March is Irish History month

Did you know that Irish History Month takes place throughout the month of March 2020?

An initiative brought about by the Irish Arts Foundation in Leeds, Irish History Month exists to promote the many positive contributions that Irish people have made in Leeds and also introduces new audiences to the vibrancy of Irish arts, heritage, culture and history.

Throughout the month an Irish educational and cultural exhibition, ‘Timeline’, can be viewed at the Hunslet Library & Community Hub.

On Thursday 5 March at Headingley Library, four Leeds-based distinguished second-generation Irish writers explore questions of identity and belonging. Ian Duhig, Ray French, Moy McCrory and Kath McKay ask the perennial question “where is home – here or Ireland?” Through their essays, fiction and poetry about music, family and history, they explore being ‘not quite British, not quite Irish’.

Irish Arts Foundation Director, Des Hurley, will chair a discussion and presentation, ‘The Leeds Irish Centre. 1970-2020’, with the Sociable History Club at Leeds City Museum on Friday 6 March.

On Monday 9 March at Montague Burton Resource Centre in Harehills, County Wicklow based writer, poet and performer Carmen Cullen performs the songs and tells the story of her aunt Delia Murphy in her roving show ‘Hello Delia Murphy’.

The event provides a unique slant on Irish social history and the cultural climate of the times. It underlines the fearless nature of Delia Murphy as a woman and as a singer who promoted Irish folk songs and ballads. At the time it was almost impossible for a married woman with children to have a public profile, in particular in the show-business world. International Women’s Day 2020 takes place on Sunday 8 March.

At Kirkstall Abbey House Museum and as part of the ‘Sounds of Our City’ project, Conor MacMahon, will give a first public screening of his final year film, ‘Home from Home’ on Saturday 14 March. Conor is a Uilleann Piper and Film and Television Production Student at the University of Bradford and worked with Leeds CCÉ (Irish Music Association), Leeds Irish Centre and the Irish Arts Foundation to explore the current Irish music scene in Leeds and traces the history of Irish immigration to the city. ‘Sounds of Our City’ is at Abbey House Museum until 31 December 2020 and takes visitors on a journey through the musical stories of Leeds.

A session of traditional Irish music hosted by local musicians takes place on the Kirkstall Flyboat on the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Granary Wharf on the afternoon of Sunday 29 March. All welcome.

Further details and timings are available on the Irish Arts Foundation website

The twentieth Leeds St Patrick’s Day Parade will take place in Leeds City Centre on Sunday 15 March, leaving Millennium Square at 10:30am.


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