June - July
The high season across Ireland begins in earnest in late June, but you will notice that most attractions are open to tourists by the first of the month. Schools let out across Ireland the first week in June, so not only will you be competing with travelers from across the world for access to monuments, museums, castles, and other public attractions, you will also have to deal with the Irish families who have decided to spend their summer holidays at home. Expect lines at attractions to reach their peak lengths during these months, and expect prices on everything from airline tickets to accommodations to rise to perhaps their highest of the entire year. If there is a certain attraction you must see, arrive at either the exact opening time, or arrive with at least an hour left before closing time.
The weather across Ireland is considered fairly pleasant in the summer. Temperatures warm into the low-to-mid-60s Fahrenheit across the island. Nights can still be rather chilly, with lows ranging from the upper 40s the first part of June to low-to-mid-50s in late July.
Holidays and Festivals:
First Monday in June - June Bank Holiday (Lá Saoire i mí an Mheithimh). Formerly referred to as Whit Monday. The last day of revisions before Irish students return to school for a week of final exams. National holiday in the Republic of Ireland.
Second to third weeks in June - Bloomsday Festival, Dublin. The festival celebrates the works of writer James Joyce. June 16, 1904 is the day chronicled in Joyce`s epic novel Ulysses.
Third week in June - Immrama, an event dedicated to travel writing, music and the arts, in Lismore, County Waterford.
June 23 - St. John's Eve Bonfire Night, Kilronan, Aran Islands. A midsummer festival which goes back to ancient times, the `bonfire night` brings thousands of celebrants to the island of Inis Mor. Similar bonfires can be seen in many villages throughout the isle.
Early July - Ennis Street Festival in County Clare brings seven days of arts and culture events to the town of Ennis.
Second week in July - The Orange Order Parade at Rossnowlagh, County Donegal, takes place on the Saturday just before July 12. The `Orange Order` is a Protestant fraternal order which is more common in Northern Ireland; this is the only such Orange Order parade to be held in the Republic of Ireland, where it is heavily Catholic. Unlike Orange Order events that occurred in Northern Ireland during `The Troubles`, the parade at Rossnowlagh is peaceful.
July 12 - Commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne, when Protestant Willamite forces, including King James II of England, defeated the French Jacobite forces, allowing Protestantism to stay and take roots in Ireland. This holiday used to engender much anger and tension, especially in Northern Ireland, where there a higher percentage of Protestants (35% Protestants vs. 40% Catholics) than in the Republic (84% Catholics vs. 5% Protestants). National holiday in Northern Ireland, where it is referred to as Orangemen`s Day.
Third and fourth weeks in July - Galway Arts Festival, Ireland`s largest annual performing arts festival, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017.
Last week in July - The Galway Races, one of the most popular horse racing events in Ireland, held at Ballybrit Racecourse in Galway.