Irish folk group joins Ulster-Scots line-up

Na Leanai will be performing at the Broadisland Gathering.
Na Leanai will be performing at the Broadisland Gathering.

The Broadisland Gathering in Ballycarry is set to break new ground with the introduction of a top Irish folk group to the traditional line up at the Ulster Scots event.

Organisers have revealed that Na Leanai, a group comprising of a new generation of the renowned South Down Sands family, will be one of the headline groups at this year’s 25th anniversary event.

They will be joined by other top Ulster Scots musical groups including Stonewall and Risin’ Stour.

The organisers say that the invitation to Na Leanai recalls the days when there used to be a folk music club in the village organised by the late Rev. Robin Williamson.

And they say the south Down group proved so popular last year at one of the evening concerts that the committee decided to bring them on the main Gathering Day to join Ulster Scots musicians.

It will be the first time in the 25 year history of the event that an Irish folk group has been invited to take part in the main Gathering line-up.

“All the groups are fantastic and we really look forward to the mix of music which is being offered this year. The Broadisland Gathering is welcoming to all and while we are an Ulster Scots festival, we also appreciate other musical traditions,” a spokesman said.

Na Leanai has been sponsored by Larne Community Media Ltd and the organisers have expressed their appreciation of the support given by the local charity.

The event on September 2, will see a variety of entertainment and musical offerings from 12 noon through to 5.00 pm.

There will be parades through the village at 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm, with some traffic diversions away from the main street area from 12 noon on September 2.