Diaspora Minister launches Irelands biggest Tradfest in Manchester

Diaspora Minister launches Ireland's biggest Tradfest in Manchester

The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon visited Manchester to help launch the countdown to one of Ireland’s biggest Traditional Irish Music and Dance Festival – the Mayo Manchester Tradfest.

The Minister was visiting the UK as part of Ireland’s Public consultation about its new diaspora policy and was only too happy to lend his support to the festival which is now in its seventh year and attracts over 50,000 visitors to the West of Ireland.

When asked about the festival the Minister commented “It is great to see the Diaspora involved in staging cultural events back in Ireland and developing tourism and business links with their homeland.”

Lawrence Hennigan from the Mayo Manchester Tradfest added “We were delighted to see the Minister in Manchester and get his support for the festival.”

The award winning week-long festival in Mayo is a legacy event from the 2013 Gathering Tourism initiative where it won Tourism Ireland’s Gathering of the Year and has been commended by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and The Taoiseach (Ireland’s Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar.

This year’s 7th annual week long Mayo Manchester Tradfest will run from Thursday 1st to Wednesday 7th August. The award winning festival of Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance will feature over 500 performers taking part in over 100 events all over Mayo. There are 8 festival hubs situated in Achill, Ashford Castle, Attymass, Ballina, Bonniconlon, Castlebar, Claremorris and Westport.

Early Bird tickets for the festival’s annual 7th Mayo Manchester Tradfest Gala Concert on Saturday 3rd August at the Ballina Arts Centre have just gone on sale and are priced at just 10 Euros each if purchased before the 10th July. They can be booked by contacting the centre on 096 73593 or online at www.ballinaartscentre.com

The Festivals featured performers from Manchester include the award winning Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, Irish singer and traditional Irish musician, Joe Keegan from the TV show The Voice, flute player John Gibson and Irish fiddle player Fidelma O'Brien. Performers from Mayo include: Sean nos dancers, The Ganley Sisters as seen on RTE's Late Late Show, Jiving Juniors, Dennis McCalmont the award winning Foxford Brass Band, Ballina’s Centre Stage Vocal Academy, Dennis McCalmont and the award winning Turley Duggan School of Irish Dancing plus Ireland's award winning Country act - Sina Theil and Shauna O'Boyle. The festival's main events will all be hosted by the Voice of Old Trafford at Manchester United Football Club, Mr Alan Keegan.

This year’s highlights are as follows;

Thursday 1st August
Midwest live Radio broadcast sponsored by Centra Enniscrone and Centra Castlebar
Fr Peyton Centre, Attymass, 6pm to 8pm

VIP Launch Concert at Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar at 9pm

Friday 2nd August
MMTradfest Concert at Achill Head Hotel, Achill Island at 9pm

Saturday 3rd August
7th Annual Mayo Manchester Tradfest Concert at Ballina Arts Centre, 7.30pm
Features the Foxford Brass Band, Sina Theil, Joe Keegan from the BBC TV show The Voice, the award winning Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, Centre Stage Vocal Academy, the award winning Turley Duggan School of Irish Dancing, Shauna O’Boyle, Dennis McCalmont, Flute player John Gibson from Kitchen Ceili and Fiddle player, Fidelma O'Brien.

Sunday 4th August
101st Claremorris Agri Show opening at 1pm with MMTradfest

Monday 5th August
Official Opening of the Bonniconlon Show, 12 noon

MMTradfest filming with IMayo TV at the Helm Bar at the Quays in Westport with Sky TV presenter Henry McGlade at 10.30pm

Tuesday 6th August
Promenade performance at Centra Castlebar at 12 noon

Wednesday 7th August
Visit to Cong Village at 12 noon followed by a private performance at Ashford Castle.

Festival Closing Party and Performance at Tarbh47 Live Music Venue on Garden Street in Ballina at 9pm

For more details visit www.mayomanchester.com