Travel Weekly's Ireland E-letter: Jan. 20, 2005

PADDY'S TENTH: Dublin's annual St. Patrick's Festival to run March 16 to 20 will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. The event has morphed from a traditional march of floats and bands back in 1994 to a five-day festival of free arts events today, with 4,000 performers and 1 million attendees including 250,000 visitors who pump some $104 million into the Dublin economy.

Planned events include the St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Ceili Mor Irish dance event on Merrion Square, both on March 17; the citywide Denny Treasure Hunt, March 19; and the Denny Big Day Out family street arnival on March 20. A full events program will be announced on Feb. 8. To register for the treasure hunt and for more informatoin, visit www.stpatricksfestival.ie.

EARLY DEPARTURES: John Sharman, chairman of Aer Lingus, said the three top executives slated to resign from the airline by this summer will leave earlier, on Jan. 28, thanks to a faster-than-expected transition. CEO Willie Walsh, Chief Financial Officer Brian Dunne and Chief Operating Officer Seamus Kearney had announced in November that they would leave the airline as of May 1. Shander said he will chair board meetings until a new chief executive is found. For more, visit www.aerlingus.com.

ON THE GO: Active travel operator Killary Tours in Leenane, County Galway winner of Failte Ireland's Irish Welcome Award in the Transport and Tours category for 2004 in December, thanks to the work on staff tour guide Mick Langan plans some new offerings for 2005. On tap are new tours, such as self-guided, short walking tours in the Burren, on the Dingle peninsula, and around the Boyle region along the Arigna Miners Trail. In addition, the compnay will expand its popular Cannondale hybrid bicycle fleet. For more, visit www.killary.com.

ULSTER AIR WAYS: Lowfare U.K. carrier Easyjet will launch two new routes from Belfast International Airport, to Berlin (Schoenefeld) and Rome (Ciampino), on July 1 and 2, respectively, bring the airline's total European flights from Northern Ireland to nine.

The flights are subsidized by the British province's Air Route Development Fund, devised to help develop of new air routes such as the daily transatlantic Continental Airlines service from Newark to begin May 26.

EasyJet flies also from Belfast to Alicante, Malaga and Palma (Majorca) in Spain; Amsterdam; Geneva, Switzerland; and Nice and Paris in France.  For more on Belfast International, visit www.bial.co.uk. For EasyJet, visit www.easyjet.com.

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