In what looks set to be a major boost for the town, the inaugural Heart of Ireland festival is to take place in Mullingar on 11 and 12 July, 2015.
The brainchild of local businesswoman, Maria Bourke, was officially launched at Mullingar’s Market Square last Friday and has the potential to become the biggest and most attractive arts and culture festival in the midlands.
At its colourful launch, Gerry Duffy described the upcoming festival as something which “has the potential to be great.”
“It is great to see people with such desire to contribute back to their community,” said Mr. Duffy. “The ‘Heart of Ireland Festival’ needs momentum however and that momentum must come from those who will get to enjoy it and those who – in a business sense have much to gain from it. If that happens, everyone wins,” said Mr. Duffy
Maria Bourke explained that since Mullingar is located in the heart of Ireland, it fits in well with the ‘Heart of Ireland’ international festival concept.
“The idea came to me of a shamrock and the tricolour, and the three hearts make a shamrock.”
The basic concept is an event which will choose a person who is considered the most suitable in all respects to receive the ‘Heart of Gold’ award. During the selection process, nominees will be awarded ‘green hearts’ and the centre winners will receive ‘white hearts,’ and the ultimate winner receives the “heart of Gold.’
OPEN TO ALL
Entry will be open to anyone over 50 years of age, man or woman, of any nationality, who has lived in Ireland for an extended period or its could be a member of the Irish Diaspora abroad.
“We want to attract ordinary people to Mullingar and the midlands, and the people to be nominated will be well-rounded individuals, with a strong character, generosity of spirit, a love for life and a gift for storytelling.
She explained that the nominees will be “perfectly imperfect human beings, people of integrity, who balance their personal passions with good deeds, who bring out the best in those around them, and have the courage and conviction to do the right thing in all circumstances, and for whom laughter and story-telling are a daily life source.
“I think my grandfather, and his clear-cut views on the vital need for ‘goodness in a person’s heart and always smiling’ must have given me the inspiration,” she remarked.
With more details of the fetival expected in the coming weeks, the Heart of Ireland looks set to truly put Mullingar on the map.
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