NEWS — 30 January 2014

Kate Brett and Rebecca Croke

By staff reporter

A special Manchester Mayo Tourism Day in Dublin on Sunday January 26 has been hailed as one of the success stories of this year’s Templebar Tradfest.

The day began with a sell-out Gala concert in the prestigious Dublin City Hall and it was followed by an outdoor concert on the main stage in Templebar.  Mayo TD’s Dara Calleary, Michelle Mulherin along with event sponsor Martina Hughes from Mayo.ie were amongst a host of VIP’s who came along to support the tourism initiative and help launch a commemorative calendar.

Martina Hughes, the Diaspora Officer with Mayo County Council who helped sponsor the event commented “Mayo.ie were delighted to be associated with the Manchester Mayo Day held in Dublin City Hall, it was a great venue for such a novel event.

“ The whole day and the build up to the show was a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the long established bonds between Manchester and Mayo. The event was a wonderful celebration of Irish music, Song and Dance that exists in both Mayo and Manchester.”

Tony Hennigan, CEO of the Manchester Mayo Tourism and Business group and organiser of the vent added: “The event had been staged to turn Dublin Green and Red for the Day and to celebrate our achievement in organising the Manchester Mayo Gathering which was named as the biggest 2013 Gathering event in Ireland organised by any UK group by Tourism Ireland.”

“It was a fantastic celebration of the enormous amount of talent we have in Manchester and Mayo and every single one of the sixty performers in the event were superb. The media interest in the event went beyond our expectations.”

During the weekend the event was featured on RTE Radio 1’s Ceili House along with numerous interviews with various national and international media organisations which helped the group generate over £60,000 worth of positive publicity to promote Mayo and Manchester.

Performers from Manchester included: James Keegan and Nikitta Cassidy from the world famous ‘Lord of the Dance Show’ together with Lawrence Hennigan and Padraig Sheilds from the Keegan Academy, Irish Harpist, Kate Brett, Irish Vocalist Rebecca Croke, and guitarist Andy Housley, plus traditional musicians Donal and Sean Scally.

Mayo was represented by the four piece Trad band ‘Flatout’ and thirty four Irish musicians, singers and dancers from the Atlantic Rhythm Production company. The Crossmolina based group were also involved in an outdoor event in Templebar. The Gala concert was recorded for broadcast on the award winning Full Irish ALLFM Radio show in Manchester. The presenter of the show, Joe Casserley hosted the afternoon.

The show was sponsored by Mayo.ie , the Levenshulme Pub Company and the Manchester Mayo Tourism and Business Group, which is based in Levenshulme, an area in South Manchester which is home one of the biggest Irish communities outside of the Emerald Isle.

For more visit www.manchesteririshfestival.co.uk.

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