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Sunderland turns the world green

Cultural experts from around the world will arrive in Sunderland next week (November 9 - 11) to take part in England’s largest independent Irish conference and festival.

The University of Sunderland will welcome VIPs and renowned Irish experts from the UK, Ireland the USA, Japan, Australia, Latvia, Malawi, Canada, Italy and Tunisia. This is the fifth annual Irish Conference and Festival in Sunderland, which celebrates the richness of Ireland’s writings, history and culture.

The event has grown so much in stature that it is now sponsored by the Irish Government. It has been supported by the Irish Embassy since its inception.

The weekend includes plays, exhibitions, poetry, readings, lectures and the ever popular ceilidh. The event will also feature an exhibition of glass, sculpture, Celtic jewellery and photography, created by Sunderland artists.

The festival has grown in popularity over the last five years, and has also been recognised as a prestigious celebration of Irish culture. In May this year, the event’s organiser, Dr Alison O’Malley-Younger was the only representative of an English university present when Irish President Bertie Ahern became the first Irish leader to address a joint session of the House of Commons and the House of Lords at Westminster.

Dr O’Malley-Younger said: “This is the largest Irish studies conference and festival to take place in England and it promises so much, not only because we have some of the leading names in Irish culture but because it is open to the public.

“The university and city of Sunderland have long had links with Ireland both academically and culturally and these are links we intend to strengthen. There’s plenty for people to see and they are welcome to go to anything and everything.”

The conference, Ireland: At War and Peace, takes place at venues throughout the University of Sunderland. For more information contact Robert Finnigan, 0191 515 2140.

The glass exhibition takes place at the Media Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, from November 9-16.

Tony Kerr | alfa
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