Belfast Telegraph

The Wire's Jimmy McNulty aka Dominic West in Glenarm

Actor Dominic West, star of hit HBO series The Wire, has paid a visit to Glenarm, Co Antrim.

He and his wife, garden designer Catherine Fitzgerald, unveiled a new oak obelisk in the grounds of Glenarm Castle.

Dominic’s rugged good looks and six foot frame have graced blockbuster movies from Star Wars – The Phantom Menace and Chicago to Centurion and even Spiceworld.

A guest host too of irreverent satire quiz show Have I Got News For You, however, he’s probably best known for his long-running role as Irish American detective Jimmy McNulty in the gritty US drama, The Wire.

Dominic’s visit to Ireland will also give him and Catherine a chance to catch up with friends and family – her family seat is at Glin Castle, Co Limerick.

Catherine has been associated with the Glenarm Castle for some time now too, having previously designed The Mound for its ancient walled garden, among the oldest in Ireland, as well as the decorative fruit tree gardens.

Interview with Dominic West

The obelisk, commissioned by Lord Dunluce, was designed by local architect Jill Lambert and built by oak craftsman Corin Giles.

The castle’s annual Tulip Festival takes place on the May Bank Holiday weekend (April 30-May 2) - while on May 3 you can catch an RHS lecture on vegetable growing by celebrated horticulturalist Joy Pollard.

The Tulip Festival, with its extravaganza of over 8,500 bulbs, is now in its fifth year, but is just part of the package of events taking place over the May Day weekend.

Lady Flora McDonnell, sister of Randal, Viscount Dunluce of Glenarm Castle – an artist and prize-winning illustrator of children’s books - is hosting her latest art exhibition, Glenarm Dayspring, in a bothy within the garden throughout the weekend.

While if you’ve ever fancied a glimpse behind the scenes at life in the castle, it will be hosting public tours on Bank Holiday Monday (May 2).

As well as all that, the historic Walled Garden, one of the oldest in Ireland, will be open as usual, while local crafts people will be providing demonstrations of their work which will also be for sale. And there’s the garden teahouse too where you can enjoy a cuppa.

“Our Tulip Festival – with a staggering show of over 8,500 bulbs, not to mention a marquee display of hundreds more cut stems - is one of the highlights of the Northern Ireland gardening calendar and has been attracting a growing number of visitors every year, not only from the province but from further afield too,” said Aurora, Viscountess Dunluce, a keen gardener.

“We are indebted to Bloms Bulbs – among Europe’s leading growers - who sponsor the event and are on hand throughout to provide their expertise to our visitors on how best to grow these beautiful flowers in the Northern Ireland climate. Bloms are a successive Gold Medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show.

"Here at Glenarm we are especially fortunate that our micro-climate, set as we are in a sheltered cove, produces such a spectacular show every year – but there are so many tulip varieties now that virtually any garden can have its own display.

“Our Tulip Festival is also the only chance in Ireland to see the flowers and order them on the spot – Bloms will deliver the bulbs in November this year, just in time for planting next Spring’s colour.”

For more information contact Glenarm Castle on 028 2884 1203 or visit

Tulip festival

Belfast Telegraph


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