JUST WHEN YOU most need a holiday, another long weekend mercifully comes over the horizon.
What better way to unwind and chill out than to take yourself off the couch and outside to watch some real live sport happening in front of you/
Whether you’re strictly a spectator or keen to make yourself a late entrant, here’s a selection of what’s in store around the country this weekend.
Pro12 rugby: It’s long been sold out, but if you’re willing to take the chance on finding a ticket you could head for Belfast by 7.30 this evening to watch Ulster v Leinster.
Airtricity League football: There are four Premier division fixtures in Athlone, Dublin and Dundalk this evening and the first division action hosted by Shelbourne, Galway and Finn Harps. You’ll find all the fixtures, and a little more besides, here.
Horse racing: The Punchestown festival continues at the Kildare course and these are the races you ought to have an eye on.
Horse racing: The final day of the Punchestown festival goes to post at 2.30.
Pro12 rugby: Connacht host Cardiff Blues at 5pm at the Sportsgrounds in Galway.
Gaelic football: Dublin meet Roscommon in the All-Ireland under 21 final in Tullamore (3pm)
Mountain Marathon: If the bold print isn’t enough to scare you off, then you could do a lot worse than going along to marvel at the competitors in the Ballyhoura Mountain Marathon trail located on the Cork /Limerick border, south east of Charleville.
Rugby: The Kinsale 7s tournament gets under way at the Snugmore grounds and continues through Sunday when the knockout stages come to the fore.
Airtricity League football: Sligo host St Patrick’s Athletic at the Showgrounds in the Premier Division and, and in the first, Cobh Ramblers host Wexford Youths.
Hurling: The NHL division one final between Tipperary and Kilkenny will throw in at 15:30 in Thurles.
Camogie: Division 2 league final between Cork and Down is on in Clane (14.30), while the Division 1 final between Clare v Kilkenny is the curtain-raiser for the men’s league final in Thurles.
Great Limerick Run: In association with Barringtons Hospital you can watch, run six miles, 26 miles or half marathon distance.
Wings For Life: The Irish leg of this worldwide race takes place on the Ring of Kerry from 11am. Full details of the race and some famous participants can be found here.
Centre of Ireland 5k: Just what ir says on the tin, the shorter distance run will take you around Moate, Co. Westmeath.
Boyne 10k: Drogheda hosts the annual 10km race through the city streets. Online entry closes at midnight tonight (May 2).
Bay Run: This half marathon will run from Glengarrif to Bantry, but there are also shorter distances.
ARC Cancer support 10k: Dublin’s Phoenix Park is the setting for this 10km race. Registration for the event is still open, you can pay in cash on the day of the race before 9.30am. The race goes under the gun at 10am.
After all that, you’ll deserve the evening off.