Mayo County Council launch countdown to Home to Mayo with Mayo Manchester joined forces with Mayo Manchester to help launch the countdown to the week long flagship ‘Home to Mayo’ Tradfest in Castlebar today.

The week of Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance will see the group stage a host of events in 7 different hubs in Achill, Ballina, Ballinrobe, Castlebar, Cong and Ashford Castle, Erris, Killala and Westport. The Tradfest will feature over 100 performers from Mayo and Manchester. The group will be joined by the Manchester based, St Lawrence’s GAA club who have very strong Mayo links and are celebrating their anniversary this year with a tour of Mayo during the same week.

Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester commented “It looks like every Mayo man, women and child is heading home to Mayo for the festival. We have been away too long and the Mayo diaspora are keen to get back to celebrate with their friends and family.”

Most of the events at the festival are free of charge and all are family friendly events.

Highlights include;

Thursday 26 May
Festival launch in the Market Square of Castlebar with the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band at 1pm followed by a parade to the Linnen Hall Theatre to celebrate its 100th Anniversary.

Friday 27 May
Festival visit to the fishing village of Killala in North Mayo with a parade through the village with performances at the Quays, Killala Round Tower, Labour Cottages, Killala Church and a tour of the local pubs finishing with a Trad session at the popular Arches Bar. The fun starts at 6pm.

Saturday 28 May
The Home to Mayo Gala Concert at the Ballina Arts Centre. The evening of award winning Traditional Irish, Singers, Musicians and Dancers will be hosted by Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football club. There is a limited capacity at the theatre and you are advised to purchase your tickets in advance.

Sunday 29 May
The festival will visit Achill Island to celebrate 150 years of Irish Piping with a special Parade and Performance by the Achill based Dooagh Pipe Band and Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band. The fun starts at 1pm from Lourdies Pub at the top end of the Island.

Sunday evening sees the festival visit Westport for a trail through the village visiting various venues and iconic locations.

Monday 30 May
It’s Ballinrobe Races and the festival will be providing the Irish Entertainment at this family friendly event from 4pm to 9pm.

Tues 31 May
The closing day of the festival sees the festival return to the world famous Ashford Castle and Cong Village for various promenade performances at the Castle and village of Cong made famous in the film ‘The Quiet Man’. The fun starts at 1pm

Our final performance will be an early evening event in Erris to bring the festival to a close.