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Ep 343 – Looking back over 2023 as we rush towards the New Year

In Part 1…

Gerry Flynn has been arranging Irish themed trips abroad for many years. We went with him to Ballina, County Mayo, for a festival of traditional song and dance accompanied by nearly 250 partygoers at the Great National Hotel.

Back in the UK, we went to the GAA Northern Community Gaelic Games in Manchester. This two-day event, organised by Sean Hopkins, sees children come from all over the UK to play Gaelic football. The first day is a school event, the second a GAA club event. Andy Burnham; Mayor of Manchester, Sarah Mangan; Consul General of Ireland and Ciaran McLaughlin; Ulster GAA President are amongst the high profile guests.

In Nottingham City Centre, we went to the extravaganza that is the St Patrick’s Day Celebrations. Not a parade but staged performances. Hosted by Gerry Molumby and introduced by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Wendy Smith, it’s a lively event showcasing all things Irish.

In Part 2…

Back down to London at the Clayton Hotel for the Galway Association’s annual dinner dance. It was the big one celebrating 60 successful years. We met up with Barbara Connaughton Edwards, Colleen Lynott, Seamus O’Grady and Brendan Brien from the Association. Guest speakers included Dennis Curran of Barhale Ltd and Jacqueline O’Donovan OBE. We were also joined by Martin Fraser, Irish Ambassador to the UK and special guest Liam Sammon, former All Ireland winner.

Moving back up North to the New Irish Centre in Birmingham, Pairc Festival is a celebration of all things Irish. Organised by Ciaran Healy, the event took place over August bank holiday weekend. A fantastic line-up of Irish acts, including Mary Coughlan, All Folk’d Up, Derek Ryan, Nathan Carter and the music legend that is Van Morrison.

Across to Manchester, we visited St Joseph’s Care Home, run by the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Little Sister are a group of Catholic Nuns dedicated to caring for the elderly in society. We met up with Kathleen Elizabeth Molloy, who came over from Ireland as a young woman to settle in the UK. She had just turned 104!

Happy New Year Every One!

For more information…

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Gerry Flynn Events programme 320

GAA Northern Games programme 315

Nottingham St Patrick’s Day programme 304

Galway Dinner Dance programme 336

Pairc Festival programme 327 and 328

Kathleen Malloy programme 331

Watch the Irish in the UK every Thursday night at 7.30pm on SKY 186 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