Category Archives: Things to do in Dublin

3 Great New Year’s Musical Events in Dublin

Dublin is a fine city to be located in to welcome the arrival of the New Year and you’ll find plenty of things to do to celebrate on New Year’s Eve.

If you are already in the city, then be sure to check local newspapers for details, or consider going along to what we think are the three best and most memorable musical events to attend.

The Ringing of the bells at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

(Previously and sometimes still known as Christchurch Cathedral)

Built somewhere close to the year 1028, this cathedral from the middle ages is certainly something to see. It originally had close ties to Canterbury Cathedral and is the oldest structure in the city.

It’s a seasonal treat to experience bell ringing at the Cathedral. The 19 cathedral bells are reputed to deliver some of the loudest peals in the world. Six of the bells have been in place since 1670 (unfortunately the first ones cracked when there was an accidental gunpowder explosion nearby). One of the bells weighs more than 2 tonnes.

Every year on New Year’s Eve, you’ll find groups of friends and families gathering outside the cathedral to listen to the bells as they ring in the New Year.

Tips: Wear something warm and try to arrive around 10.30pm. There will also be a concert taking place inside the Cathedral by the Dublin Gospel Choir.  Tickets available for the concert from the Cathedral’s website.

RTE Gala New Year’s Eve Concert

Another traditional music event that is a joy to attend is this annual concert held at the National Concert Hall.  You’ll have to buy tickets early as there is never an empty seat in the house as this event is known as the flagship performance of the National Concert Hall.

Expect to listen to the RTE Concert Orchestra & Big Band pull all the fun seasonal favourites out of the hat. This year they will be accompanied by Michel Legrand the well-known French film movie composer who will be the pianist, singer and conductor.

Included in the price of the ticket is a glass of Champagne, or you can opt to take dinner.

Info: Check for further info. Ticket prices vary and the performance starts at 10pm.

NYE Dublin

If traditional music and bell ringing doesn’t really do it for you, then this outdoor concert with pyrotechnics, special effects and performances could be right up your street.

Over the festive season you may have come across seasonal markets, an ice rink and many other activities that have been arranged as part of this event. On 31st December, you’ll find the streets around the city centre coming alive with performances including circus acts, street theatre and the excitement of a countdown to the special hour.

Tips: don’t miss the fireworks at 8pm in St Stephen’s Green

Tickets are €20.00 (plus booking fee)

Dublin is certainly not allowing NYE to pass unnoticed this year. Be sure to buy tickets early so that you don’t miss out on your choice of seasonal treats.


Christmas Day Swim in Dublin at Forty Foot Swimming Hole

Whatever the weather on the day, every year hundreds of people take part in the Christmas Day swim at Forty Foot, Dublin. This event might not be on your to-do list but it’s certainly a lot of fun. Not to mention that it’s just around the corner from the Martello Tower where Irish novelist and poet James Joyce set his opening to Ulysses

Cold water swimming is a popular winter pastime right across Europe. Thousands will be taking part in a form of it all over the continent on Christmas Day.

You’ll see a variety of characters enjoying the water down at Forty Foot. The swimming hole is frequented by the members of the Forty Foot Gentlemen’s Swimming Club who are well aware of the health benefits of taking a cool dunk in the water. Blood circulation, salt water and something as bracing as the Irish Channel in winter will get your body moving. OK, possibly right out of the water in a big hurry.

If you fancy taking part on the big day, then you might want to prepare beforehand. Here’s what you can do to prepare and also some other snippets that you should know about:

  • Take a few cold showers to acclimatise the body. You don’t want to be too shocked when you enter the water or it could ruin your day, to say the least!
  • Don’t expect a water temperature that anywhere near resembles the summer temperature for wild swimming.
  • As you jump in, exhale. Your ribcage will contract when you enter the cold water, and you’ll naturally breathe in. Some people who don’t do this panic as they feel that they cannot breathe. Remember that any yelping that you do is all part of a taking part in a fresh natural swim.
  • Know that you’re going to feel cold when you jump in, and then get on and do it. Don’t stand on the side lines looking like an undecided turnip, you’ll only get cold.
  • Once you’re in, don’t come running straight out; give yourself at least 90 seconds to get used to the water and acclimatize.
  • Don’t imagine that you can swim too far, until you have had a practice. You’ve got to understand how your body reacts to such festive occasions first.
  • If possible don a neoprene suit – ideally with a Santa hat so that you look the part.

Open swimming is a lot of fun, believe me I’ve tried it and I highly recommend it. You just need to have your expectations set right and those of your body too.

Forty Foot is open 24 hours a day and regulars report that there can be strong currents and seals in the water. If you don’t feel all that adventurous this Christmas, nobody will hold it against you. You can always blame it on forgetting to bring your swimsuit with you.

A visit in to Daniel O’Connell’s crypt

‘It’s thought to bring good luck if you touch Daniel O’Connell’s coffin’

Things to do in Dublin

The O'Connell crypt & tower

A Tour of Glasnevin Cemetery

I have often said, I must go and see that when travelling around Dublin, but seldom follow through. For many years, I have passed by the gates of Glasvnevin Cemetery and said these words. But I recently was invited to join a couple of friends on a tour of this amazing cemetery which is the final resting place of many of Ireland’s leading patriots, rebels, politicians and writers.

I was amazed by some of the features of the tour, particularly with the visit into the burial crypt of Daniel O’Connell (1775 – 1847) The Liberator (Bio on wikipedia), whose importance in Irish and world history was well stated by President Barack Obama in his keynote address on Dublin’s College Green (the site of one of O’Connell’s famous Monster Meetings) when visited Ireland recently. I am digressing.

Inside the O’Connell crypt we were told by our guide Daniel O’Connell’s body lies perfectly preserved in a lead-lined oak casket, and it is considered good luck to pop your hand in under the plinth and touch the coffin. The lead-lined coffins of O’Connell’s family and descendents are stacked one above the other in an alcove alongside The Liberator and to the back of the crypt the O’Connell Tower marks the spot inside the entrance of the graveyard and dominates the local skyline. Outside of the crypt there is a circle of tombs where lie the bodies of prominent citizens who paid to erect the fitting tribute to O’Connell.

Daniel O'Connell

O’Connell died in Genoa, Italy. His dying wish of having his buried in Rome and the rest of his body in Ireland was complied with. The eminence of his crypt in Glasnevin Cemetery is indicative of the incredible esteem in which he was held. Amongst other things, it was O’Connell who fought to open Glasnevin Cemetery in 1832 as the  first nondenominational cemetery in Ireland, and he was an advocate for human rights across a whole range of areas including the abolition of slavery.

Glasnevin Cemetery is also the final resting place of Charles Stewart Parnell, Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, Eamonn DeValera, Brendan Behan, Christy Brown and Maude Gonne, and each grave has its own unique story.

Glasnevin Cemetery is  a 10-minute walk from Egans House and there are organised tours each day. Contact reception to find out more.

@EgansHouseTeam on Twitter



We signed up for Twitter a while back and have been looking for ways that it might help our guests, friends and wider network (We’ll just call you ‘The Network’) to better enjoy their time in Dublin, and get a taste for some of the more interseting aspects of life in Dublin.

Incidently, we’re known on Twitter as @EgansHouseTeam , and you can find us at

Anyway, to cut a long story short, while looking at an interesting Twitter tracking service called @dubl_twopcharts , we were struck by the range of info that is out there and decided to compile public lists of Tweeters that might wish to interact with The Network and vise versa, and set about collecting names of bars, restaurants, winebars, bookshops, galleries, theatres, writers, critics and so on. Check out our List Page

The List is small but growing at the moment. We will build it up. If there is a list that you would like to see us compile or if you should be on any of our lists, let us know. Drop us a line to

In addition to this we will be using Twitter to highlight Things to do in Dublin and pass on any  special offers that might be available from those on The List, as well as the all important business of musing about what’s going on around Egans House.

Finally, if you are on Twitter, Tweet Us and say HELLO.