Dublin dishes out Pride Dubliners raise their voices and show off their true colours at one of the island’s top LGBT festivals. For 10 days in June the city goes rainbow with everything from gay céilís (traditional Irish dances) to bear discos, theatre nights and even dog shows, culminating in the riotously enjoyable Dublin Pride Parade. Starting off at the Garden of Remembrance in the heart of Dublin’s city centre, the parade winds through the streets and up to the Georgian elegance of Merrion Square, where the main stage hosts performances and speeches. After that, Dublin turns up the volume with a set of legendary after-parties. Join in the fun with everything from non-alcoholic events at Outhouse, to DJs, dancers and drag queens in bars and clubs around the city, including The Front Lounge, 4 Dame Lane and the Sugar Club. Belfast Pride Belfast brings on the party Belfast keeps things fresh every year from the end of July to early August, with what has become the biggest Pride festival on the island of Ireland. This Titanic Town is known for its legendary parties and, during the 10 days of the Belfast Pride Festival, the atmosphere is amped up with more good times than you can shake a rainbow flag at. Over 50,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, straight and transgender people take to the streets to big it up at the Pride Parade along Donegall Street, past the Pride Village and along to the Union Street Street Party. And as well as a massive bloc party, the entertainment gets amped up in bars and clubs including Union Street, Maverick Bar and the renowned Kremlin, with comedy nights, burlesque and a Bear Weekend. Cork Pride Cork’s Pride Festival in August is well known for its great atmosphere and events covering music, art and film. All topped off with a colourful parade. Galway Pride The beautiful city of Galway on the west coast of Ireland has been going every August for over 25 years and keeps the energy up with a great line up of events. Foyle Pride The Foyle Pride Festival in August in the city of Derry-Londonderry has been going since 1993, and attracts crowds of almost 8,000 to this gorgeous walled city. Cultural highlights Pride may well be the biggest LGBT festival on the island of Ireland, but the calendar is also lit up with excellent events throughout the year. Dublin celebrates the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in May, as well as GAZE: International LGBT Film Festival in August. Mr Gay Ireland and Mr Gay Northern Ireland are massive events that raise awareness and promote visibility for young gay people, especially in rural Ireland, while in October an essential on the calendar is The Outing… Matchmaker, matchmaker Taking place in the village of Lisdoonvarna in the starkly beautiful Burren region of County Clare, The Outing is part of the legendary Matchmaking Festival. “An LGBT weekend away like no other,” says last year’s host, top Dublin drag queen Panti. There are fire-eaters, stage dancers and DJs, tea dances, square dances and speed dating, as well as trips to some of the area’s most spectacular sights including the Cliffs of Moher. Our advice? You’d be mad to miss it! Lonely Planet Says Go!Find out why the traveller’s bible has recommended Ireland as one of THE places to visit in 2015 Stay in a castle!Looking for somewhere unforgettable to rest your head? Why not try a castle? Historic and luxurious, you can be king for a day in these stunning spots. A wild adventureThe beautiful Burren is on the Wild Atlantic Way, so after The Outing, get out there and explore what this 2,500km long coastline.