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Fundraising Father and Son team to scale 3 Welsh Peaks

Father and son team Mick and Deaglan O’Brien are planning to scale the Three Welsh peaks in 24 hours to raise money for the St Anne’s Centre at Birmingham Irish Association; where they provide care support to elderly Irish. You can support them here.

Spurred on by successfully raising over £2,500 last year on their climb of the Three Yorkshire Peaks, Mick and Deaglan have set themselves a higher donation target and a higher ascent target!

“Last year’s challenge raised well over an amazing £2,500 for Birmingham Irish Association and in particular its Dementia support service. The money raised contributed to the service being able to provide daycare support to individuals suffering from this terrible illness.” Said Mick O’Brien, “Thanks to generous donations such as this now operates 4 days a week from its central base in Digbeth and a new Centre in South Yardley.”

Mick and Deaglan’s efforts last year were particularly brave as their climb coincided with the arrival of Storm Brian; 50mph gusts, torrential rain and practically zero visibility.

This year, The Welsh Three Peaks challenge includes a total walking distance of 17 miles (27.4km) and an ascent of 2334 metres (7657ft), in less than 24-hours. That's more ascent than the Yorkshire Three Peaks over a shorter walking distance. The challenge takes in the three peaks of Wales: Snowdon in the North, Cadair Idris in mid-Wales, and Pen y Fan in the South.

The money raised will go towards operating the St Anne’s Centre at Birmingham Irish Association. The Centre provides culturally specific care support for elderly Irish people with dementia. Clients are looked after by a team of fully trained staff and volunteers, provided with a hot meal and encouraged to take part in mentally and physically stimulating activities. Clients can also be picked up and dropped off by minibus if they are on the route!

To donate to Mick and Deaglan's campaign, visit their 'Just Giving' page here.

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Caranua Application Deadline 1st August

Following the recent publication of Minister Bruton’s Review, the Board of Caranua have announced that Caranua requires survivors who want to apply for funding supports from Caranua must complete and return an application form to apply for services by Wednesday 1st August 2018.

Please follow this to an ISL video by the Irish Deaf Society with this information. (Many thanks to the Irish Deaf Society for allowing us to share this on our website).

Additional ISL videos on our application process can be found by following this link:

The following are some questions and answers about how to apply to Caranua if you haven’t already done so and if you have already sent in your application to Caranua:

Is Caranua closing on 1st August 2018?

No. Caranua is not closing on 1st August 2018.

Caranua is asking survivors who have not yet applied for support funding to send in their application form to us by Wednesday 1st August 2018 to ensure that your application can be processed.

I have not applied to Caranua yet, how do I apply?

Please contact us as soon as possible. You can contact us by phone, email or post. Our office hours are 9.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Caranua can offer support, information, advice and advocacy services to survivors. The help we provide will depend on the needs and circumstances of each survivor eligible to apply to Caranua but the areas we can help with are:

Health and Wellbeing

Housing Support

Education, Learning and Development

Socially Active & Connected

To be eligible to apply, you must have spent time in an institution as a child, and received an award through settlement, Court or the Residential Institutions Redress Board in relation to your time in an institution.

If you have access to the internet you can download the Application Form Part 1 from our website here: and email it back to or post it back to us at Caranua, PO Box 12477, Dublin 1, Ireland.

If you would like us to send you a paper copy of the form just phone, email or write in to us, and we will post one out to you.

We will use the details you give us in the Application Form Part 1 to verify that you are eligible to apply to us. We also need to establish your identity to make sure that no one else is making an application in your name. When we receive your form, we will contact you within ten working days to let you know if you are eligible, or if we need more information.

You can send us in your identification documents with the Application Form if you like, or after you are verified as eligible we will contact you and ask for them.

We need two types of identification documents. You do not need to send us the original document, a copy is fine.

One document must show where you live. For example, you could send us a bill with your name and address on it.

The other document must have your photo on it. For example, you could send us a copy of your passport, or your bus pass.

When you send us your identification documents we will contact you within ten working days to tell you we have received them.

I have already sent in my Part 1 application Form and identification documents to Caranua, what do I need to do now?

Thank you for sending in your application to Caranua.

If you have received the following correspondence from us you do not need to contact us as your application has been received:

If you have received a letter from Caranua confirming your eligibility to apply to us and that we have received your identity documents, you do not need to contact us as your application has been received.

If you have received a letter from Caranua confirming that you will be assigned an advisor to help you with your application, you do not need to contact us as your application has been received.

If you haven’t received any of the correspondence listed above, please contact us as soon as possible to allow us to update you on your application with Caranua.

If you get through to our voicemail, please leave your number and let us know if it is ok to leave a message. We will call you back within 24 hours. If we cannot leave a message, we will try to contact you three times.

I have sent in my application and I received a letter that says I am eligible to apply, when will I be assigned an advisor?

Applications for support funding are assigned in order of the date you are deemed eligible to apply to Caranua.

The Board of Caranua have agreed to prioritise survivors who are first time applicants as they have not received any support from the Fund. This is to help Caranua towards ensuring that the remainder of the Fund is distributed as fairly and as equally as possible as the Fund is limited.

If you are not sure when you applied to Caranua please contact us and we will be happy to give you an update.

I am working with an Application Advisor; do I need to contact Caranua about this letter?

No, if you are currently working with an Application Advisor, you do not need to contact us. If you have a question for your Application Advisor about your application they will be happy to answer this for you.

I sent in my application form to Caranua but I have not been in contact for some time. What do I need to do now?

Thank you for sending in your application form to Caranua. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your application particularly if your contact details have changed as we may have been trying to contact you.

I have already reapplied for more services from Caranua, what do I need to do now?

The Board of Caranua have agreed to prioritise survivors who are first time applicants as they have not received any support from the Fund. This is to help Caranua towards ensuring that the remainder of the Fund is distributed as fairly and as equally as possible as the Fund is limited.

All reapplications sent into Caranua from survivors who have already received support are reviewed, but the processing timeframe for reapplications remains longer than a first-time application.

If you have re-applied for services from Caranua after 1st June 2016, your application will come under the 2016 criteria for funding support and the maximum amount of funding available in total for services is €15,000.

Due to the limited amount of the Fund remaining Caranua are unable to accept any more reapplications after 1st August 2018.

I know someone whom may be eligible to apply to Caranua. How can I help them apply?

Please ask them to contact us before 1st August 2018. The confidentiality of survivors who apply to us is very important. For this reason, we never share or discuss information about any individual, without their written permission.

My family member/ friend has applied for services but has not received this letter from Caranua

If your family member/ friend has not received a letter from Caranua please ask them to contact us and we can provide them with the information that is relevant to them. The confidentiality of survivors who apply to us is very important. For this reason, we never share or discuss information about any individual, without their written permission.

I have an appeal in progress about part of my application, what do I do now?

If you have a query about the status of a current appeal you should contact the Appeals Officers directly. The Appeals Officers are appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills and the appeals process is completely independent of Caranua. The Appeals Officers can be contacted in writing.

The email address for the Appeals Officer is

The postal address is:

Department of Education and Skills



Co Westmeath


What has the Fund been spent on?

Caranua regularly publishes updates on how the Fund has been spent. These updates can be found on the website on the News and Monthly Updates sections.

Caranua has received almost €103M of the committed €110M contributions from the religious congregations.

Caranua was established under, the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act, 2012 (Section 30), which states that all administration costs must be paid out of the Fund. Almost €8M has been spent on the administration of the Fund (including postage, printing, telephone costs, utilities, outreach events, staff costings, office accommodation, ICT, external audit, independent Appeal Officers costs etc).

The following has been spent on services for survivors who have applied to Caranua:

As at 30th April 2018, a total of €80.3 million had been spent, €72.5 million has been spent on services for survivors who have applied to Caranua

Health €19.7 million

Housing €51.3 million

Education €1.3 million

Exceptional Needs €0.19 million

What will the remainder of the Fund be spent on?

There are over 2,000 survivors currently working with an application advisor. The majority of the remaining Fund will be spent on their funding supports.

With the remaining Fund, the Board wants to strengthen our efforts to ensure any survivors who may be eligible to come forward and apply to the Fund.

Administration costs will also have to come out of the Fund, because the legislation that Caranua was established under (the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012) states that all administration costs must be paid out of the Fund.

Will you be placing adverts in the newspapers to inform eligible survivors about the application deadline?

Adverts were placed in the Sunday newspapers in Ireland, two in Northern Ireland, two in UK and one in USA on Sunday 9th June.

While we would have preferred to place advertisements in all relevant national and local newspapers, we were aware that any money spent on advertising must come out of the Fund. Therefore we decided that this was the most cost effective way to share this information.

We are also in contact with many services in relation to the application deadline, asking them to share this information through their networks, which helps us to reduce the amount of the Fund we spend on advertising.

Caranua’s contact details are:

Freephone from Ireland 1800 212477

Freephone from UK 0808 234 1303 (Charges may apply from some mobile networks)

From anywhere +353 1 8742277 (not a free-phone number from outside Ireland and the UK)

If you get through to our voicemail, please leave your number and let us know if it is ok to leave a message. We will call you back within 24 hours. If we cannot leave a message, we will try to contact you three times.


Caranua, PO Box 12477, Dublin 1, Ireland

Fax +353 1 874 5709


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Trip to Birmingham Trad Fest Returns!

The Trip to Birmingham TradFest returns for it’s 5th year!

The Trip to Birmingham TradFest is returning for it’s 5th year, and the line-up for 2018 and it is a belter! The 2018 TradFest will run from 22nd-25th November and feature well known traditional Irish artists; Four Men and a Dog, Brid Harper, Damien Mullane, Dermot Byne & Steve Cooner, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and many more!

Tickets for the festival are now ON SALE and Early-Bird weekend tickets are also available for a limited period! Organisers have advised that there are only a limited number of Early-bird tickets available so make sure you snap them up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

“It is our honour and pleasure to host yet again another weekend of Traditional Irish Music for the UK’s Second City. With the line up now pretty much confirmed and tickets on sale, we’re busy working behind the scenes curating a festival to which we hope will exceed all of your expectations. It promises to be a top quality of Traditional Irish music which we hope to share with as many people as possible in November.

As with every year, from all of us here at the Trip to Birmingham TradFest, we would like to thank each and every person who supports us any way each year! For now, spread the word and get yourselves booked up… See you in November!”

Dan, Ciaran, Hugh, Conor, Lenora & Ted.

The Trip to Birmingham TradFest committee.

All tickets available via

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Letter from the Ambassador to the Irish community in Britain

It has been almost a year since I had the honour of becoming the Ambassador of Ireland to the UK, and what a wonderful year it has been. Together with the team at the Embassy, I have travelled across Britain working to strengthen the cultural, economic and political ties between Ireland and the UK. In the process, I have met countless members of the Irish community here and witnessed the impressive scale of achievements of Irish people in every walk of life. There is no doubt that the Irish community has contributed greatly to British society in all areas. I am proud of that contribution and thank you for it.

In the course of my many conversations with Irish people here, I have frequently been asked about the potential impact that Brexit may have on Ireland and on the daily lives of the Irish in Britain.

The Irish Government’s objective in these negotiations is to do whatever we can to ensure an orderly Brexit that does not damage Ireland’s fundamental national interests – safeguarding the peace process, maintaining the Common Travel Area (CTA), protecting Ireland’s trade and economy and ensuring the closest possible future relationship between the UK and the EU.

Whether you were in favour of Leave or Remain, the reality is that the UK’s decision to leave the EU has the capacity – if not properly managed - to disturb the delicate and complex balance of the Good Friday Agreement. Therefore, the aim of the Irish Government has been to conserve what we have enjoyed for the last 20 years – an evolving peace process, a Good Friday Agreement that has transformed life for the better, and an open and invisible border that is both a cause and reflection of that transformation.

In the negotiations, the EU has proposed a backstop solution for Northern Ireland that contains all of the elements necessary to ensure this status quo remains and that will apply unless and until another solution is found. I assure you that this proposed backstop, as set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement, fully respects the Good Friday Agreement; the EU would not have proposed it, and Ireland would not be supporting it, if it did not. It simply sets out the practical and technical measures needed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, and in no way affects the status of Northern Ireland as part of the UK. Under the Good Friday Agreement, the constitutional status of Northern Ireland can only be changed with the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland.

As recently as last week, Prime Minister May reiterated her commitment to ensuring there is no hard border in Ireland, and has also committed to having a legally operable backstop in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, which we welcome. For final agreement to be reached, delivering on these commitments will be essential.

The Irish Government is also working to ensure that the status of Irish citizens in the UK is preserved post-Brexit. Since long before Ireland and the UK joined the EU, the Common Travel Area (CTA) has allowed Irish and British citizens to move freely, reside in either jurisdiction and access associated rights and entitlements, including those related to employment, healthcare, education and social benefits, as well as the right to vote in certain elections. It also underpins the rights of those born in Northern Ireland to be British or Irish or both.

In December of last year, the EU and the UK agreed that the CTA and associated rights and privileges can continue to operate. The UK Government has confirmed that Irish citizens will not need to apply for the “settled status” scheme (which has been established for other EU citizens living in Britain) although they can if they wish to. This was re-confirmed most recently in the UK’s White Paper on the Future Relationship between the UK and the EU, which states that the CTA means that Irish citizens will continue to hold their current status in the UK.

In the months ahead, the Embassy will share further information on the completion of the work underway to ensure that the CTA continues to function effectively, so that Irish and UK citizens can continue to enjoy access to the arrangements in each other’s countries that we so value. Where you have concerns or questions, I encourage you to highlight those to us, either through the Embassy or Irish community organisations. We have also developed a Brexit website which I hope you will find useful and informative.

Ambassador Adrian O'Neill

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Ambassador Visits Birmingham Irish

Adrian O’Neill, Irish Ambassador to the UK, visited the Birmingham Irish Association this month to meet the Irish community and promote the good work they do in the West Midlands.

The Ambassador met with staff and volunteers from Birmingham Irish Association and was briefed on their continued good work in the community including their health care team, benefits advice team, dementia centre project, the development of their Irish event app and website, and a growing partnership with the St Patrick’s Festival.

Ambassador O’Neill met with volunteers and clients of the adjacent St Anne’s Centre; a support centre run by Birmingham Irish Association providing cultural care to elderly Irish people:

“I was delighted to visit the Birmingham Irish Association. This was my first visit to the organisation and I was pleased to experience the range and breadth of services provided by the BIA first-hand. I am very proud that through ESP we support the Birmingham Irish Association, who play a pivotal role bringing the Irish community together.

The range of front line services, advice and welfare programmes run by the Birmingham Irish is truly impressive. The dementia project, which I was able to see first-hand during my visit, provides care and support for some of the most vulnerable members of the community. The value of the work you do here cannot be overstated.

I would like to express my deep admiration and appreciation for the work that all of you do throughout the year. Thank you to Pat and Maurice, and all of the volunteers who selflessly give their time to the organisation for everything that you do - beidh mé ar ais arís!”

Maurice Malone, CEO of Birmingham Irish Association gave the ambassador a tour of the premises, and briefed him on the current success and the ongoing projects of the organisation:

“It was an honour to host a visit from Ambassador O’Neill, and we hope he enjoyed his trip. We are all very proud of the service we provide to the community and the hard work of our staff and volunteers, and we hope that the Emigrant Support Program will continue to support us for years to come.”

Birmingham Irish Association is the Midlands' leading charity providing welfare and cultural services to the Irish community. Based in the Irish Quarter in Digbeth, Birmingham. Their aspiration is to be the service of choice for all Irish people seeking advice, support and information.

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New Privacy Notice


Birmingham Irish Association

1. Your personal data – what is it?

Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).

2. Who are we?

Birmingham Irish Association is the data controller (contact details below). We are a registered charity whose mission is to be the Midlands' leading charity providing welfare and cultural services to the Irish community. Any personal data that we collect will only be in relation to the work we do with our users and through our relationship with supporters, donors and funders.

3. How do we process your personal data?

Birmingham Irish Association complies with its obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping

personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining

excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access

and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect

personal data.

We use your personal data for the following purposes: -

• To enable us to provide a voluntary service for the benefit of the public in a particular geographical area as specified in our constitution;

• To administer membership records;

• To fundraise and promote the interests of the charity;

• To manage our employees and volunteers;

• To maintain our own accounts and records (including the processing of gift aid applications);

• To inform you of news, events, activities and services running at Birmingham Irish


4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?

• Explicit consent of the data subject so that we can keep you informed about news, events, activities and services and process your gift aid donations and keep you informed about diocesan events.

• Processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;

• Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: -

o the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and

o There is no disclosure to a third party without consent.

5. Sharing your personal data

Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential. We will only share your data with third parties outside of the organisation where there is a legitimate reason to do so, for example providing monitoring data to our funders. We will take steps to anonymise the data we provide

(i.e. collective reporting on gender, ethnicity, age, etc.). If identifiable data is to be shared we will seek your consent.

6. How do we protect personal data?

We take appropriate measures to ensure that the information discussed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date and kept only for as long as necessary for the purpose for which it is used.

7. How long do we keep your personal data?

We keep data in accordance with the guidance set out in the Birmingham Irish Association Data Protection Policy. Specifically, we retain our supporter database while it is still current; gift aid declarations and associated paperwork for up to 6 years after the calendar year to which they relate.

8. Your rights and your personal data

Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: -

• The right to request a copy of your personal data which Birmingham Irish

Association, holds about you;

• The right to request that Birmingham Irish Association, corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date;

• The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for

Birmingham Irish Association to retain such data;

• The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time

• The right to request that the data controller provide the data subject with his/her personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability)

• The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;

• The right to object to the processing of personal data,

• The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.

9. Further processing

If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Protection Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.

10. Contact Details

To exercise all relevant rights, queries of complaints please in the first instance contact the Office

Manager at Birmingham Irish Association, 45 Alcester Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B12 0PH, or email

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Windrush Exhibition Launch: 11am 1st June

There will be a Windrush Exhibition Launch Friday 1st June 18 at 11am at St Martin Church, Bullring. It is a chance to read and hear stories from the past, look at items from the 1960’s, meet new people and have a chat with tea and biscuits.

The council officers Irene Terry and Nicola Landucci will be in attendance to give advice on benefits, we will have stalls to purchase goods with arts and craft and the Alzheimer’s group are attending.

"The Windrush 70th exhibition, celebrate the pioneering Windrush generation that came to Britain from the Caribbean from 1948 - 1968. It is a wonderful opportunity to see the exhibition and to meet the participants involved.

There will be a stall from the Alzheimer's Group, puzzle sheets and items to reflect on as we consider what it was like living in the late 1940's without central heating, mobile phones, computer, microwaves, and the washing machine!

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Exclusive screening of John Hume documentary comes to Brum

John Hume documentary tours UK marking the Good Friday Agreement’s 20 year anniversary

Exclusive screening with Q&As from Director Maurice Fitzpatrick, in association with Birmingham Irish Association.

This spring, Irish Film London presents In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America on tour across the UK, including a series of screenings and Q&As with the film’s director Maurice Fitzpatrick. This film is particularly relevant in April 2018, in the context of the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and recent developments on Brexit.

Email to reserve a free ticket.

Film screening info:

In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America + Q&A with the film’s director Maurice Fitzpatrick

Touring to Birmingham 8pm Friday 6th April: Mockingbird Cinema, The Custard Factory. In association with the Birmingham Irish Association.

Ireland 2017. Dir. Maurice Fitzpatrick. With Liam Neeson (narrator), Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, U2’s Bono, John Major, Tony Blair. 90 min. Cert PG.

This feature documentary chronicles John Hume’s approach to politics in Northern Ireland in co-ordination with senior political figures in the US.

Inspired by Martin Luther King, rising from the riot-torn streets of Northern Ireland to enlist American Presidents from Carter to Clinton, this is the story f the extraordinary work of Nobel Prize-winner John Hume to harness and leverage US support to help to secure peace in Ireland.

Narrated by Liam Neeson and scored by Bill Whelan, the film includes interviews with President Bill Clinton, President Jimmy Carter, many US Senators and Congressmen, as well as Irish leaders and British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and John Major.

At a time of political instability, this is a timely film examining steady leadership and international co-operation.

Irish Film London’s founder Kelly O’Connor said: “We are especially looking forward to screening this film alongside events that our fellow Irish organisations are running around this anniversary. In particular, Agreement 20 in Manchester, a conference examining the impact and legacy of the agreement. Maurice’s film will be a rich addition to the political and cultural conversation in the coming months here in the UK.”

Touring to Birmingham 8pm Friday 6th April: Mockingbird Cinema, The Custard Factory. In association with the Birmingham Irish Association. 

Watch the trailer here:

More info can be found at

This tour has been made possible by the support of the Irish Embassy in London, and Culture Ireland.

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Celebrating 20 Years of Taaffe House

Deputy Lord Mayor Mike Leddy joined the celebrations as clients and staff celebrated 20 years of Taaffe House and Nehemiah UCHA. Sharon Toy Scheme Manager for and Llewellyn Graham CEO welcomed guests and provided a big Irish welcome for the Deputy Lord Mayor, complete with music and dancing from Little Jimmy and Micky Rice. With the help of residents, Mike Leddy planted a tree in the garden to commemorate the 20 year anniversary. 

Taaffe house is a housing scheme which specifically caters for Irish elders. There are Irish decorations, has posters and pictures of Ireland throughout the building and Irish entertainment is regularly provided.

The scheme is named after Father Joe Taaffe who served for many years as Roman Catholic chaplain to Birmingham’s Irish community. Amongst many initiatives, he was instrumental in relaunching the St Patrick’s Parade in 1996, developing the Irish Welfare Centre (now Birmingham Irish Association) and various community based self-help activities.

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St Patrick's Fringe a Success

A headline performance from Sharon Shannon, 65 musicians on the official St Pat-rocks stage, comedy nights, poetry dinners and more trad sessions than you can shake a Shillelagh at – 2018 has been a great St Patrick’s Festival and the fringe events have been hugely successful.

As with every year the focus of the Festival was the St Patrick’s Parade, marching through Digbeth from 12 noon on Sunday 11th March. Luckily for the attendees the bad weather held off, and another vibrant parade passed through Digbeth with a huge assembly of marching bands finishing the parade, led by St Patrick himself.

2018 saw more fringe events than any other year, most notably the St Pat Rocks Stage – the official St Patrick’s Festival stage! This year the line-up featured Forro Social Brazilian Folk, O’Fibbs Irish Band, Joe Broughton and the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble (a 65 piece folk orchestra!) and headline act Sharon Shannon! The stage area was full all day with nearly 2000 people on site – an impressive feat for a stage in its second year!

Other fringe events included the annual ‘Big Gig’ fundraiser at Hennessey’s Bar, the St Patrick’s Day Fundraiser at The Old Crown and several events in collaboration with Birmingham Irish association; a comedy night with Eleanor Tiernan at the Spotted Dog, a literary evening in The Old Crown, trad sessions in Cleary’s and Dig brew (Digbeth’s first and only brewery) and more!

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