THE weather was beautiful, the local ‘Green’ was alive with activities and the legendry musician and singer John Travers made his comeback with fellow performer Andrew McGuinness.
Venue was the Community Green of Newpark where residents and the Polska Éire Festival Group united to celebrate the integration festival and mark its conclusion.
The festival, now in its 4th year, had events all week, including integration through numbers bingo in Orchard House.
For two years John Murphy’s top class venue has assisted festival organisers Twilight Community Group and also held a fun-filled family day of arts and crafts.
A quiz night was enjoyed, with special rounds on Polish general knowledge.
The Integration Community World Cup Soccer was another highlight. Teams from Portugal, South Sudan, Poland, Ireland and SARI (Sports Against Racism Ireland) played for the Statham Cup.
The final was a thriller. Ireland and the African Panthers played in sweltering heat. Ireland took the lead through a slick left side foot from Joey Walsh.
Just before the break Martin Buko scored from the sideline and added a second for the African team.
Ireland pinned the Panthers back for the second half as stalwart Tommy Donavan turned the screw.
But tehe African Panthers held out to win the cup for the first time.
At the Céad Míle Fáilte Community day crowds were entertained by Newpark’s Seanie Shortis.
John Travers and Andrew McGuinness received a huge welcome on stage. Both received a great reception and it was super to see John back to full form.
Piotr Kasperkiewicz and his wife Katherine and family represented the Polish Embassy.
There were Irish stalls, Polish stalls,Irish dancing by the Malone School of Dance, Polish Folk Dncing under the guidance of Marta Tatkowska, Jolanta Gornicka and the Polska Szkola im.Sw. jana Pawla w Kilkenny.
Ania Adamowska was present for all events, Marta and Jolanta’s son Vincent and his friends were a great help as was Newpark Residents’ Association.
The festival is part of the Twilight Community Group’s aim of integration and social inclusion including exchange, student education and development.