St. Kentigern’s Irish Social Club in Fallowfield is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The popular club is used for a variety of purposes including Irish dancing lessons and concerts. The current building was constructed after the club had outgrown the original church, and hosted its first dance in 1971.
Since then, it has become a hub for the Irish diaspora in South Manchester as well as welcoming those from outside the community.
St Kent’s has also welcomed some of the biggest musicians from Ireland such as The Wolfetones and The Kilkennys. The building was constructed voluntarily by Irish labourers who would turn up after work to help build the parish hall.
Current manager Kevin Fitzpatrick joined the club in 2002 after being headhunted by Father Tom Connolly who was on the hunt for a new chief.
Since being in charge, the club has won 15 national awards and raised almost £2 million.
Kevin is hopeful for the next 50 years: “To it be standing in such great fittle 50 years later and to be so active, it is a community club. And I hope we can keep her going for another 50.”