Irish Minister launches Irelands biggest Tradfest in Attymass

Minister launches Irelands biggest 2019 MMTradfest in Mayo

The Fine Gael Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD from Westport, Mayo together with Ballina Senator Michelle Mulherin and the Deputy Leader of Fine Fail, Ballina TD Dara Calleary and local Councillor John O’Hara helped launch this year’s Mayo Manchester Tradfest on Thursday 1 August. The opening night featured a two hour live broadcast on Midwest Radio sponsored by Centra Enniscrone and Centra Castlebar at the Fr Peyton Centre in Attymass followed by a VIP launch concert in Breaffy House Hotel in Castlebar.

The Government Minister has been involved with the festival since it was first launched in 2013 as part of the Gathering Tourism initiative that the minister was responsible for setting in his previous roles as the Tourism Minister. The festival was an overnight success and won where an award from Tourism Ireland for being the biggest Gathering in Ireland and attracted over 50,000 visitors. The festival was then just based in Attymass and Ballina and the surrounding area.

Minister Ring commented "I first met Tony Hennigan and his brother Lawrence in 2012 when I launched the hugely successful Gathering Tourism initiative in 2012. The Mayo Manchester Tourism and Business group helped create the flagship Mayo Manchester Gathering event in 2013 which won an award from Tourism Ireland as the biggest Gathering in Ireland. It is great to see this legacy event continuing to thrive and become the biggest Tradfest event of its kind in Ireland. With over 100 events across 8 different hubs in the North, South, East and West of Mayo covering a colossal 250km and involving over 500 performers, you can see what it has won so many awards."

Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester added “It was great to see Minister Ring again, he has been a great supporter of the festival in his previous role as Tourism Minister and in his new Ministerial role as the Minister for Rural and Community Development.”

The festival has now grown into a week-long festival from 1-7 August and is based in eight different hubs in the North, South, East and West of Mayo. It features over 500 performers from Mayo and Manchester and there are over 100 events which cover over 250km of the County.

The Mayo Manchester Tradfest is now firmly established as one of Ireland's biggest Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance Festival and has won numerous awards which include the International Mayo Diaspora Award and was a finalist in Failte Irelands Tourism Industry Awards representing Mayo.

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.

Festival highlights still to come next week are: On Monday 5th August the festival opens Ireland's second biggest Agricultural show and Gymkhana in Bonniconlon, during the evening the group head to Westport for a special performance at the Helm Bar, which is being recorded for I Mayo TV and will be hosted by TV presenter Henry McGlade. On Tuesday 6th August will visit the newly re-opened Dolphin Hotel in Crossmolina. On Wednesday 7th August the group will be appearing in Cong village for a public performance at 12 noon followed by a private visit to Ashford Castle. Finally, the festival is brought to a close with a free concert at the newly opened Tarbh47 Live Music venue on Garden Street in Ballina at 9pm.

For more information about the festival and details about tickets see www.mayomanchester.com

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