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26 Jul 2013

Keith Duffy lends a hand to boost tourism

Keith Duffy returns to the streets of Manchester to call home the Manchester Irish

Boyzone singer and Coronation Street star Keith Duffy flew into Manchester this week, to help promote Ireland and a giant Manchester ‘Gathering’ which takes place next month in County Mayo.

Keith was encouraging Mancunians with a connection to, or interest in, Ireland to come and join the Manchester Mayo Gathering, which takes place 1-9 August, and enjoy their rich culture, traditions and heritage. There was an extra-special call-out to Irish sons and daughters from Levenshume, South Manchester, which has the largest Mayo community outside of the West of Ireland. As part of his support for The Gathering, Tourism Ireland arranged for Keith to talk to a number of media in Manchester, including BBC Radio Manchester and the Manchester Evening News, about The Gathering and the many great things to see and do on a holiday in Ireland.

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to support next month’s Manchester Mayo Gathering, which looks set to be hugely successful. We were really pleased to have Keith Duffy on board this week, to help us reach out to the Irish Diaspora and promote Ireland in Manchester. The Gathering Ireland is a key focal point of all Tourism Ireland’s promotional activity around the globe in 2013, particularly in countries with a strong Diaspora connection – including Great Britain, the US, Canada and Australia. The Gathering offers an outstanding opportunity to connect with our Diaspora and most importantly, to give them a compelling reason to visit Ireland ‘now’ and Tourism Ireland has a busy programme of promotions under way to capitalise fully on that opportunity.”

Keith Duffy said: “This is going to be one of the biggest and best Gatherings to happen in Ireland this year and there is already a great deal of buzz leading up to the Manchester Mayo  get-together – you can really feel the excitement. It promises to be a lot of fun and it will be great to see the Manchester Irish descend on Mayo.”

Tony Hennigan, co-ordinator of the Manchester Mayo Gathering, said: “We are really looking forward to this historical event taking in place in Mayo. The connections between Manchester and Ireland are very strong. Plans have been under way for a year and we’re delighted to be celebrating this link to Ireland and our heritage. Levenshulme in South Manchester is home to the biggest Mayo community outside of the West of Ireland and hundreds of Mancunians are expected to travel. There will be a fantastic atmosphere in Mayo over the week.”

The Manchester Mayo Gathering will be one of the biggest ‘Gatherings’ in Ireland this year – it is set to attract over 100,000 people during the nine-day festival. It will involve over 120 events and includes a performance by multi award-winning Lord of the Dance star James Keegan, also from Manchester.