'Magical new experience' promised at festive Dublin Castle
A new Christmas market will bring all things festive to the grounds of Dublin Castle this year.
The grounds will be transformed into a "magical new experience" from December 12 until December 22, the Office of Public Works (OPW) announced this week.
More than 30 traditional alpine stalls from artisan producers will be present at the event, dubbed Christmas At The Castle and selling decorative crafts, gifts and food.
Among the vendors are hand-rolled ice-cream makers Arctic Stone and savoury bites from Kono Pizza and Swing Grill.
Independent retailers such as Jill and Gill and Alphabet Jigsaws will sell handcrafted gifts to the public.
In the evenings, Christmas carols will be provided by local choirs, as a result of a collaboration with Dublin City Council.
For children, there will be a vintage carousel on site as well as horse carriage rides around the castle grounds at weekends.
A Christmas Adventure, an immersive journey through the castle for children, which fea- tures an appearance from Santa, will take place on December 14, with tickets priced at €10.
There will also be complimentary evening access from 6pm to 8pm to the traditionally decorated state apartments.
Speaking about the announcement, Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe said he was looking forward to attending with his two children.
"As Lord Mayor of Dublin I am delighted that Dublin City Council are working with the Office of Public Works to bring this wonderful Christmas market to the magical courtyard of Dublin Castle," he said.
"This will be a lovely event for all the family."
Public Works Minister Kevin 'Boxer' Moran said: "Christmas At The Castle invites people to immerse themselves in some of the best traditions of Christmas, right in the heart of the city.
"With over 1,000 years of history in Dublin Castle and plenty of festive food, crafts, music and entertainment, there will be something for everyone to enjoy."
Earlier this year, Dublin traders were left reeling following the cancellation of the annual Christmas flea market, home to more than 280 stalls.
Organisers had said they were "devastated" that the popular market had not found a new home, adding: "It is quite unbelievable that an event which had an estimated spend of well over €3.5m.
"It received over 600 submissions from Irish-based creative businesses all over the country and attracted 73,000 visitors in 2018, can be closing down because there is nowhere for it to operate."