Dundrum comedian Patrick Kielty is up to his tricks again at the launch of the Irish Open Fringe festival in Newcastle. Included are Tourism NI Events Manager Eddie Rowan and Newry Mourne and Down Chairperson Cllr Naomi Bailie.

Dundrum comedian Patrick Kielty is up to his tricks again at the launch of the Irish Open Fringe festival in Newcastle. Included are Tourism NI Events Manager Eddie Rowan and Newry Mourne and Down Chairperson Cllr Naomi Bailie.

WITH one of the biggest golfing competitions in the world about to tee off, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2015 hosted by the Rory Foundation from May 28 – 31, Tourism Northern Ireland is encouraging people to attend the Open Fringe Festival, a series of exciting events set to entertain people during the competition at locations all over County Down.

The Open Fringe Festival, from May 25 – 31, will offer visitors and holidaymakers a packed schedule of unmissable things to see and do, explained Tourism NI’s Destination PR Officer, Pauline Gormley:

“The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation is set to be one of the most thrilling and nail biting sporting events to take place in Ireland this year featuring five of the world’s top 20 golfers and five former golfing Numbers 1s.

“So it is only fitting that the planned Open Fringe Festival features a wonderful variety of events suitable for families, couples and groups, golf lovers or not, to enjoy.”

Pauline continued: “As you would expect there are lots of golf-themed events including the Down Junior Challenge Youth Legacy Golf Tournament at Ardglass Golf Club on May 25 where the winners will receive their presentation from World Number 1, Rory McIlroy.

“On Monday May 25 a GAA Legends Exhibition Game will take place at St Patrick’s Park featuring some of Ireland’s best known sports personalities from hurling, Gaelic football, rugby and soccer.

“Pitch your expertise against golfing pros at the Island Green Chip Challenge at Castle Park from May 25 – 31 and there will also be a golf simulator at the Newcastle Centre during the same period.”

“But if golf isn’t your thing, don’t worry”, said Pauline.  “The schedule of bumper events has so much variety everyone can join in the fun.”

Pauline said: “Following his appearance in the Pro Am competition on May 27, Dundrum funny-man, Patrick Kielty, will have the crowds rolling with laughter as he brings his unique take on humour to St Mary’s Hall on Friday, May 29. Tickets for his performance have sold out and we expect the other events to follow this trend so book quickly to avoid disappointment.

“Another of Northern Ireland’s favourite ‘comediennes’ will headline proceedings on Saturday, May 30, as May McFettridge, tickles our funny-bones at St Mary’s Hall.

“Those interested in finding out more about the fascinating history and heritage of the area can put on their walking shoes and try out the Geo Ambassadors Tour on May 23 and 24, the Mourne Landscape Tour on May 27 and the Discover Downpatrick Tour on May 28 or for something more traditional, the County Down Museum will be hosting an evening of Irish dancing and folk music on May 28.

“For something a little more unusual, try Love Golf Love Opera on May 30 which is a witty performance composed by Brian Irvine, the newly appointed Belfast Music Laureate and written by award winning Northern Ireland playwright Owen McCafferty.  Alternatively the Food & Blues Festival is being held from May 30 -31 and is a great opportunity to taste delicious products from Co Down whilst listening to music.

“If a night of live music, laughter and revelry is more your thing then head to O’Hare’s Lounge Bar which will host entertainment throughout the tournament as will Mourne Golf Club, the Anchor Bar, Donard Bar, Quinns Bar & Restaurant and the Harbour House Inn.

The Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Naomi Bailie is also encouraging people to try out some of the many events available:

“We are delighted to host an exciting event such as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Newcastle and the Fringe Festival is a fantastic opportunity for families, friends, couples and sports enthusiasts to get out and about all around Co Down and sample what the county has to offer.

“There will be something for everyone to enjoy for all age groups and tastes and visitors are sure to enjoy the warm welcomes from locals as well as the wide range of things to see and enjoy,” added Councillor Bailie.

For more information on the Open Fringe Festival go to or for more information on the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open go to

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