MAYOR of London Sadiq Khan is highlighting the achievements of Irish woman in the English capital this March 17.
Ahead of this weekend's three-day St Patrick's Day Festival and Parade (March 16-18), the Labour Mayor paid tribute to women from Ireland who have contributed to life on the city.
"I am especially delighted that this year we will also celebrate the achievements of Irish women in London – as part of my #BehindEveryGreatCity campaign, marking 100 years since the Representation of the People’s Act, which gave some women the right to vote," he said.
"You’ll be able to enjoy walking tours throughout the city, shining a light on the rich history of Irish London, and focusing on the lives of Irish women in the capital including Countess Markievicz, the first woman to be elected to Parliament."
This year's programme also features a series of events led by high-profile Irish women, while theis year's Parade Grand Marshals are Gloria Gunniford and Imelda Staunton.
"For music fans, a line-up of breakthrough Irish women artists will be entertaining the crowds with live open-air gigs and intimate performances in locations throughout Camden Market and cinemas around the West End will be screening the very best of Irish cinema," the Mayor said.
"At City Hall, we’ll be hosting two exhibitions of works from acclaimed Irish artists - Pauline Bewick, presenting her journeys across Ireland, Wales, England, Tuscany, China and the South Pacific and Lorraine Maher, whose exhibition ‘#IamIrish’ has been inspired by the lack of representation in the art world of the Black Irish experience."
He added: "The culmination of the celebrations takes place in Trafalgar Square with performances by some of London’s brilliant female Irish talent, alongside a tribute to the great Dolores O’Riordan, frontwoman of the Cranberries, who died earlier this year.
"The Irish community in the capital has helped to enrich London over many generations, making our capital a livelier, warmer, more vibrant place to live, work and visit. London’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations are not just open to the city’s Irish community.
All Londoners are invited to take part in the festivities and soak in the atmosphere. For me, that’s what’s special about London – everyone coming together to embrace and celebrate each other’s cultures, showing that London is truly open to all – regardless of nationality or background."