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Irish History Month 2023

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Did you know that throughout the month of March - the month in which St Patrick’s Day is internationally celebrated - Irish History Month takes place?

Irish History Month 2023

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Irish History Month. Leeds. March 2023

Did you know that throughout the month of March - the month in which St Patrick’s Day is internationally celebrated - Irish History Month takes place? 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 to introduce new audiences to the vibrancy of Irish arts, heritage, culture, and history.

A morning of traditional Irish music hosted by local singers and musicians takes place at Richmond Hill Community Centre in East Leeds on the morning of Thursday 2nd March. The area of Richmond Hill, historically known as ‘The Bank’, was the first area of settlement for the Leeds Irish community who arrived in the city during the Irish famine between 1845 and 1849.‘Charles Owen O’Conor, ‘The O’Conor Don.’ Landlordism, Liberal Catholicism and Unionism in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’.

At Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre on Tuesday 7th March, in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University and Leeds Museums & Galleries and as part of the ‘1152 Club: talks at Kirkstall Abbey’ series, Associate Researcher and Lecturer in History at Leeds Beckett University, Dr Aidan Enright uncovers the world of Charles Owen O’Conor, ‘The O‘Conor Don’ (1838–1906), one of the most prominent Catholic landlords and Liberal MPs of his generation.

At Headingley Farmers Market on the morning of Saturday 11th March dancers from the Helen Rowland Academy of Irish Dancing will be performing.In collaboration with Film at HEART, on Tuesday 14th March at Headingley Enterprise & Arts Centre, ‘The Quiet Girl’ will be screened: set in 1981 rural Ireland, a withdrawn nine-year-old girl, Cáit (Catherine Clinch), experiences a loving home for the first time when she spends the summer on a farm with distant relatives in County Waterford, Cáit blossoms in their care, but in this house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers one painful truth. Based on the renowned story Foster by Claire Keegan. ‘The Quiet Girl’ received eleven nominations at the Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTAs) in March 2022 and won in seven categories. Written and directed by Colm Bairéad, the film was the first Irish-language film to showcase at the Berlin Film Festival and win the Best Film award at IFTAs.

On Thursday 16th March at Ruth Gorse Academy in South Leeds, Irish Arts Foundation Director, Des Hurley, will chair a discussion and presentation, ‘Untold Stories: The Leeds Irish Community.’ Untold Stories is a community archive project undertaken by the Irish Arts Foundation. Initially funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project looks at the experiences of the emigrant Irish community in Leeds in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly their settlement patterns and cultural traditions such as music, dance, song, and sport.

An early evening of traditional Irish music- ‘Rush Hour Trad’- hosted by local musicians takes place at The Terminus in Meanwood on Friday 24th March.‘Exploring the Musical Crossover between Ireland, Yorkshire and Lancashire.’ In collaboration with Leeds Museums & Galleries. The North of England has a long history of instrumental folk music that was heavily influenced by the music of Ireland and the powerful rhythms of the weaving mills of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Many Irish immigrants passed through or settled in Leeds during and after the Great Hunger 1845-1852 (also referred to as ‘The Irish Famine’) and were heavily employed in the local textile industry. Three northern musicians, fiddle players Mikey Kenney and Owen Spafford with Stuart Graham on Bouzouki, will perform and discuss the influences and music of Yorkshire and Lancashire following completion of research that was supported by Arts Council England.

The event will take place on the morning of Friday 31st March at Armley Mills Industrial Museum in Leeds: ticket numbers will be limited and include free entry to the museum.Throughout the month an Irish educational and cultural exhibition, ‘Timeline,’ can be viewed Chapel FM Arts Centre in Seacroft.

All details are correct as of 7th February 2023. The Irish Arts Foundation reserves the right to amend any programme details.Check our Facebook page for updates