Sun-kissed anniversary event hears that thanks to local community little Molly will get a new kidney
The annual Crawley Irish festival celebrated its 21st Anniversary in a blaze of sunshine last Sunday at The Hawth theatre – the best August bank holiday weekend in Britain since 1990,writes Anne Geaghan.
As in previous years, Master of Ceremonies Gerry Molumby and Patrick O’Connell OBE presented a programme of entertainment starting at midday with popular trad band Celtic Crunch on the main stage.
Popular Duo Irish Mist followed and for seven hours festival-goers enjoyed a feast of Irish dance and traditional music. Crawley always prides itself on welcoming people from afar and this year visitors came from Ireland and Chicago.
County Clare band Homeland launched its CD “London Town” featuring lead vocalist Joe Killoughery and his namesake and cousin from London.
Joe (London) also played the bodhrán and also presented a collage of previous Crawley photographs on his gleaming truck.
Check out a preview of photos from the day below. For LOADS more photos, pick up your copy of this weeks The Irish World+5
During the afternoon long-time Crawley festival organizer and Carlow man, John Nolan formally welcomed the local Mayor, Brian Quinn, who originally came from Offaly to officially open the festival.
Mayor Quinn praised the efforts of the Crawley Irish festival committee and thanked everyone who had supported the festival over the past 21 years. “The importance of sponsorship and support is crucial to Irish festival events,” Mayor Quinn told the crowd. Those backers include Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Foundation Developments (FDL), Coinford, and J Devine.
In keeping with the optimistic and celebratory atmosphere, local radio presenter Neil Munday, of Suzy Radio, announced to the crowd that because of the support of the tight-knit local Crawley community, a little girl called Molly Cass, from The Andromeda Edmonds School of Irish Dance, was going to have the kidney transplant she so badly needed.
Tony Kearney, assisted by caller Josephine, had the set dancers gliding for hours to his ceili tunes.
Irish World Award winner Mary Rose and her band led her dedicated fans in song and dance.
GAA fans watched Dublin trounce Tyrone on the big screens set up outdoors while, inside the Hawth Theatre the music continued with more tunes from Celtic Crunch, Chris O’Malley and friends, and The Strawdogs.
The Craicheads closed the day’s performances on the main stage outdoors.
Crawley 2017 had a special harmony – here’s to the future. www.celtic-irish.co.uk/festival