MORE than 100 people turned out – in person and virtually – for the annual St Brigid’s Day event hosted by the Luton Irish Forum (LIF).
Now a popular yearly event, this week’s afternoon tea welcomed 80 guests and a further 50 attendees online as the organisation and its members celebrated the feast day of Ireland’s only female patron saint.
LIF’s Lá Fhéile Bríde 2022, now in its sixth year, celebrated Irish Women at the Movies.
After a special message from Isobel O’Connor, First Secretary for Irish Community and Culture at the Irish Embassy in London, attendees spent two enjoyable hours learning about Irish stars of the big screen - such as Maureen O’Hara, Brenda Fricker, Angeline Ball and Demi Isaac Oviawe.
This year, with Covid restrictions lifted, it was possible to host the event at LIF’s premises, ensuring that a limited live audience didn’t miss out, while offering Zoom access to the proceedings to those living further away.
LIF’s cheerful decorations were a nod to the fact that “St Brigid’s Day is the first day of Spring”, they explained.
Specials guests on the day included Gerry Molumby, Director of the Triskellion Irish theatre company, who shared his special memories of meeting Maureen O’Hara and her autographing a copy of The Quiet Man poster for him.
Sarah Finucane from The Craic is Back magazine; and Sarah Owen and Rachel Hopkins, Luton’s two female MPs, completed the guest list.
They also made donations to the raffle and lucky winners were able to take home bottles of House of Commons wine and chocolates.
Traditional afternoon teas, made freshly on the day by the family team at Jack Berr Caterers, were delivered to the Luton attendees.
Everyone was impressed and one person commented: “The teas were like delving into Mary Poppins handbag – they were almost bottomless, had great choices and were excellent value.”
“Most inspiring and entertaining,” said attendee, Gill of the day’s events, and there was a “big thank you” from Jacki who was attending virtually from Nashville, Tennessee.
Tom Scanlon Chairman of Luton Irish Forum is already looking forward to the next instalment of the event, and hopes “we can all be together again next year”.
A DVD of the event is currently in post-production and will be available soon. Email [email protected] or phone 01582 720 447 to reserve a copy.