Northern Ireland Assembly Flax Flower Logo


14 March 2009



Inclusion is the theme for this year’s St Patrick’s Day reception at Parliament Buildings. The annual event, which is hosted by the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr William Hay, MLA, takes place on Saturday 14 th March 2009. This year invitations have been issued to a wide range of individuals and groups representing the diversity of Northern Ireland’s population.

The event will showcase performances by a host of talented local musicians and artists.

Commenting on the celebration, The Speaker said, “I am delighted to host what is a popular annual event on the Assembly calendar. It gives me great pleasure on this occasion to welcome individuals from local ethnic minority communities and representatives from organisations who support the migrant community.

“ Northern Ireland has greatly benefited from those who have made it their home and has been enriched by their cultures. St Patrick’s Day celebrations give the Assembly a perfect way to celebrate our common ground.”

This year’s programme begins at 7.30pm in the Great Hall.


Notes to Editors:


Kintra began as a cross-community project, showcasing the talents of musicians, singers and dancers from Counties Tyrone and Donegal. Under the Musical Direction of renowned fiddle player Matt McGranaghan, Kintra perform Irish & Scottish Music, song and dance in an exciting and colourful stage show. Led by Matt on fiddle and Darren Milligan on bagpipes, the group features piano, tin whistle, guitar, bass, drums, three pipers and 2 singers.


One of Ireland’s top Bluegrass groups, Woodbine feature regularly at the Ulster-American Folk Park’s annual Appalachian and Bluegrass Music Festival, Bluegrass on the Walls in the Maiden City Festival, the Foyle Ulster-Scots Bluegrass Festival and the Athy Bluegrass festival, Ireland’s longest running festival. In fact, the latter festival was founded by Woodbine’s Tony O’Brien, whose family form an integral part of this very exciting group.


If the late WF Marshall earned the accolade ‘The Bard of Tyrone’, then Declan Forde equally deserves the current mantle. From Fernagh outside Omagh, he describes his forte as ‘poems with chords’. He is nostalgic, romantic, funny, poignant, and at all times compassionate, as he explores the mores of a rural Ulster fast disappearing. Equally as popular on the US storytelling circuit as he is at home, Forde reminds us that ‘neighbourliness’ is where civilisation begins.

Media enquiries to:
Debra Savage, Press Officer, NI Assembly
Tel. 028 9052 1405
Mobile: 07920 864221