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IRELAND TRAVEL UPDATE.

Byline: JIM CLARKE

THE IRISH tourist industry took a welcome boost from the volcanic ash cloud troubles as the no-fly zone encouraged many people to opt for a break in Ireland instead.

Now they're hoping to keep luring the domestic market with a combination of early Summer sunshine and some great deals.

The Corick House hotel in Tyrone is targeting history buffs with its offer of two nights' accommodation with breakfast and one evening meal.

In addition to staying in a charming 17th century listed house, guests can visit the Ulster American Folk Park which is just a short drive away in Omagh.

And after a hard day on the emigrant trail, following the path of Nineteenth century emigration from Ulster's thatched cottages to the cabins of the American frontier, there are few better ways to relax than with a meal at the award-winning Carleton restaurant at the hotel.

2 THIS weekend marks the start of the summer festival season proper, and there are some great family events around the country today.

In Galway, the national aquarium is marking World Oceans Day by joining forces with the Marine Institute to host a series of performances, classes, exhibitions and demonstrations.

At Birr in county Offaly, the hot air balloon festival comes to a spectacular close today with a final mass takeoff from the Birr Castle demesne from 6pm tonight.

2 KILKENNY is set to be a popular spot next weekend as the annual Cat Laughs Comedy Festival rolls into town.

A favourite gig for many of the world's top comics, the medieval city always takes on an anarchic edge during the festival.

Accommodation at the festival may not be quite at the level of the Edinburgh festival, where even a rented couch or floor is in high demand. But equally, with so many top comedians in town, a good room for the night can be hard to come by.

One option is to stay at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny city on Friday the June 4 and enjoy one night bed and breakfast.

The EUR75 per person sharing deal includes a ticket to see Arj Barker, Jarlath Regan, Jon Richardson and Karl Spain perform at the festival.

2 FATHER'S Day is only a few weeks away, so anyone hoping to treat their oul fella to a break needs to get a move on.

One close-to-home option is to take him racing. Bewley's have a good deal which includes enclosure tickets to Leopardstown and a complimentary bus transfer from the hotel to the racecourse.

And the hotel is even throwing in a copy of the Racing Post for veteran gamblers!

The EUR110 per person offer is available on June 17, just in time for Father's Day three days later. More information is available from Bewley's Hotels.

Or if golf rather than the gee-gees is his thing, you might want to consider the North-West.

The Radisson Blu in Sligo is offering a night's accommodation with breakfast and evening meal from EUR115 per person.

But the deal also includes the option of playing at County Sligo, Enniscrone, Donegal or Strandhill golf clubs, so he'll have his pick of courses to choose from.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:May 30, 2010
Words:528
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