast

Bored of generic hotels? The Harrison is a boutique hotel with a difference in Belfast – “a jewel box with attention to detail” with rooms individually designed by owner Melanie Harrison. Stay Saturday 4th February from £150/€171 and get 50 per cent off your Sunday stay, with a complimentary glass of wine on arrival.

Do Dun Laoghaire

The Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire is having a one night special on Sunday 5th February. B&B starts from €149 for two people sharing, with a family rate (2+2 sharing) from €169.

Brewery tours in Baltimore

Casey’s of Baltimore, a member of Original Irish Hotels, offers a two-night B&B with a complimentary craft beer paddle in the bar, dinner on a night of your choice and a brewery tour for two at their on-site West Cork Brewery. It costs from €380 during the week for two people or €395 at the weekend.

Unwind at the K Club

The five-star resort of Co Kildare features a St Brigid’s Healing Escape which it says “combines all the elements needed to nourish body and soul over the newly granted long weekend”. It is available from February 3rd to 6th and includes a two-night B&B stay, a 50-minute “grounding ritual” and a wellness course of your choice from €329 per night for two people.

A Limerick stopover

Castle Oaks House Hotel, a member of Só Hotels on the banks of the Shannon in Castleconnell, is offering a holiday deal from €99 B&B (per room, based on two people).

Luxury at Lough Rynn Castle

Lough Rynn Castle Estate in Co Leitrim, another member of Original Irish Hotels, offers an overnight stay with a three course meal served in its Drawing Rooms on special offer from €235 for two.

Blue Book Bliss at Bushmills Inn

This Co Antrim stay includes B&B, a bottle of Prosecco and chocolate dipped strawberries on arrival package from £365/€417 per night for two people. Maybe an early celebration for Valentine’s Day?

Spring at Fernhill House & Gardens

This family-run Co Cork hotel is new to Ireland’s Blue Book for 2023 (read our hotel reviews here) and has some beautiful gardens to explore. B&B is offered on Sunday February 5th from €179 for two people.

Two’s Company at Knockranny House

The four-star Westport hotel’s “Two’s Company” experience includes an hour-long shared mud chamber treatment for a couple, followed by a back, shoulder and neck massage and facial at Spa Salveo. There is also dinner at La Fougère. The two-night offer includes B&B from €370 per person over the February bank holidays.

Push up the pampering

Hotels in the Press Up Group have several special offers over the bank holiday weekend, including a stay and dine deal at Dublin’s Clarence Hotel with dinner at Cleaver East from €365 for two people, or a similar deal at The Dean in Cork with B&B and dinner in Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant from €334 for two people.;

spring sale

Keep in mind that January sales are still ongoing at many hotels. The Trinity City Hotel in Dublin, for example, has a 20 percent discount (booking before January 31st) for stays until March 31st; whilst the Redcastle Hotel in Co Donegal is offering a three night for two deal from €282 per room (subject to availability). In Cork, The Metropole 2023 (until 31 January) is offering a 20 per cent discount on breaks.;;

Note: All prices and events are subject to availability and changes. This article has been updated since its original publication. Ireland’s new bank holiday 2023 – when is it, what’s on and 10 short break deals

Fry Electronics Team

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