Liverpool Irish Festival kicks off again

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Liverpool Irish Festival launch. Pic © Jose Ruiz JMU Journalism

The Liverpool Irish Festival has launched its 17th annual event, kicking off the celebrations at the Liverpool Irish Centre.

The festival has run since 2003 and continues to bring Liverpool and Ireland closer together.

The theme for this year is “unique stories creatively told” and will have a star line-up, such as 2018 Best Actor winner at the IFTA’S, John Connors, and award-winning Irish stand-up comedian and actor, Rory O’Hanlon.

When the festival first began, it aimed to celebrate and appreciate the strong links between Liverpool and Ireland. Almost two decades later, LIF has grown, and has continued to progress.

Director of the festival, Emma Smith, told JMU Journalism: “Over the years we have developed, and I think in terms of how we’ve changed – the festival probably has taken on more of an arts and culture focus. As far as I know, we are the only arts and culture-led Irish festival.

YouTube: Jose Ruiz

“I think finding that unique selling point, thinking about themes, our relevance and considering how we are going to tell stories in the future and how we link between festivals to take people on a journey is where we are travelling along now.”

On the night of the launch on Thursday, children from Wirral-based music group, Melody Makers, performed a variety of songs on the fiddle.

Emma admits they need to do better in attracting interest from children towards the festival, adding: “This is why this year we have brought storytelling and emerging talent to the festival, for the young generation to have access to aspiration.”

The festival will run until October 27th and will give people the chance to embrace and learn more about their Irish roots.

About Jose Ruiz, JMU Journalism