Sina Theil and Gerry Glennon from Midwest Radio.

Midwest Radio to launch Home to Mayo Tradfest in Ballina

MIDWEST Radio will be staging a two-hour live broadcast at the Merry Monk on Thursday, May 26, to launch the week-long Mayo Manchester Home to Mayo Tradfest.

The fun starts at 6 p.m. and will feature a host of traditional Irish music, song and dance, which promises to be one of the highlights of the festival which features over 100 performers taking part in over 40 events in Ballina, Ashford Castle, Achill, Ballinrobe Races, Castlebar, Cong and Killala.

The evening, which is free admission, will be launched by Deputy Dara Calleary and will feature live performances by some of the acts in the Home to Mayo Gala Concert on May 28 at the Ballina Arts Centre and other key events at the festival. Acts already confirmed include traditional Irish musicians from the Merry Monk weekly seisun, award-winning singers Sina Theil, Dennis McCalmont and Teresa Marie Canavan, along with the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and dancers from the Turley Duggan Irish Dance Academy.

Commented Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester: “We are very grateful to Joe Lavelle from the Merry Monk for sponsoring the live broadcast to launch our celebration of Irish music, song and dance in Mayo. The venue is one of the best venues in Mayo for supporting traditional Irish music and we are delighted to have it as one of our official venues.

“The broadcast will go out live around the globe from 6 to 8 p.m. and it promises to be a night to remember.”

There are seven main events taking place in the seven hubs of the festival, which cover the north, south, east and west of Mayo. They are listed below.

1. Thursday, May 26, at 1 p.m. – Home to Mayo Tradfest event in Castlebar featuring promenade performance by the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band in the Market Square in Castlebar, followed by a parade to the Linenhall Arts Centre.

2. Thursday, May 26, 6-8pm – Home to Mayo Tradfest launch in Ballina featuring live broadcast by Midwest Radio at the Merry Monk and a host of Irish musicians, singers and dancers.

3. Friday, May 27, at 6 p.m., Home to Mayo Tradfest event in Killala. This features a promenade performance by the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and performers from the award-winning In Humbert's Footsteps.

4. Saturday, May 28, at 7.30 p.m., Home to Mayo gala concert at the Ballina Arts Cente featuring The Turley Duggan Irish Dance Academy, singers Dennis McCalmont, Tara Grady and Teresa Marie Canavan, sean nós dancers from the Eimear Mulvey Dance School, the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and hosted by Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football Club. Tickets are €15 – 'phone 096 73593.

5. Sunday, May 29, at 1 p.m., Home to Mayo Tradfest event on Achill Island celebrating 150 years of Irish piping with the Dooagh Pipe Band and the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band. Parade starts from Lourdie's Pub and marches to Dooagh village.

6. Monday, May 30, at 5 p.m., Home to Mayo Tradfest event at the Ballinrobe Races, featuring promenade performances by the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and a host of Irish musicians plus a full evening of races on one of the biggest tracks in Ireland.

7. Tuesday, May 31, Home to Mayo Tradfest closing event at Ashford Castle at 1 p.m. (for residents only), followed by a parade through Cong village from 3 p.m. for the general public.