Mayo set to invade Levenshulme in Tourism Drive for the Gathering

Mayo set to invade Manchester in Tourism Drive for the Gathering

Manchester is set to be turned Green and Red (Mayo County Colours) by an invasion of performers and tourist chiefs from County Mayo. The council’s award winning diaspora website Mayo.ie and performers from the Crossmolina based Atlantic Rhythm Production Company are flying over to Manchester in a bid to promote the county’s 270 gatherings at this year’s 2013 Manchester Irish Festival.

The festival which is Europe’s biggest celebration of all things Irish is staging a special opening weekend dedicated to the West of Ireland from Friday 8 March until Sunday 10 March. The performers include singers and musicians from the Connioras group and the Shelia Moffatt School of Irish Dancers. The weekend is being sponsored by Mayo.ie and the Manchester-Mayo Gathering which takes place in North Mayo from the 1-9 August. The special weekend is being supported by The Western People, The Catholic Universe, The Full Irish Radio, Levenshulme Pub Company, The Horseshoe and Paul Cawley.

Martina Hughes from Mayo.ie said "We are delighted to get involved in the Manchester Irish Festival, the largest festival of Irish culture and heritage in Europe. The strong links that exist between Mayo and Manchester are more than significant and the mayo.ie website is a great forum for the Mayo Diaspora in Manchester to connect and interact with Mayo people worldwide. We welcome the opportunity to promote the gathering in Mayo and look forward to welcoming people from Manchester to Mayo to be part of the 270 events, festivals and gatherings taking place throughout the County in 2013. The Atlantic Rhythm Production group are excellent ambassadors for Mayo and the Mayo weekend will be an ideal opportunity to showcase Mayo and all it has to offer.”

The weekend has already attracted world-wide media coverage for the performers and the County with stories appearing as far away as Australia, Canada and America. The group are even featured on the front page of the festival’s brochure alongside the world famous Irish band ‘The Script’ who are headlining the festival on St Patrick’s day.

Highlights of the weekend include a special exhibition called 'Take Me Back to Attymass' which documents the people, places and tourist attractions of the North Mayo Parish to promote its first every nine day Gathering festival which it is staging from the 1-9 August. The photographic show will be staged in the Union Inn in Levenshulme from Friday 8 to Monday 18 March. Visitors to the weekend will be given an oppurtunity to win a Gathering holiday including flights and accomodation in the 4 Star Mulranny Park Hotel.

The opening night on Friday 8th March will feature the Manchester-Mayo Gathering Concert at St Antony’s Catholic College in Urmston. The evening will feature Mayo’s Atlantic Rhythm musicians plus the Shelia Moffatt School of Irish Dancing, performers from Manchester include Irish Pop group ‘Sonas’, the Keegan Academy of Irish Dancing , Traditional Irish music group ‘The Doyle family’, the Justine Ward School of Irish Dancing and performers from St Antony’s. The evening will be hosted by Joe Casserley’s award winning Full Irish Radio show. Tickets for the event which starts at 7pm are just £5 in advance and are available from the School on 0161 911 8001.

On Saturday 9th March the Connioras theatre group present the ‘Titanic’ play called ‘An Emigrants Farewell’ . This was first performed in Lahardane for the Titanic anniversary and received worldwide media attention. It is an Irish Music, Song & Dance play about four daughters from County Mayo leaving Ireland to board the SMS Titanic to the USA. It will be performed at the brand new £5 million Irish World Heritage Centre, Cheetham Hill, at 1.30pm. Tickets are just £5 in advance are available from the centre on 0161 205 4007.

The final performance of the play takes place on Sunday 10th March at St Mary’s Parish Centre at 3.30pm. Tickets are again just £5 in advance are available from the centre on 07767497625. The show features a host of award winning performers which include the World champion Sean-nós dancer – Liam Scanlon and the newly crowned world champion Irish Dancer – Lisa Lavelle.

For more information about the weekend visit www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk

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