Festival launch makes the area more colourful

By Maurice Garvey

A GLOOMY January became a lot more colourful on Monday, following the launch of the Ballyfermot Festival 2021.

The two-week festival was launched on Monday by local Senator Eileen Flynn, a former Labre Park resident.

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Rose Kearns, Gerry McCarthy and Richie Comerford

Due to Covid, public events are unable to take place, but the online platforms of Zoom and Facebook Live helped to give the festival a cracking start.

Hundreds of people tuned in to hear Senator Flynn launch the festival during a Zoom call, which took place in the company of many organisers and community stalwarts, and was hosted by Ballyfermot Youth Service Manager Gerry McCarthy.

Senator Flynn said she was “very proud” to be involved in the launch and hoped that she could have been there in person to showcase the many talented people that are taking part in the two-week event.

Following the launch, there was a folk concert with Pato Cullen, Martin Healy and Folk Alley, and once again, this was viewed by hundreds of people.

Gerry told The Echo they were delighted with the response, which showed the appetite for such an initiative at this challenging time.

“We couldn’t believe it, there was hundreds of comments, 40/50 shares from people all over the world. There is some really good stuff coming up every day during the festival.”

The vast majority of the two-week event will be held online and celebrates many different forms of creativity and the arts, delving into poetry, folk music, drama, history talks and exhibitions.

Young people from BYS are involved in a photography expo, and have taken 300 portraits of local people.

“They will be putting them up on Saturday, they are big photos 8x8’s, and they will be going up on trees on Ballyfermot Road,” said Gerry.

“There will be a great history talk next week by Liz Gillis on the War of Independence attack on Killen Bridge. It happened the day before the ceasefire, so it couldn’t be reported in the newspapers the next day.”

This talk with Dublin City Council historian Cathy Scuffil, takes place on Wednesday, January 27.

Up to 100 places are available for the Zoom event.

For details on how to attend this event or a full list of events, visit the Ballyfermot Festival 2021 Facebook page.

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