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Irish festival comes of age

THE Tyneside Irish Cultural Festival celebrates its 21st year with a programme of events between October 11 and 21.

THE Tyneside Irish Cultural Festival celebrates its 21st year with a programme of events between October 11 and 21.

Once again, many of the leading exponents of traditional Irish music will perform.

The Tyneside Irish Festival began as a weekend event in 1986 and now extends to 10 days of music, culture and drama.

The headliner is Finbar Furey who plays on Saturday, October 20, at the Tyne Theatre.

Finbar is an Irish music legend with a unique musical style and singing voice.

Opening night will be Four Men & A Dog, who will be at the Tyneside Irish Centre at Gallowgate, Newcastle, featuring Cathel Hayden, Gino Lupari, Donal Murphy and Kevin Docherty.

Friday, October 12, will feature Declan O’Rourke, who has been described by Paul Weller as “a major new talent”.

The following night it will be the turn of Sean Keane, still one of Ireland’s greatest voices.

Monday, October 15, will see Mick Hanly at the Bridge Folk Club.

The prodigious talent of Zoe Conway will take to the stage on October 18. She was the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Champion in 2001, and was recently voted Best Traditional Female Of the Year in Irish Music Magazine.

One concert not to miss is Liam O’Flynn and Paddy Glackin, on Friday, October 19.

Liam appeared at the festival in 2005 when he performed a sold-out concert at The Sage Gateshead with the Northern Sinfonia playing Brendan’s Voyage.

Organisers are bringing over Little John Nee for three nights with his show Star of Stage, Screen and Street Corners – a selection of favourite vignettes from his theatre shows over the past 10 years.

For more details, log on to www.tynesideirish.com , or to obtain a copy of the programme, ring (0191) 222 0398.

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