Coatbridge’s 18th Annual St Patrick’s Day Festival Line-up Announced

The Coatbridge Irish Heritage Committee has confirmed that the 18th St Patrick’s Day Festival runs from today until 14th March this year:

“As usual, we have a mix of events that we hope will suit all tastes, from sport, music, fun and debate, which reflect our heritage, culture and identity. Above all we want everyone to enjoy our festival and have fun.

“We are delighted that Mr Brian Dempsey has accepted our invitation to be this year’s honorary President. Brian has been a great supporter of the Festival since our very first one, 18 years ago, and we are delighted to welcome him back to Coatbridge.

“With current political events in Ireland and indeed here, this year’s Lecture will prove very topical. We are delighted to welcome Belfast solicitor, Niall Murphy to our Festival to deliver the lecture, Ireland: Recalling the past, living in the present, planning for the future.

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all.”

Brian Dempsey, Honorary President, stated:

“I fulfil the role of President of this year’s St. Patrick’s Festival with consummate pride and delight. In the changing landscape making Lanarkshire’s rebirth from the toils and grime of its heavy industrial past, St. Patrick’s Festival week provides a constancy and foundation each year. It illuminates lasting traditions and values within the ephemeral and passing trends and fads of an often short-sighted national culture. In both senses the annual St. Patrick’s Festival gleams as a diamond “in the glaur”. I wish the Festival every success and express the hope that it will be remembered in years to come with pride and affection.”

The Festival line-up is as follows:

Thursday 5th March, 7.30pm – Play, Film & Pie.

Mayo Suite, St. Patrick’s Hall, St. John Street, Coatbridge. Tickets £3.

Play: The B Flat Miners Life’s the Pits.
A wife and mother’s story of her mining family in working class Lanarkshire. Take a journey through the tears and laughter as she reflects the sorrow and joy in her life. Singalong with Bingo Bella and local ice cream man Tony Capaldi, a crooner and a real smoothie. The human story of coal from early industrial mining days to its demise during the Thatcher years and its legacy on today’s world.

Written and performed by The B Flat Miners, three staff members of Summerlee Industrial Museum, Coatbridge.

Film: Nobody’s Talking to Me by Tommy Marren.
A comedy, set in 1960’s rural Ireland. Mattie and Maggie Conway are about to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary but haven’t spoken to each other in 10 years. All hell breaks loose when the local priest decides to renew their vows. Mattie’s eccentric sister Minnie, who has lived in the house all her life, begins to feel the pressure and their only daughter, Josephine, is courting Andy Walsh, a sandwich short of a picnic. To add to the mayhem, Bartie O’Dowd’s wake is taking place next door.

Friday 6th March, 7.30pm – Annual Irish Quiz & live music from The Dubliner.

Columba Club, St. John Street, Coatbridge. Tickets £5.

Join us in our re-vamped Annual Irish Quiz and form a team to compete for the ‘Erin Go Bragh’ trophy, currently held by the Galway Hookers, and a cash prize of £50 to the winning team, followed by entertainment and live music from The Dubliner.

Saturday 7th March, 10am – Gaelic Football Schools Final. Admission Free.

St.Patrick’s and St.Augustine’s contest the final of the Primary Schools Gaelic Football competition at St. Ambrose Gaelic Football Park, Townhead Road, Coatbridge.

Sunday 8th March, 7.30pm – Annual Lecture.

Mayo Suite, St. Patrick’s Hall, St. John Street, Coatbridge. Tickets £3.

IRELAND: Recalling the past, living in the present and planning for the future.

Recent events in Ireland have the potential to transform the future of the island. With the historical unionist majority in the North having greatly diminished over the past 3 elections (Assembly, Europe and Westminster), and a historic surge in the Sinn Fein vote in the other 26 Counties, we examine the constitutional future of the island, how it might be transformed and also with regards possible ramifications for Britain and Scotland.

This evening’s lecture is presented by Niall Murphy, who is a spokesperson for Ireland’s Future, an NGO lobbying for the convention of an all-Ireland Citizens Assembly to examine the constitutional future of the island. Niall is also a human rights lawyer who has been at the forefront of, and led, campaigns and legal actions in respect of ‘Troubles’ killings at Loughinisland, McGurks Bar and Ormeau Road. He is also an Irish Language activist and is chair of Antrim GAA and vice chairperson of his club, St. Enda’s GAC. Sponsored by CAIRDE NA HEIRANN.

Friday 13th March, 7.30pm – Father Ted Night.

Columba Club, St. John Street, Coatbridge. Tickets £5.

Get a team together (max of 4 per team), and brush up for the quiz as you sit back and enjoy 2 episodes of the popular TV series. You can dress up as your favourite character and then enjoy listening to live music from Tam and Smash.

Saturday 14th March – Annual St. Patricks Day Family Street Event – from 11am in Coatbridge Town Centre.

Saturday 14th March, 7.00pm – Luke Kelly Tribute Evening.

Georgian Hotel, Lefroy Street, Coatbridge. Tickets £15.

Enjoy an evening reflecting on the music of Dubliners’ member Luke Kelly.

Saturday 14th March – Family Street Event , from 11am -Marquee opposite Quadrant Stage sponsored by McPAKE ELECTRICAL.

Join master of ceremonies, PATRICK ROLINK , to be entertained with music and dance from 11am. The official opening ceremony will take place around noon. Festival chair, Tom Nolan, will be joined on stage by Ireland’s Consul General to Scotland, Jane McCulloch and locally elected representatives. Look out for a special guest visiting the Festival at some point during the day.

Entertainment throughout the day will be provided by :

St.Mary’s Primary School / St. Patrick’s Primary School / Stephanie Duff School of Irish Dance / Mad Studios Modern Dance Group / The Dubliner / Karl Byrne / Plainsmen / St. Patrick’s Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann / The Mighty Walters.

Tickets for events can be obtained from Tommy Tango’s, The Columba Club and www.wegottickets.com. Tickets for the Play, Film and Pie can also be obtained from St. Patrick’s Hall.

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