Join Martin as he looks back over some of the great stories of 2022…
We start in London to see the performers at Scoil Rince Céim Óir, a traditional Irish Dance School founded and run by Hilary Joyce-Owens. For thirty years now, Hilary has guided her dancers to world-class success.
We chat with Hilary and find out how much dedication it takes to train dancers to such a high level and meet some of the performers as they prepare for 2022 World Irish Dancing Championships. Put on hold for two years because of the pandemic, Belfast hosted the prestigious event at Easter.
Hilary’s daughter, Ella, has been attending the school all her life. She follows her mother’s dancing success with a string of awards.
Lots and lots of energy and dancing!
Back up to Leeds and we’re celebrating 25 years, plus 1, of Leeds Irish Health and Homes. The plus 1 comes from the previous year that we’d all probably prefer to forget about!
We interview Ant Hanlon, the Chief Executive behind Irish Health and Homes and meet the team that run this fantastic organisation, supporting those in need in Leeds and the surrounding area.
Sarah Mangan, Consul General of Ireland joins us for the festivities along with the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Robert Getting.
Then we’re across to Manchester… Closed throughout much of the pandemic, we’re at the grand reopening of the Irish World Heritage Centre. We meet the team that have brought the building back to scratch and celebrate the return to “normal” with Sarah Mangan, cutting the ribbon. After being used by the NHS, it’s great to see the Irish community pulling together, helping to return this building back to its intended use.
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 took place on August Bank Holiday.
Ciaran Healy along with the Birmingham Irish Centre have organised one of the biggest Irish music events in many a year. Set in the grounds of the Birmingham Irish Centre, we have a huge range of acts!
Sharon Shannon, the Kilkennys and the legend that is Finbar Furey head up the top class performers and the event concluded with the fantastic Nathan Carter. Watch out for Nathan’s nan!
Next year’s Festival takes place 26th to 27th August at the New Irish Centre grounds in Kings Heath.
Off to Manchester…Mark Canny has been the landlord of the Bowling Green in Chorlton 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 stands for 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.
And finally, we’re in Stockport where we spend an evening watching “Ireland, the Show”, featuring the talents of Gary Gamble. This celebration of all things Irish has toured the UK and we catch up with them at the Plaza Theatre in Stockport. Fantastic dancing and traditional songs from Elaine Boyle and Ritchie Remo, this is a show you need to see. The tour starts again in March next year so check out their schedule.
From Martin, Annette and all the team that produce The Irish in the UK,
We wish you a Very Happy, Holy and Peaceful Christmas.
For more information…
Find details about Scoil Rince Céim Óir… ceimoir.com or +44 7956 490 152
Search 2022 World Irish Dancing Championships for more details of events
Leeds Irish Health and Homes… Telephone 0113 262 5614, website www.lihh.org
Irish World Heritage Centre… Call 0161 6974105, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Book tickets for next year… https://paircfestival.com/tickets
Ireland the Show dates can be found at jmgmusicgoup.com/Ireland-the-show
REMEMBER!! If you also watch on Sky, we’re now on channel 186… same time, just new channel.
Watch the Irish in the UK every Thursday night at 7.30pm on SKY 186 or Freesat 162. Repeated on Tuesday at 1 pm
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