Irish flag raised for St Patrick’s Day
Date published: 15 March 2019
The Irish Tricolour
The Irish flag was raised in front of a small gathering at Rochdale Town Hall on Friday (15 March) for St Patrick’s Day on Sunday (17 March).
The Irish National Anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann, was sung as the Mayor and Mayoress, Mohammed and Naaira Zaman, raised the tricolour to commemorate the Irish holiday. Sashes denoting the Irish counties were worn by attendees.
Present were Councillors Andy Kelly, Sultan Ali and Janet Emsley, alongside campaigners aiming to save the longwave version of Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) Radio 1, which is received across the United Kingdom and parts of Western Europe, due to switch to digital radio in June this year.
The switchover has been delayed after public pressure, raising concerns that elderly Irish listeners in Britain would not have access to the digital service.
Pat Shine said: “This has been going for 15 years: it was originally set up by Patsy McGuire and we try to carry on the tradition. We’re really grateful to the town hall staff who make us feel welcome as always, and councillor Mohammed Zaman made this year’s very special.”
Councillor Kelly said: “Coming from Anglo/Irish heritage, it's always great to attend this event every year. Rochdale is a town made up of many nationalities and cultures. As a borough, we are pretty tolerant and celebrate identity. I'm sure I'll be having a Guinness or two over the weekend!”
Councillor Janet Emsley added: “Our Irish community have a weekend of celebrations and the whole community will be celebrating with them.”
Tea and coffee were served before traditional and popular Irish songs were sung, including the Wild Rover, the Rose of Tralee and If You’re Irish Come Into The Parlour.
The Mayor and Mayoress, and Civic & Ceremonial Manager Dorothy Johnstone were presented with their very own shamrock plants, one of Ireland’s best-known symbols.
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