The Irish Post's Birmingham Breakfast opens St Patrick's weekend festivities

The Irish Post's Birmingham Breakfast opens St Patrick's weekend festivities

St Patrick's festivities in Birmingham begin next week with The Irish Post’s Birmingham Breakfast civic reception, part of worldwide celebrations of Ireland's national day

CELEBRATING THE SAINT Bob Brolly at the Birmingham Breakfast in 2020 (picture Chris Egan)

FESTIVITIES for St Patrick’s Day get underway this week. Irish communities across the globe from New York to Sydney, and from Rathlin Island off the north coast of Ireland to the isle of Montserrat in the Caribbean,  will be celebrating with music, pageantry, dance — and of course plenty of craic.

The spiritual aspect won’t be forgotten, either. In Dublin’s St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, the St Patrick’s Day Mass will be live-streamed on March 17

The broadcast will include input from the world famous Palestrina Choir. They will be featuring Mozart’s Mass in C as well as Deus Meus Adiuva Me.

St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, the seat of the Church of Ireland archdiocese, will also be live-streaming Mass on March 17.

Ríoghnach Connolly, Lawrence Hennigan, Angela Durkin on banjo, and Kevin Fitzpatrick help launch the Manchester St Patrick's Festival schedule

In Britain the Manchester Irish Festival, begins this week, with the parade taking place on Sunday, March 10.

The parade will be led by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Yasmin Dar and the General Consul of Ireland for the North of England, Sarah Mangan.

The Irish Post's St Patrick's Birmingham Breakfast

Birmingham’s festivities include a return of the very significant the St Patrick’s Birmingham Breakfast civic reception on the morning of Friday, March 15 has been welcomed across Irish communities in the midlands, and will be attended by the Irish Ambassador to Great Britain, Martin Fraser. The event will be held in the magnificent surroundings of the Council House in Birmingham’s city centre, where Lord Mayor Mr Chaman Lal will host the event.

Elgin Loane, owner of The Irish Post said: “I am delighted that The Irish Post is able to bring back this standout event to Birmingham. This get-together not only celebrates our patron saint, but it pays tribute to the huge contribution the Irish community has made to the city.

“It is also a wonderful way to show how our community, young and old, first generation, second generation or more, still keeps alive our vibrant culture.”

Chief Executive of the Birmingham Irish Association Maurice Malone said: “The Birmingham Irish Association are delighted that the Irish Post Breakfast is returning to the city in the wonderful surroundings of the Council House. It marks the start of a weekend of celebrations culminating in the world famous parade on the Sunday. It’s a significant occasion for the Irish community in Birmingham and the return of the breakfast and parade gives the diaspora in the city and all those people who hold Ireland close to their hearts the opportunity to celebrate the rich history of Irishness in Birmingham. This is the first year under the new custodianship of the Birmingham Irish Association and we are fortunate to have supporters like The Irish Post on board to help the organisation put the parade back where it belongs!”

Bob Brolly will be the compere during the morning’s proceedings. Bob, originally from Derry, moved to Coventry when he was 15 — so he knows the Midlands inside out. A respected radio presenter (on the BBC, Irish stations and local broadcasters), Bob will be introducing musicians, bands and dancers — including members of the famed Scanlon School of Irish Dancing. Bob said: “It is really wonderful that the Irish Post is bringing back the Birmingham Breakfast. It is a great day for Birmingham’s Irish community as it marks the beginnings of the St Patrick’s weekend festivities. Indeed it is a great day for Irish communities scattered across the Midlands.

“I am particularly pleased to be acting as compere at this auspicious occasion, and can say without a doubt that there will be celebration, time for contemplation — and loads and loads of craic.”

The Irish Ambassador to Great Britain, Martin Fraser has confirmed his presence at the event. He will be accompanied by Orla McBreen, Head of Foreign Policy.

The Irish government will also be represented by Sarah Mangan, Ireland’s Consul General in Manchester, serving the North of England.

The event is a chance for the people of Birmingham to recognise and pay tribute to the vibrant Irish community in the city — the charity workers, the business people, those who work in the care sector, the professional people from lawyers to doctors, as well as musicians, dancers, writers and poets.

WORLDWIDE CELEBRATIONS Members of the Irish diaspora on Montserrat, the other EMerald Isle, celebrating St Patrick's Day (image courtesy of the Montserrat Tourist Board).jpg