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Ep 270 – The Bowling Green Pub and Unveiling a Plaque in Memory of Athlete and Coach, John McDonnell.

In Part 1… Mark Canny has been the landlord of the Bowling Green in Chorlton, Manchester for the last 20 years. He’s created a “local” that represents what it means to be Irish and has put the pub at the centre of the community.
Turning the pub into what it represents now has been no easy feat, relying on a strong family and a community keen to keep their Irish identity.
We visit for an evening of traditional music and good times.
On to Birmingham and Ciaran Healy is the co-organiser of the Pairc Festival in Solihull. Páirc Festival is a celebration of Irish music and takes place on August Bank Holiday.
Ciaran introduces us to the internationally acclaimed headline acts. The Festival takes place 26th to 28th August at the New Irish Centre grounds in Kings Heath.
In part 2… in the mid 20th Century, John McDonnell was all set to run in the Olympics, representing Ireland but despite winning all his qualifying heats, he failed to go as there was only enough funding for one! Injury stopped him making any more Olympics.
John ultimately emigrated to America and through sheer determination, ended up being the most successful collegiate coach in US history, with his philosophy of “take the opportunity while you still can”
John was born in Ballina, County Mayo in 1938 and to celebrate his life, a plaque has been unveiled in his memory. Meet the people behind this lasting tribute and here how an ordinary man gained so much success.

For more information…
The Bowling Green… www.bowlinggreenchorlton.co.uk
Pairc Festival… paircfestival.com

Watch the Irish in the UK every Thursday night at 7.30pm on SKY 191 or Freesat 162. Repeated on Tuesday at 1 pm

To advertise in the UK section of the show please call Martin Logan 07808 573 142 alternatively email martinloganmanchester@gmail.com