The London Irish Centre will stream a special virtual St. Patrick’s Day event from 4pm on March 17th to celebrate the very best of Irish culture and community in London.
The event is free and will be available on the LIC’s website and social media.
The theme for the event is ‘London Le Chéile’, which is the Irish for #LondonTogether, which captures the spirit of collaboration, creativity, and community shown by the Irish in London through Covid challenges.
The stream starts at 4pm with three hours of Irish culture and heritage, featuring storytelling, film, music, dance, language and fun.
From 7pm the event goes fully live with presenter Angela Scanlon, who will host conversations with Imelda May, Richard Corrigan, Emma Dabiri, Siobhan McSweeney and more.
Viewers will also meet interesting Irish people from across London and enjoy exclusive performances from artists including Tom Grennan, Orla Gartland and Eva O’Connor.
The event will also feature a powerful tribute to Irish frontline workers, greetings from the Mayor of London and Irish Ambassador, and a unique film from Trafalgar Square, where the festival would usually take place.
The night will close with ‘The London Irish Trad Session’, where the cream of Irish traditional musicians across London will perform an electrifying session from their homes.
Rotunda London are also offering home-delivery of a very special St. Patrick’s at Home Feast.
The event is supported by The Mayor of London, Tourism Ireland, Culture Ireland, the Embassy of Ireland, Bord Bia, and the McGrath Group.
Trafalgar Square is usually a sea of green for one day every March but the pandemic has made the traditional parade and concert impossible to hold both last year and again this year.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The sight of Londoners and visitors of all backgrounds uniting in our capital for St Patrick’s day is a real highlight of our year, so it’s hugely disappointing that the impact of the pandemic means we are unable to gather on the streets again.
“However, I’m delighted that, together with the London Irish Centre, we are able to host an online celebration that will pay tribute to the huge contribution of our Irish community.
“I urge Londoners to celebrate this year’s St Patrick’s day from the safety of home and to join together virtually to enjoy the performances.”
The Irish Ambassador, Adrian O’Neill, said: “Around the world each year, March 17 brings Irish people and friends of Ireland together for a celebration of Irishness in all its diversity. In what has been a very challenging year, it is wonderful to see this tradition continuing with the annual London St. Patrick’s Festival taking place online, giving London’s Irish community and friends the opportunity to safely mark the occasion and celebrate Ireland virtually, but together. I’d like to pay tribute to the wider Irish community who over the past 12 months have shown such togetherness, solidarity and community spirit and to welcome all in London who join the online festivities. Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh go léir.”
Rosaleen Blair, London Irish Centre Chair, said: “I am thrilled that we are delivering this flagship virtual event for London and its Irish community. It is yet another wonderful initiative of our team who have been shining lights through these challenging Covid times. In any normal year, we would be gathering in Trafalgar Square to celebrate our culture and heritage, so I am delighted that we are keeping that spirit of creativity and togetherness alive through virtual channels. We are deeply grateful to the Mayor of London, Irish Ambassador, Tourism Ireland, Culture Ireland and the McGrath Group for being such wonderful partners, and look forward to joining the festivities on the big day. Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir!”
Stephen McGrath, Director McGrath Group, said: “McGraths are proud to support the London Irish Centre’s cultural work and community services across London. In what has been a difficult year for many, it is amazing to be able to play a part in the LIC’s efforts to draw the Irish community together for this virtual St Patrick’s day celebration, in the absence of a physical one. It promises to be an incredible showcase of culture and talent, that the Irish are renowned for! Happy St Patrick’s Day!”
The event can be live streamed from 4pm on Wednesday 17th March by clicking here.
The London Irish Centre will also benefit from independent hospitality company, Green & Fortune who have added a St. Patrick’s Day special to its Rotunda @ Home delivery service with proceeds going to the centre and The Clink Charity.
The Clink works in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation service to provide training programmes in prisons across the UK, giving inmates the skills needed to secure work in the hospitality industry after release.
The last two years have seen Green & Fortune hold a St. Patrick’s Day fundraising lunch at their Kings Place venue, raising almost £40,000 in total.
This year, the day is being marked with an at home menu.
John Nugent, Chief Executive of Green & Fortune, commented “We are determined to ensure the day doesn’t pass without us marking the occasion to build upon the success of the last two years. While it’s disappointing that we can’t hold an event in person this year, it’s more important than ever that we raise funds for these two great charities.
“The boxes are a great way to mark the day at home or to send to clients, colleagues or friends as a gift. The lunch will be back next year and is sure to be bigger and better than ever.”