A NEW book will be released to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Leeds Irish Centre.
Charting the story of the Centre, the community it serves and the charities it supports, the publication - titled 50 Years In The Making - Leeds Irish Centre 1970 – 2020 - will be on sale from late November.
Tommy McLoughlin, manager of the iconic Irish venue for 45 of its 50 years, explained: `The book will be published 50 years and five months since the Centre’s doors officially opened.
“I am so proud of 50 Years In the Making as it celebrates our successes in all fields and pays tribute to our past as well as looking to the future.”
He added: “We hope everyone enjoys it and that it features on many people’s Christmas lists.”
Liam Thompson, chairman of the Leeds Irish Centre’s committee, said: “50 Years In The Making marks a milestone in our history so far and it provides a unique opportunity to look behind the doors of one of the best venues in the UK.’
Among the famous faces who feature in the tome is Leeds-born DJ Chris Moyles, who reveals how his times as a youth spent at the Centre inspired his career.
Elsewhere TV presenter Gabby Logan humorously recalls teenage romances and how the Centre helped pave her way to success, albeit via an unusual route.
Author Sheron Boyle, a Yorkshire journalist whose own family has strong links with the Centre, explained: “I am a first generation migrant. My dad came to England as a young man and my story is the stories of the Yorkshire Irish diaspora who have gone before us.”
She added: `The book has been a labour of love but even I was surprised by the millions of pounds this one single centre has raised for charities over the years, most of which has gone to regional organisations.
“Stories of the world-famous names who have trod the stage were fascinating to hear about but I loved telling the centre members’ own stories.”
Leeds Irish Centre was due to host a number of celebrations and commemorations in June 2020 to mark its 50th year at the heart of the city’s Irish community, but the Covid-19 pandemic has seen those plans put on hold until 2021.
However, work has continued on the book – of which two versions will be released, a hardback, limited edition retailing at £20 plus postage, and a paperback priced £10 per copy, plus postage.
Demand for copies is expected to be high and pre-orders are now being taken online or by contacting the Leeds Irish Centre directly.
For further information or to pre-order a copy of the book email [email protected]