Manchester Irish Festival and Minister Ring to receive Diaspora awards
By Geraldine Carr
The Manchester Irish Festival committee and the Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring, are among the recipients of the 2012 Irish Diaspora Mayo Awards.
The awards, which started being presented in 1999, pay tribute to people who have made a vital contribution to promoting Irish culture in their community.
Kevin Bourke one of co-ordinators of the awards, said: “We selected the festival, because of all the work that they do for the Diaspora in Manchester and the work they have done to develop links between Mayo and Manchester.”
The Manchester Irish Festival is Europe’s biggest Irish festival outside Ireland. The two week festival features more than 200 events involving 80 different venues.
One of the festival co-chairs, Kevin Fitzpatrick, commented: “We are delighted to have been selected for this prestigious award, a number of our committee members have links to Mayo, in fact I think there is only a couple of us who do not come from the county. It is a real honour to receive the award alongside the Minister for Tourism, Michael Ring. He came over to Manchester to launch the 2013 Gathering tourism project and it will be great to meet up with him again.”
Other award recipients include the Addergoole Titanic Committee, the institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University, Jim and Andrea McKenna (former lord and lady mayoress of Leeds), and Brenda Mulvey from Birmingham.
The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday September 15 at a presentation dinner at the Welcome Inn, Castlebar.