South Manchester’s Award winning MP – John Leech flew into Ireland West Airport in Knock, County Mayo on Thursday 1 August to help launch the inaugural worldwide ‘Mayo Day’. The Mayo communities around the world are being encouraged to fly their Mayo Flags and to wear something ‘Green and Red’ to celebrate the event. It has already received global support with Irish Embassies from as far away as America and Australia joining in the celebration.

When asked about his involvement in the event John replied,

“I have spoken before about the huge contribution the Irish make to Manchester. My constituency has one of the biggest Mayo exile communities outside of the West of Ireland. I was at Manchester Airport last week to help Coronation Street and Boyzone star – Keith Duffy launch the countdown celebrations to the gathering and I am delighted to help launch it in Mayo.”

The event had been organised by the Manchester Mayo Gathering to help launch its 9 day Festival. The group have organised the Biggest 2013 Gathering in Ireland working in conjunction with the North Mayo Welcome Home Gathering. The week-long festival runs from Thursday 1 August until Friday 9th August, with all hotels already booked out in Mayo, the event is expected to attract over 100,000 visitors. There are over 120 events taking place during the week-long festival with Jack Charlton hosting a Golfing tournament, former President of Ireland – Mary Robinson hosting a Gala Dinner and Lord of the Dance star – James Keegan appearing in a Gala Concert. Boyzone and Coronation Street Star – Keith Duffy has also thrown his support behind

Ireland West Airport Chief Joe Gilmore added “We are delighted to be part of the Mayo Day and Manchester Mayo Gathering celebrations. Manchester is already one of the premier destinations for people to head to from Mayo and we hope that this festival will encorage more visitors to fly over the other way.”

John also attended the VIP launch of the event by Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin at the Fr Peyton Centre in Attymass and officiated at the Mayo v Manchester GAA match between Bonniconlon GAA and St Lawrence’s GAA.