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Liverpool Irish Festival returns to the city

Liverpool Irish Festival returns to city venues for a 15th year and poses the question – what does it mean to be Irish?

And where better to ask that (outside Ireland of course) than in Liverpool, where so many families have Irish heritage.

The 11-day event, running from October 19-29, features a programme of music, theatre, talks and debates, walks, film, food and drink, literature and other performances in what is the only arts and culture-led Irish festival in the UK.

Festival director Emma Smith says: “Because we have created and programmed a multidisciplinary festival, we offer the opportunity of hearing from a range of voices, providing the chance to hear both current and historic stories that tie Liverpool and Ireland together, through written form, voice, music, song, dance, art, and performance.

The Breath are playing at the Capstone Theatre Credit: York Tillyer

“There are opportunities to speak with the artists, watch their work from a distance or engage directly.

“We have more exciting projects to announce for this year’s festival and we think it will be our most diverse and exciting yet.”

Among the highlights of the 2017 event are an appearance by BBC foreign correspondent Orla Guerin, who will reflect on her frontline career as a broadcast journalist and will launch a festival strand called In:Visible Women which explores some of the ‘forgotten women’ from Liverpudlian and Irish History as well as contemporary issues facing women.

Sue Rynhart is appearing as part of In:VIsible Women Credit: Virginia Thomas Photography

The inaugural Celtic Animation Film Festival, along with a Celtic Animation Film competition, showcasing short animated films made in Liverpool, Ireland or other ‘Celtic regions’, and celebrating storytelling related to Celtic identity, myths and cultural history.

Music comes from Seafoam Green, The Eskies, Only Child and The Whistlin’ Donkeys among others, while there will also be performances of the play Committed – set in 1990s Belfast – which first had a script reading at the 2014 festival.

And writer, musician and tour guide Greg Quiery has penned a new Liverpool Irish history book which will be launched during the festival.

Liverpool Irish Festival runs at various city venues from October 19-29. For the full programme of events and tickets, visit the website HERE.

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