Long lost links with north Mayo musical family restored

A discovery of great historical significance to the Ballina region has been unearthed following intensive world-wide research which has revealed the extraordinary musical talents of the Wallace family, who went on to entertain people throughout the world in the mid 19th century.

To honour the family, the Ballina Wallace Bicentenary Committee has been formed to mark the birth 200 years ago of William Vincent Wallace, one of Ireland’s greatest composers and to firmly establish his family’s roots and links in the Ballina/Killala area, in addition to his sister Eliza who became one of the great divas in Australia.

The Wallace Bicentenary Committee in Ballina has arranged a number of events to celebrate this talented musical family. A talk, given by two of the world’s leading authorities on the family (Dr David Grant and Peter Jaggard ), and an exhibition running for 10 days in the local library, will lead to a concert in St Muredach’s Cathedral on Sunday night, September 16, featuring the town choirs, the Lawlor School of Song, soloists Alan McGinty and Debbie Duffy, the Sheeran family, and other local talent. A commemorative souvenir programme will be produced to mark the occasion, and other events are also being planned.

Surviving Wallace family members in the US have been traced and have been invited to Ballina for the occasion.

Members of the Ballina Wallace Bicentenary Committee are Terry Reilly, Liam MacHale, Pat Diamond, Margaret Harrison, Michael Hogan and Barry McLoughlin. Further information from [email protected]

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