Friends of the Irish night returns to Jarrow for May

Fans of Irish music in South Tyneside can get a dose of melodies from a popular Celtic outfit before they head off for a major European gig.

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.

Shamrock Street are the long-running hosts of the Friends of the Irish Night, which celebrates the borough’s links with the Emerald Isle.

The musicians perform a variety of Irish music and songs, and are described as “one of the liveliest Irish party bands” in the North East.

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The band play around the country, and are particular favourites in Edinburgh – as well as Jarrow, with their monthly slot at Friends of the Irish.

The event takes place at the Alberta Club in Jarrow.

Later this year, the band will be performing at a major folk festival in the Netherlands featuring legendary Irish musician Andy Irvine.

Before then, however, Irish music lovers can hear them perform at the next Friends of the Irish Night, which takes place on Thursday, May 26 at the Alberta Club in Railway Street, Jarrow. Admission is free.

Shamrock Street 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 event on the last Thursday of every month.

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

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 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 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 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.