MANCHESTER is set to be turned green and red - Mayo County colours - by an invasion of performers and tourist chiefs from County Mayo.
The council’s award winning diaspora website Mayo.ie, along with performers from the Crossmolina based Atlantic Rhythm Production Company, are flying to Manchester in a bid to promote the county’s 270 gatherings at this year’s 2013 Manchester Irish Festival.
The festival, which is Europe’s biggest celebration of all things Irish, is staging a special opening weekend dedicated to the West of Ireland from this Friday (March 8) until Sunday (10).
The performers include singers and musicians from the Connioras group and the Shelia Moffatt School of Irish Dancers. The weekend is being sponsored by Mayo.ie and the Manchester-Mayo Gathering which takes place in North Mayo from the 1-9 August.
Martina Hughes, from Mayo.ie, said: "We are delighted to get involved in the Manchester Irish Festival, the largest festival of Irish culture and heritage in Europe. The strong links that exist between Mayo and Manchester are more than significant and the mayo.ie website is a great forum for the Mayo Diaspora in Manchester to connect and interact with Mayo people worldwide. We welcome the opportunity to promote the gathering in Mayo and look forward to welcoming people from Manchester to Mayo to be part of the 270 events, festivals and gatherings taking place throughout the County in 2013. The Atlantic Rhythm Production group are excellent ambassadors for Mayo and the Mayo weekend will be an ideal opportunity to showcase Mayo and all it has to offer.”
The opening night on Friday 8th March will feature the Manchester-Mayo Gathering Concert at St Antony’s Catholic College in Urmston. The evening will feature Mayo’s Atlantic Rhythm musicians plus the Shelia Moffatt School of Irish Dancing, performers from Manchester include Irish Pop group ‘Sonas’, the Keegan Academy of Irish Dancing , Traditional Irish music group ‘The Doyle family’, the Justine Ward School of Irish Dancing and performers from St Antony’s. The evening will be hosted by Joe Casserley’s award winning Full Irish Radio show. Tickets for the event which starts at 7pm are £5 in advance and are available from the School on 0161 911 8001.
The final performance of the play takes place on Sunday 10th March at St Mary’s Parish Centre at 3.30pm. Tickets are again just £5 in advance are available from the centre on 07767497625. The show features a host of award winning performers which include the World champion Sean-nós dancer – Liam Scanlon and the newly crowned world champion Irish Dancer – Lisa Lavelle.
For more information about the weekend visit www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk