Family fun for St Patrick’s Day

Ireland’s patron saint would be proud to find that his festival in Newry will boast a special family focus this year.

For the first time ever, Iúr Cinn Fleadh has teamed up with Meadow and Armagh Road Community Association to present a new all-age afternoon and evening programme at Whitegates Centre from 3pm-9pm on St Patrick’s Day. And it’s all free.

The Sunday spectacular will feature a vast range of performances from art to music, rap to trad, Irish to Indian dance, from flutes to a full ceilidh. Everyone is invited to come along and watch – but also to get ready to take part.

‘This started life as a conversation between Iúr Cinn Fleadh and Meadow/Armagh Road Community Association,’ said event co-ordinator Brian Fitzpatrick.

‘We all shared concern about the lack of family-friendly events – not centred around alcohol – from about 4pm onwards on 17th March.

‘That conversation led to the idea of creating an event that could be built around the use of Whitegates Community Centre – but not in competition with other established St Patrick’s Day events.’

Organisers aimed to bring in local artists along with other different ethnic arts groups. ‘The event is free so people can just come to be part of the audience,’ said Brian, ‘but certain events are geared towards audience participation. So come along and join in!’

Whitegates Community Centre can be found on Killeavy Road, Newry BT35 6EP, just off the Armagh Road.

Clive Price