Minister endorses 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest

Minister Ring congratulates 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest

Minister Ring Endorses 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest
Ireland’s Agricultural Minister, Michael Ring TD met the performers of this year’s hugely successful 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest to congratulate the group on organising their annual celebration of Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance.

Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development commented “I would like to congratulate Tony Hennigan and all involved in the 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest. This week long festival is now in its sixth year, it features 500 performers taking part in over 100 events in the North, South, East and West of Mayo. It is Ireland’s biggest Tradfest. This is an annual legacy event from the 2013 Gathering. With its vast array of performers – there is certainly something for everyone to enjoy. I believe that the Mayo Manchester Tradfest is another wonderful offering to our visitors.

I have no doubt that its return in 2019 will be eagerly anticipated by the many people who attend it. I wish Mayo Manchester Tradfest continued success” concluded Minister Ring.”

The festival which was launched on Thursday 2 August was also declared another roaring success by Senator Michelle Mulherin when she officially opened the festival in Attymass with a live two hour Radio broadcast by Midwest Radio from the Fr Peyton Station. The Cathaoirleach (Mayor) of Mayo County Council, Cllr Blackie Gavin also commented on its success and the huge value it has for tourism in the County when he launched a packed out VIP Concert at Breaffy House later on the same night. For more information about the festival visit

The success of this year’s 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest has got everyone in Mayo going ‘Mad for Trad’ at the week-long Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance Festival, with TD’s, Senators, Ministers and even the President of Ireland getting behind the festival and sending letters of support. The unique festival showcased the very best of Mayo and Manchester’s Trad talent and ran from Thursday 2 August until Wednesday 8 August.

Tony Hennigan the director of the Mayo Manchester Tradfest which is now billed as Ireland’s biggest Tradfest commented “We have been overwhelmed by the support shown for the festival again this year, it has once again surpassed all of our expectations. Last year we had a very special visit by an Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), Leo Varadkar TD and this year we were delighted to receive a special letter of support by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. The group were delighted to meet Minister Michael Ring TD and the endorsement from him was very much appreciated. We have been working with the Minister since 2012 when he launched the hugely successful gathering tourism initiative in Manchester, when he was then the deputy Tourism Minister, it is great to have his continued support.”

“We would like to especially thank our main sponsors: Excel Excavations and Civil Construction group, Rosgal Civil Engineering and the Levenshulme Pub Company in Manchester who together with, Ballina Town Council, Castlebar Councillors Blackie Gavin, Michael Kilkoyne, Martin McLoughlin, Joe McHale, An Siochnach Rua Attymass, the Broken Jug Ballina and Failte Ireland have made this festival possible. A special mention should be given to our Travel and Media partners: Ireland West Airport and the Western People, they have been invaluable in supporting the continued viability of the festival again this year.”

This year’s 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest has once again set records for attendance in the extended festival which now has 7 hubs covering the North, South, East and West of Mayo. The unique festival of Tradition Irish Music, Song and Dance which is now in its sixth year. Plans for next year’s 2019 Mayo Manchester Tradfest have already started and it looks set to be further extended.

With everything from Sean Nos Dancing (Traditional Irish Dancing featuring Brush and Barrel) to Piping Bands and a whole array of Music and singer songwriters, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Highlights included a 2 hour live radio broadcast by the award winning Midwest Radio at the Fr Peyton Centre in Attymass on Thursday 2 August. The event was broadcast live online around the globe with people listening in as far away as Australia. The event featured the award winning Ganley Sisters and the Jiving Juniors who were recently featured on RTE’s Late Late TV show. Later on the same night the performers staged a VIP Concert at Breaffy House Resort in Castlebar, the Hotel which has its own 2,000 capacity arena was a resounding success. Performers on the night included: Joe Keegan from the TV show The Voice, Marian Waldron, Sina Theil, The Emear Mulvey Sean Nos Dancers, The Light Staves, Peter Mylett and Con Murphy. The evening was hosted by Alan Keegan - The Voice of Old Trafford at Manchester United.

The group then visited Achill Island to stage a special 70th Anniversary Concert for the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, concert and session we went on until the cows came home. On Saturday 4 August the group performed their 6th Mayo Manchester Gala Concert at the Ballina Arts Centre which was sponsored by the Mayo Association in Dublin. The concert featured the very best of Mayo and Manchester’s premier Irish Musicians, Singers and Dancers.

On Sunday 5 August the group visited the Westport House Stately home in Westport for a promenade performance before heading to their show at the Claremorris Theatre to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Claremorris Agricultural Festival with a special concert featuring the Mayo Manchester Tradfest performers and Joe Beirne from Midwest Radio.

The festival was finished off with a special sell out concert at Matt Molloys on Tuesday 7 August and a special closing ceremony event on Wednesday 8 August at the world famous Ashford Castle in Cong, the 5 Star hotel was recently featured in the BBC’s series on the top ten hotels in the world. The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band who are celebrating their 70th Anniversary made a little bit of history by becoming the first Pipe Band in the UK to march across the famous moat and perform in the grounds of the Castle. They created such an impact that Alan Vallely the Estate Manager has invited the group back to perform at the Castle as part of next year’s 2019 Mayo Manchester Tradfest.

For more information visit