by Democrat reporter
MUSIC, FILM, art, theatre, political debate, community health promotion, Gaelic sports — and lashings of craic — have been on offer throughout March courtesy of the Sheffield Irish festival, now in its fifth successful year.
The festival’s wide range of events, put together with limited financial resources, once again made a bold effort to cater for the diverse interests of Sheffield’s Irish community. Whatever people’s interests there was certainly plenty to do, see and listen to — irrespective of age, gender, colour or creed.
As in previous years local Connolly Association members played their part organising specific events.
Members of the Sheffield Irish community and friends travelled to the Working Class Movement Library in Salford for a special visit organised by the Sheffield & South Yorkshire branch of the Connolly Association.The event provided the group with an opportunity to experience a tailor-made guided tour of the library and a chance to browse through the many rooms of specialist interest — particularly the library’s Irish room, which includes the book collections of the late Desmond Greaves, editor of the Irish Democrat for 40 years, and the historian T A Jackson.
Local CA member Clare Hughes was one of a number of excellent local artists to have their work displayed as part of a major art exhibition at the city’s spacious S10 gallery in the Broomhill area of the city. Other featured artistsinclude Paul Dearden, John Smyley, Anne Marie Beauvoir, Helen Whittaker and Colleen Penney. The exhibition remains at the gallery until 2 April.
The Irish Democrat also sponsored a major debate on the EU and the euro as part of the festival. The event, which was chaired by the paper’s editor David Granville, saw pro-EU Yorkshire and Humberside Labour Party MEP Linda McAvan and local Sheffield businesswoman Julia Gash debate with two of Ireland’s leading eurocritics, Anthony Coughlan of Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Green Party MEP Patricia McKenna. “By bringing together a range of informed panellists for a fair and open debate we hope that we have been able to provide an opportunity for some people at least to gain a clearer understanding of the real issues at stake — foremost among which, we believe, is nothing less than the question of democracy and the right of nations to self determination,” said Irish Democrat editor David Granville.
Connolly Publications Ltd, 244 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JR
Copyright © 2001 Connolly Publications Ltd