By Columba O’Hare
Tide of family fun will flow through Newry this Bank Holiday
A fun-filled family festival for all ages – that’s Iúr Cinn Fleadh – Newry’s annual traditional Irish music and community extravaganza.
Having pulled through the pandemic, this Newry 2020 event bounces back on August Bank Holiday weekend. From 25-29 August, concerts, comedy and creativity will help shape a city of song and laughter.
Musicians and singers will perform in venues from coffee houses to public houses. A tide of fun for all ages will flow through the city centre. Families will enjoy outdoor games, music, art, caricatures, poetry and puppetry.
Headlining the Fleadh are The Sands Family at the Town Hall on 27 August. Born just outside Newry, siblings Tommy, Ben, Colum and Anne grew up in a ‘céilí house’ that celebrated the Irish tradition of story and song. They’re bringing it all back home.
Performing at the Town Hall on 26 August will be Hilltown singer-songwriter Matt McGinn – described as ‘fantastic’ by the legendary Bob Harris. Matt will be joined by special guests award-winning album artist Joshua Burnside and songsmith Ciara O’Neill, whose music has taken her from Northern Ireland to Nashville.
A host of performers will serenade festival goers on restored 1940s boat The Brienne. Families, couples and individuals will enjoy this dreamy Trad Cruise along the Newry Canal where fish jump and herons glide across the water.
While some are sailing, others will be walking – along the Greenway to enjoy Picnic At The Lock. PIPS Hope and Support are organising this summer trek that comes complete with live music and moments to chill out on 27 August.
Newry actor and musician Kieran Cunningham brings his unique one-man show on the life of comedian Dave Allen back to the Fleadh on 25 August. The Fleadh will host the first public screening of a film about Newry collage artist Seán Hillen, who will share his story in a Q&A session on 29 August.
Many more artists and activities will feature such as – Manchester poet Tony Walsh, San Francisco folk duo Noctambule, Dancing On The Green, Newry Community Choir, Cloughmore Singers and Newry Chamber Music.
‘Now an established event in the Newry calendar, this is the seventh Iúr Cinn Fleadh and I know many people are looking forward to it resuming after a two-year break,’ said Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Cllr Michael Savage.
‘The Council is delighted to support this festival which is an opportunity to showcase Newry and the area’s musicians and artists. I know that everyone will have a great weekend.’ Pick up a Fleadh Event Guide from various outlets around the city. Tickets available from www.iurcinnfleadh.com/events.