Tourism Minister Michael Ring TD praises the return of MMTradfest in 2016

Tourism Minister praises the return of Mayo Manchester Tradfest

Tourism Minister Michael Ring TD has sent his congratulations to the hugely successful inaugural six day Mayo Manchester Tradfest which took place over the August bank holiday and was attended by over 40,000 visitors. It has already been scheduled to return next year in 2016 at the same time in the summer.

The festival which featured over 500 performers from Mayo and Manchester featured over 50 events which saw performers visiting Ballina, Westport, Crossmolina, Kilkelly, Bonnicoblon and Swinford. Plans are already being put in place for the event to include Castlebar as well as other ares. Mayo County Council is working closely with the Mayo Manchester Tourism group and hope to develop it into one of the biggest celebrations of traditional and contemporary Irish Music, Song and Dance in Ireland.

Tourism Minister Michael Ring commented “I would like to congratulate Tony and Lawrence Hennigan and all involved in the Mayo Manchester Tradfest. This event was a tremendous success in 2015. Its return in 2016 will be eagerly anticipated by the many people who attended it this year and also by many more new attendees. With its vast array of performers- there was certainly something for everyone. From a tourism perspective, I believe that the Mayo Manchester Tradfest is another wonderful offering to our visitors. I wish Mayo Manchester Tradfest continued success”.

Joanne Grehan the Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Mayo & Head of Enterprise & Investment at Mayo County Council was asked to launch one of the groups performances at the Bonniconlon Show which had an attendance of over 30,000 people. In her speech she commented “Mayo Manchester have been heavily involved with promoting Tourism initiatives in Ireland since 2011. They were heavily involved as our partners in the Gathering in 2013 and our inaugural world wide Mayo Day celebrations which saw 12.5 million people log onto our website and join in the celebrations. We were indebted to their help with promoting it and connecting with the Mayo diaspora around the globe. This week long festival of Irish Music, Song and Dance put on by Mayo Manchester Tourism and Business group has been a huge success. As well as attracting a huge number of visitors to the County it has continued to help us develop our cultural and business links between the two areas.”

Lawrence Hennigan one of the directors of Mayo Manchester added “No man is an Island and the success of this years festival and hopefully next year is the unity of everyone involved, that was how the event succeeded and how we hope to grow it. We are delighted with the Tourism Minister Michael Rings comments and the tremendous support we received from and everyone invoved in the inaugural festival. The sun might not have shone on every single day of the week-long festival but the 500 performers certainly put a smile on everyone's faces at the 50 different events. Our intention is to build upon this year’s inaugural festival and open it up to as many groups and places that want to get involved. To get involved they just need to email us at

“The group would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters for their help, these included:, Ballina Chamber, Failte Ireland, FSB Insurance, Kilkelly Heritage weekend, Siamsa Sraide, Bonniconlon Agricultural Show and Ireland West Airport.”

Performers involved in the week long Tradfest from Mayo included: The Copperplate Ceili Band, All Ireland Sean Nos and Irish Dancers - The Ganley Sisters, Atlantic Rhythm, The Moffatt School of Irish Dancing, World Champion Irish Dancers Stephen Gallager and Lisa Lavelle, The Murphy Sisters, the cast of Beyond the Barricade the musical, Kilkelly CCE and Kilmovee CCE musicians, Flatout, Le Cheile, Full House Ceili Band performers from Manchester included: the Keegan Academy of Irish Dance, Joe Keegan from the BBC TV series the Voice, the award winning Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, Fidelma Obrien and Mairead Hussey and a host of other musical groups, singers and dancers.

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