The sun seemed to follow this year’s 2019 Mayo Manchester Tradfest on its tour around County Mayo for the week long seventh annual festival which ran over the first week of the month.
Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester commented: "It’s been a great week again in Mayo, someone must have been looking out for us when we managed to perform all our shows in bright sunshine, the rain showers seemed to just break out after we had finished. The festival could not have happened without all our sponsors and supporters in the UK and Ireland."
The festival was launched in bright sunshine in the rural parish of Attymass in North Mayo by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD together with Senator Michelle Mulherin and Deputy Leader of Fine Fail, Dara Calleary and local councillor John O’Hara. The opening event featured a two hour live radio broadcast on Mid West Radio with a host of award winning musicians, singers and dancers. On the same evening the festival staged a Moonlight outdoor launch concert at Breaffy House Hotel in Castlebar.
The festival then headed West to the beautiful Achill Island on Friday, August 2 to enjoy another day of bright sunshine to stage a sunset concert at the Achill Head Hotel with the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band to celebrate their 71st anniversary with Irish singer songwriter Joe Keegan and flute player John Gibson. During their stay on the Island they met the internationally famous photo journalist David Ponton and his wife Belinda Mundy from Australia who kindly photographed the group in Purteen Harbour.
On Saturday, August 3, the festival staged their 7th sell-out gala concert at the Ballina Arts Centre. The concert featured the award winning singers Sina Theil, Shauna O’Boyle and Joe Keegan along with musicians John Gibson and Fidelma O’Brien. Along with the Connacht Fleadh champions – The Foxford Brass Band, The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, Centre Stage Vocal Academy and the fantastic Turley Duggan Dance Academy.
Sunday, August 4 saw the group head to East Mayo to launch the 101st Claremorris Agricultural show in bright sunshine with Minister Michael Ring before the heavens opened after their performances. The group made a surprise visit to the Bonnifinglas sports day back home at their base in Attymass in North Mayo.
The Bank holiday Monday saw the group officially launch the 70th Bonniconlon show in front of 30,000 people in North Mayo in bright sunshine again. The performance was sponsored by the Cot and Cobble in Ballina which the band made a surprise visit to after their gig at the Bonniconlon show to thank owner Mary Moyles and to entertain her staff and customers enjoying their Sunday Carvery at the very popular venue alongside the picturesque River Moy.
Tuesday evening saw the group head to Crossmolina to help launch phase one of the newly refurbished Dolphin Hotel and Mulhern’s bar and restaurant in Crossmolina. The final night on Wednesday, August 7 saw the group stage their official closing night party back home in Ballina at the newly opened Tarbh47 music venue on Garden Street which is being run by Gerry Walsh.