Friends of the Irish night returns to Jarrow for June

Musicians are tuning up as one of South Tyneside’s longest-running events returns to mark its first summer outing of 2022.

Shamrock Street are the regular hosts at the Friends of the Irish Night.
Shamrock Street are the regular hosts at the Friends of the Irish Night.

The much-loved Friends of the Irish Night is back on Thursday, June 30, ready to get toes tapping with another dose of music from the Emerald Isle.

The night, which celebrates South Tyneside’s long-held links with Ireland, will be once again hosted by Celtic group Shamrock Street, described as “one of the liveliest Irish party bands” in the North East.

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The experienced group is comprised of Ged Cuscin on electric fiddle and flute, Kevin Campbell on guitar and mandolin, Martin Finney on percussion, Paul Lucas on mandolin and banjo, and Mick McCormack on guitar, and the group perform at the Friends of the Irish Night on the last Thursday of every month.

The event takes place at the Alberta Club in Jarrow.
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    There will also be additional performances by floor performers at the event, which takes place, as ever, at the Alberta Club in Railway Street, Jarrow.

    Organiser Eddie Mcintyre said: “We’ll have Bill Elliott, of the legendary Elliott family of Birtley, and Tony Crawford, lead singer with SE Ganainm.”

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    Proceedings get under way at the Alberta Club at 8.15pm, and there is no cover charge for the event – admission is free.

    The Friends of Irish Night is one of South Tyneside’s longest-running events, dating back to 1962.

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    And organisers, musicians and punters have been making the most of its 60th anniversary year after many months of missing out during the covid pandemic.

    The long-running event originally took place at the Bede’s Club, but moved to its ‘new’ home at the Alberta Club more than 25 years ago, with the new hosts promising organisers at the time ‘we will look after you’.”

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    The Friends of the Irish Night may have been running for some six decades, but South Tyneside, and Jarrow and Hebburn, have been alive with the sounds of music from Ireland for more than a century, thanks to the settlers who came over to work in the heavy industries on the River Tyne.

    The Irish workers’ influence on the area is well documented, with the area having been dubbed ‘Little Ireland’ due to the large population of people from Hibernia who came to know Tyneside as home.