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West’s biggest St Paddy’s party ever

By Ciara Quinn

West Belfast is set for the biggest St Patrick’s party ever with a weekend of festivities and events taking place in the    lead-up to the patron saint’s day on Monday.

This week the Big Top went up in the former Beechmount Leisure Centre grounds for three days of concerts from Friday through to Sunday, part of the now annual spring festival – Féile an Earraigh. Thousands of festival-goers will arrive in the West for a weekend of top class music, culture and craic, while others will be taking part in and watching the annual Rith fun run which finishes in Belfast having made its way through the country from Cork.

And the Irish language will be at the forefront of many of the celebrations with Seachtain na Gaeilge also in full swing this weekend and  several events taking place in the West of the city, while on Sunday the St Patrick’s Day parade will take place in Belfast city centre followed by a concert at Customs House Square.

On St Patrick’s Day (Monday) the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Máirtín ó Muilleoir, will open the doors of City Hall to the city’s Irish-speaking community, while for those staying local, the Park Centre and Kennedy Centre will be showcasing Irish music and dance throughout the day.

Féile an Earraigh Director Kevin Gamble said the Big Top at Beechmount is already causing a stir locally as final preparations are put in place for another Féile musical extravaganza.

“We know the Beechmount Big Top will be the place to be this weekend for anybody who wants to have their St Patrick’s celebrations in style,” he said.

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