IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Islington St Patrick’s Day celebrations mark centuries-long links

Borough turns green for Paddy day

15 March, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

The Archway Tavern, once a popular pub for the Irish community  CREDIT JOVIKE on flickr.com

THE days when Irish dancing schools were set up for youngsters and when traditional music belted out from the Archway Tavern will be recalled this weekend.

The festivities kick off on Sunday at Navigator Square as Archway paints the town green for St Patrick’s Day.

The arrival of Irish people in Islington began in the 1700s, when London attracted agricultural labourers. This increased when the potato famine struck during the 1840s.

By 1851, there were more than 6,000 Irish people in Islington and Finsbury. In 2011, just over 5,500 people in Islington were Irish-born.

This history will be celebrated with performances by Irish bands, including Rob Corcoran and the Necessary Evils, The Curfew and Dave Marken, in Navigator Square on Sunday.

Next week, schools are invited to hear Irish storytelling by Kate Corkery, who runs a monthly storytelling club at the London Irish Centre, off Camden Road.

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