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The Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down Counci, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew has hosted a Civic Reception to mark the massive contribution of the Newry Musical Feis to the district over the past 90 years.

Speaking at the reception the Chairperson said, “Newry Musical Feis was established in September 1928 and since then has had a real impact on both the district and its cultural life.

“From small beginnings, Newry Musical Feis is now the second largest festival of its kind in the world.  It is a unique event in the local cultural calendar which runs for 43 days. The Feis plays a major role in the life of thousands of families from our district and further afield, receiving approximately 14,000 entries year.”

Alma Brown, President, Newry Musical Feis cuts the cake to celebrate the start of the 90th year of the Feis at a function in 2017 while looking on are Lowry Hodgett, Marie Graham, Chairperson and Mary Goss, Administrator. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Alma Brown, President, Newry Musical Feis cuts the cake to celebrate the start of the 90th year of the Feis at a function in 2017 while looking on are Lowry Hodgett, Marie Graham, Chairperson and Mary Goss, Administrator. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

“Many great names in Newry have been associated with the Feis, including EP Northwood and Edward Hodgett who were involved in its establishment; J.P. Walker, Harry Heather, Rev. J.P.Burke, Sean O’Driscoll, Kevin Neary, Ethel Fitzpatrick, Alma Brown and now the present Committee, all of whom have played a significant part in its success. It is this type of dedication and leadership which has ensured that Newry Musical Feis is so highly acclaimed and professionally respected today.”

At the Reception Chairperson Mulgrew presented Alma Brown, President of the Feis with an engraved Tipperary Crystal Bowl to mark the achievements of the Feis over 90 years. Chairperson Mulgrew also presented Dr Mary Goss, Administrator, with an engraved bowl to mark her selfless and invaluable services to the Feis Committee over the years.

Speaking of the legacy of the Feis Cllr Mulgrew added “Music and drama in their many forms have always played an important role in the community life of Newry, Mourne and Down. There is no doubt that generations of young people from this district, and indeed further afield, are indebted to Newry Musical Feis for the opportunities given them to develop, not only their talent, but also their life skills. One of the Council’s priorities is empowering communities so they can engage actively in their own development—groups like the Newry Musical Feis play a vital role in delivering this.”

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