Mayo GAA players pay a surprise visit to Mayo Manchester

Mayo GAA Players pay a surprise visit to Manchester

Mayo GAA players, Paddy Durcan and Diarmuid O'Connor paid a surprise visit to the Mayo owned Levenshulme Pub Company as part of their thirtieth year anniversary celebrations in Manchester.

The life long United fans were invited over by Lawrence Hennigan the director of the company whose Irish roots stem from Attymass in North Mayo to watch the hotly anticipated Manchester United verses Liverpool Derby.

Lawrence Hennigan pictured here at one of his venues, The Farmers Arms in Burnage with his son Lawrence Junior commented "It was great to meet the lads and we were only too happy to donate our tickets to the match to the GAA stars. My son met Diarmuid when he played his first senior Connaught championship match and he gave him his shorts that he worn in the match, its moments like that you do not forget. So when he heard the lads were looking for tickets for what is probably the match of the season he had no hesitation in giving them his season tickets. The players brought us over a signed jersey from all the players for our thirtieth anniversary which was very kind of them."

The Levenshulme Pub Company in South Manchester is celebrating its 30th Anniversary by sponsoring a free 2 week Irish Festival during this years Manchester Irish Festival. The Festival runs from Friday 1st March to St Patrick’s Day itself on Sunday 17 March.

It will also be staging a special Mayo County Council Mayo Day Tradfest evening concert on Saturday 5 May as part of the worldwide global celebrations of all things Mayo related.

The Irish festival will be launched on Saturday 2 March with an outdoor performance by the award winning Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band at the popular Levy Market at 12 noon. The band will then officially open the companies exhibition celebrating its support of the Irish Arts in Manchester and Ireland since 1989 in Fred’s Ale House Art Gallery. For a full list of the festivals free events visit www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk . Festival highlights include a competition to find this years Manchester Irish Festival best singer and St Patrick's weekend will be showcasing the City's female Irish artists with a 'Womens Heart' Tradfest at Fred's Ale House. Saturday 16 March features BBC Singer songwriter Claire Mooney and guest and St Patrick's Night on Sunday 17 March features a free concert from the 5 piece Trad group 'Moor Irish'.

The company have helped showcase some of the biggest stars in the world of Irish Music, Comedy, Song and Dance. These have included the BBC award winning Irish Comedian Ardal OHanlon and it helped launch the career of Manchester Irish Comedian Peter Kay who won the MEN City Life Comedian of the Year at their flagship venue, the 860 capacity Palace Nightclub. Other stars to appear at the venue included BBC radio presenter Mark Radcliffe with his Irish band ‘The Pogue Mahones ‘ and the multi award winning Mike McGoldrick with Manchester’s legendary Celtic Rock band ‘Toss the Feathers’. The list of Irish bands to appear at the popular Irish venue reads like a who’s who of the Irish Music world with Davey Spillane (Riverdance), Altan, Dominic Kirwan, Euro vision multi award winning Johnny Logan, Stocktons Wing, Sharon Shannon, Borderline, Dublin Rogues, Frances Black, Mary Coughlan, Goats Don’t Shave and Royal Flush.

Lord of the Dance star, James Keegan appeared at the venue on a number of occasions as one of the founding members of ‘Young, Gifted and Green’ which helped raise over £220,000 for different charities.

The company have always had a interest in sport and were one of the first venues in the UK to screen Ireland’s international games. They were also involved with Manchester City Football Club and for a number of years sponsored the Junior Blues Football club.

Since 2012 the company has been working with the Irish government and Mayo County Council in the West of Ireland to develop tourism and business links between the two areas. It helped stage the Award winning Mayo Manchester Tradfest gathering which was Ireland’s biggest event in 2013 and then became an annual week long festival in County Mayo.

The company currently own five venues in South Manchester which are Hennigans Sports Bar, the Union Irish Music Bar, Fred’s Ale House, Coffee House and Art Gallery, m19bar and the Farmers Arms in Burnage. It has always been heavily involved in the local community and as well as its commitment to supporting the Irish Arts, it also founded the multi-cultural Levenshulme Festival in 1995 and its annual Christmas Lights festival.

For more information about the company visit www.levenshulmepubcompany.com