The Irish World Heritage Centre
The Irish World Heritage Centre, Manchester, has been in operation since 1984. We moved into our present purpose built premises in 2013 and soon after were visited by President Michael D. Higgins. The new centre was officially opened by An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny on 10th March, 2014.
For over thirty years the Irish World Heritage Centre has acted as the regional hub for the Irish community in the northwest of England.Our new centre has excellent state of the art and conference facilities with various rooms for hire from our Main Hall (250 capacity), Function Room (100) with its glorious panorama of the city centre, to smaller rooms such as our Education Suite (40).
Our stunning bar has views of and covered access to our large Celtic Garden. We have secure car-parking for 150 cars. We provide a full programme of traditional cultural activities for both adults and children, including music, dance and Irish language groups. The centre is fully accessible throughout with toilet facilities and a lift to the upper floors.
The Irish World Heritage Centre provides a warm Irish welcome to all members of the wider community. We currently cater for various groups and offer wedding packages, Asian events, conference and business meetings, christening and bar mitzvah parties and funerals.
A History of the Irish World Heritage Centre
The Irish World Heritage Centre was officially launched by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Peter Barry, in 1985. The inspiration for this project came from a group of dedicated Irish people whose aim was to offer a comprehensive programme of cultural activities and to tell the story of Irish emigration worldwide.
The founding members of the centre identified a derelict site in Cheetham Hill, which was originally a British Legion Club, but was in need of much renovation. This work was completed with volunteer labour and the skills available within the Irish community.
For its time, the centre boasted up-market facilities, including a restaurant, large dance hall, bar and function rooms. Various classes and clubs were established all contributing to a busy weekly programme of Irish drama, dance, music, language classes, conferences, evening lectures, educational visits, theatre and live music – a legacy that remains in place to this day.
In 1996, an extension housing the shop and a travel centre was built and was officially opened by TD Enda Kenny, the Minister for Tourism and Trade.
Visitors to the Irish World Heritage Centre
The Irish World Heritage Centre has welcomed many politicians and heads of state, including Taoisigh John Bruton, Albert Reynolds and Bertie Aherne. Both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown visited during their time as prime minister.
The centre has also received Presidents Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese and the current president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, as a minister for arts and culture. In total, the centre has been visited by over 20 Irish ministers for state.