New committee to organise Irish Festival

By November 13, 2018 News

The proposal for Orange to host an Irish festival takes its next step this month, with the calling of a community meeting to form an organising committee.

Orange City Council’s meeting last month voted to “establish a community based committee for the creation of an Orange Irish Heritage Festival.”

Anyone interested in being on the committee is invited to attend a meeting to be held in the Council Chambers in Byng Street at 6pm on Tuesday 27 November.

Cr Kevin Duffy

Cr Kevin Duffy

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the suggestion of adding an Irish-themed event to Orange’s suite of festivals was worth exploring.

“Events like Orange Wine Festival and FOOD Week are well supported by the community both in patronage and behind the scenes and they are examples of events that celebrate the strengths of our local community and attract visitors from across the country. If the same community support is forthcoming for an Irish festival then success is a real possibility,” Cr Reg Kidd said.

“There are spaces in Orange’s annual calendar where a new festival could be held, and now’s the opportunity for local residents to have their say.”

Councillor Kevin Duffy said the idea for the new festival had come from the community.

“I was pleased to float this idea following a suggestion from the community,” Cr Duffy said.

“The Irish heritage in Australia includes rich traditions of food and music and there’s so much to celebrate.”

“In other towns, an Irish Festival has been about music concerts, street parades, dancing and traditional Irish food. It will be up to a local community committee to see what would work here and how it would all come together.”

4 Comments

  • Julie Proctor says:

    1. What are the statistics on Irish migration to Orange (dates, numbers, citizenship, etc.), i.e. what is the demographic/social relevance?
    2. How does OCC have resources to support an Irish Festival, but not the 2018 Women’s Local Government Conference? i.e. identifying opportunity and cost benefits.

    • Council Communications says:

      Thanks for your questions. The council has decided to call a community meeting to look at the proposal for a new festival. It would be up to community members who formed an organising committee to come back to the council with ideas about budgets and cost benefits.

  • Mark Andrew says:

    It may be inconsequential, but is council aware of the name of our city, and its origins?
    From my understanding, the name stems from the benefactor of Sir Thomas Mitchell, William of Orange. He supported the Protestant armies against the Catholic forces of Ireland. Hence we have the Orangemen in Northern Ireland, who are still clashing with the Catholic (Green) , to this day.
    Orange is a colour that doesn’t sit well with a lot of Irish citizens.

    • Council Communications says:

      Thanks for your question. There are a number of people who are known by the title, William of Orange. These two are separated by about a hundred years.
      There’s William of Orange who took the side of the Protestants in the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690, a day celebrated by the Orangemen, and a source of division for Catholics.
      Then, there is Prince William of Orange, later King William II of the Netherlands (1792 -1849) who fought in the Napoleonic wars with explorer and surveyor Thomas Mitchell.
      Mitchell named the village originally called Blackmans Swamp, after his military colleague.

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