Manchester Irish Festival teams up with New York at London Conference

Hilary Beirne the Executive Secretary of the New York St Patrick's Day Parade is pictured here with Lawrence Hennigan from the Manchester Irish Festival.

Manchester Irish Festival teams up with New York at London Conference

Hilary Beirne the Executive Secretary of the New York St Patrick's Day Parade is pictured here with Lawrence Hennigan from the Manchester Irish Festival. They are both pictured at the Federation of Irish Societies ‘2011 Made in Ireland’, which was held in London(24-26 November). The New York Parade which is the world’s largest Irish Parade celebrates its two hundred and fiftieth birthday. Whilst the Manchester Irish Festival Parade which is the UK’s biggest St Patrick’s Day Parade at over three miles long, has just celebrated its 21st Birthday.

When asked about his thoughts about the meeting, Lawrence replied “It was great to meet Hilary, he comes from County Roscommon which is right next door to my own County – Mayo. So it felt like meeting one of my neighbours, it wasn’t the first time our paths had crossed. I do not think we will ever match the New York Parade in terms of the money that they spend on the production of the event. Whilst Manchester is very proud of its own St Patrick’s Day Parade, its unique selling point is that its festival unlike any other Irish Festival in the world is a two week, 17 Day Irish Cultural celebration with over 200 events at 56 venues. Hilary’s speech was very inspiring and I am going to go away and think about how we can incorporate some of his suggestions.”

“The conference was a great networking event, it was really useful to meet up with people from all over the world who share the same ideals in promoting Irish Culture.”

Also attending the conference from Manchester was John Commons who met up with some of Ireland’s Olympic athletes. John was the co-ordinator of the annual Levenshulme Festival this year and is currently involved in a project which will welcome the Olympic torch to the village in South Manchester. He added “We are all very exited about the Olympic torch coming to the suburb which is home to one of the biggest Irish communities outside of Kilburn. It was great to meet Ireland’s new Olympic hopefuls and I am sure the village will be getting behind the team and following their progress with great interest.”