British Queen celebrates


The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today confirmed a virtual celebration will take place for London to mark the annual celebration of St Patrick’s Day.   

Due to the impact of Covid-19 and national restrictions, the annual celebration is being moved online on Wednesday 17 March with a programme showcasing the very best of Irish talent, hosted by the London Irish Centre. The programme will include an afternoon community celebration of creative workshops, music and storytelling, followed by a programme of live celebrations hosted by London Irish Centre Ambassador Angela Scanlon and friends. 

The capital’s celebrations will also include a number of other events - a film festival presented by Irish Film London, with a selection of short films, feature films, animations and music videos, as well as a number of special events with screen talent and filmmakers from the Irish filmmaking community. More than 50 musicians will be competing in The Fiddler of London Competition, a tribute to the late Justin Whelehan, the Fiddler of London, for the prestigious title which will be awarded to an outstanding musician. 

Musicians between the ages of 12 and 25 from across the city will perform music from the repertoires of past masters of traditional Irish music on the London scene and the ‘trad gathering’ will be performing a series of tunes, reels, jigs, polkas and barn dances in this intergenerational performance - all performed virtually. There will also be recordings of a series of sketches, songs and monologues exploring the idea of St Patrick and St Bridget visiting modern day London from the Queens Crescent Community Association, together with Age UK and north London carers.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The sight of Londoners and visitors of all backgrounds uniting in our capital for St Patrick’s day is a real highlight of our year, so it’s hugely disappointing that the impact of the pandemic means we are unable to gather on the streets again. However, I’m delighted that, together with the London Irish Centre, we are able to host an online celebration that will pay tribute to the huge contribution of our Irish community. I urge Londoners TO celebrate this year’s St Patrick’s day from the safety of home and to join together virtually to enjoy the performances.”

Gary Dunne, Director of Culture at London Irish Centre said: “The London Irish Centre is delighted to be partnering with the Mayor of London to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in 2021. The London St. Patrick's Special, will be a jam-packed evening of culture, conversation, and community fun, hosted by London Irish Centre Ambassador Angela Scanlon and friends and will give viewers the opportunity to experience and connect with the very best of all things Irish in London.”

Labhrás Ó Laoghaíre / Larry O'Leary, Chair of the Community Advisory Board, said:“This will be a wonderfully diverse series of events. Almost all of the events  will be digital, which has proved challenging  but nevertheless, all aspects of Irish community life in London has been covered; Music, Dance, Poetry, Theatre and Sport, with the major event from the celebrations digital partner, The London Irish Centre Camden going out on St Patrick's Day itself. Hopefully everyone will enjoy these wonderful celebrations, together we will shine through this.”

The London Irish Centre is inviting members of the public to submit their own ideas and suggestions to be part of the celebrations.

Photo by Ben, Wikimedia commons.